I was interviewed last week by a writer for The Wall Street Journal’s Mansion Global site for an upcoming article on how COVID-19 is changing what Scottsdale home buyers are looking for in a new home. I believe we are about to undergo a dramatic shift in Scottsdale real estate and I want to share what we see in the market and are hearing from clients and colleagues.
Scottsdale Home Buyers are Searching For Space
Before the crisis, the word heard frequently from Scottsdale home buyers was downsizing. This has changed. Many people realized they might need bigger. Scottsdale home buyers are looking for more space which is taking multiple forms. Some want to make sure there is space in the home for a home office or room to home school children without it taking up the entire kitchen. This is likely to be a big trend moving forward, especially as more companies opt to allow employees to work from home now and in the future. For other buyers, it is an outdoor space. People have realized when they are stuck at home and can’t go out, a nice living space to enjoy outdoors is a true blessing.
Many Scottsdale Homes Provide Space for Multi-generational Living
When COVID shut down higher education and larger cities implemented stay-at-home rules, the first group to arrive in many homes were adult children. Sharing a smaller home with relatives can be nice for a short visit but as the months drag on, a home with an extra bedroom or even a guest house starts to look like a necessity and less of a luxury. Scottsdale homes offering multi-generational living space are definitely something many people are looking for and want it for both the previous generation and the next one. Guesthouses and casitas are one thing many Scottsdale home buyers are looking for in their new home.
Scottsdale Homeowners Enjoy Lower Population Density
It goes without saying that the risk of exposure to the virus increases dramatically when you are packed in small living spaces that are shared with others. We believe there is a definite interest in the Scottsdale home market because of this trend. In fact, Scottsdale was selected as the number one city in the US to shelter in place. This is because of the average number of square feet of living space, per person, the extensive outdoor space and public land that is available to enjoy while social distancing, and the number of restaurants offering delivery service.
Falling Mortgage Rates are Great for Arizona Home Buyers
Prior to the pandemic, mortgage rates were low, and there was a massive wave of refinance applications on the desks of everyone in the mortgage industry. COVID-19 pushed rates even lower. This is good news for borrowers, and will definitely help some purchase the home of their dreams. However, what has changed and will continue to impact some borrowers is new underwriting criteria. Credit scores needed to get certain loans have been raised, and underwriters are scrutinizing the job type of loan applicants. Anyone in a job likely to be displaced if there is a second wave will find it difficult to qualify. The other group that might find it challenging to get funded are those needing Jumbo loans, as fewer organizations are offering them at the present time.
Anyone Buying A Home Now Wants Good IT Infrastructure
If you experienced Zoom calls where some participants’ communication was so glitchy you could not understand them, you know the importance of a strong broadband connection in a Scottsdale home. Interestingly, one of the early questions we have been asked recently is who is the broadband provider, and is there fiber available in the area? With work-at-home becoming the norm, having slow or wavering bandwidth can take you out of the communication mix.
A Glut of Commercial Space
While our focus is on residential and what Scottsdale home buyers are looking for in a new home, also talk with our colleagues on the commercial side. They are telling us that there is a glut of commercial space that will be coming to market in the next few years. Companies quickly figured out that the business doesn’t fall apart if employees aren’t sharing physical space, many are questioning the need for large offices.
If you are considering buying or selling a Scottsdale home or anywhere else for that matter, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are members of the Top Agent Network, which connects us with the top ten percent of the agents in the market, and we are networked with some of the top agents around the world. If you are looking to find the perfect agent anywhere, let us know and we can help. If you are looking to purchase or sell a home in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek or Carefree, let’s talk – we would appreciate the opportunity to earn your business.