The pandemic and ensuing lockdown have made us realise the safety, security and stability of our homes. The COVID-19 has turned our homes into make-shift workplaces, schools, gyms and pubs and our private entertainment zones. Most people invest in properties for residential needs, often choosing to buy or rent their particular home because its location offers access to good schools or an easy commute to work. Many invest in properties which have quality facilities that can accommodate their routine activities.
The pandemic effect is being felt across economies and societies with changes in lifestyles with fewer people now commuting and more people, working from home. Property developers and architects are mulling on the possibilities of how people may choose to live and how they would want their houses to function after this prolonged period of lockdown.
Many believe that people may want to escape city life and move to the suburbs, with many longing for more green space.
While we can only imagine some of the ways that home life will change after COVID-19, our chief goal will be getting facilities to stop the spread of germs. Let us look at some probable features that a post COVID home may incorporate.
Open plan living vs quite corners
The lockdown has forced family members to stay together for a longer time than usual. It has highlighted the need for personal space. Therefore the popular trend for open plan living or multi-functional space – usually a kitchen, dining, living, utility and workspace may not be feasible now. Such open plan areas worked on a phased pattern of occupation by family members. Privacy has become the prime need, as working professionals operating from home need space for con calls and work. There is also the all-important issue of having a designated place for isolating and quarantining items that we bring into the home.
Changing housing preferences
The significant changes in work pattern and living has created a fundamental shift in what people perceive as priority features in the home. Since most professionals are now working from home, there is a greater need for proper temperature control and energy efficiency facilities. Most homebuyers would be looking for better indoor air quality, means to control noise pollution, increased insulation and visual comfort.
The pandemic has made Online studies become the new normal, so parents of school-going children would prefer investing in properties that have a private space to study away from the communal areas of the home.
Self-sufficiency & Natural light
Health has become all-important for everyone and preoccupation with exercise and health could also see more people preferring natural light and access to nature. It could lead to demands for structures that let in more light and have space for gardens. Sustainable living facilities might include areas for growing food, putting up solar panels and recycling water.
Millennials might also demand designs of new housing responding to the new realities of homeschooling and working, as well as a healthier, more self-sufficient lifestyle.
Some of the structural changes that builders could include in homes would be :
Hands-free fixtures that do not require hands, from motion- or foot-activated faucets and automatic flush toilets, to motion-sensitive doors and voice-activated TV remotes and sound systems. AI features like keyless entries to opening doors with our phones, or with infrared detection systems. Strategic placing of a sink in the entryway will become standard as also smart toilets and bidets and Hands-free trash cans.
Homebuyers would demand dedicated workspaces to make sure that those working at home have an office away from household disruptions. There will be an increase in the need for publicly presentable space for teleconferencing. A rise in the demand for storage for food and other essentials will soon be the new normal in future homes as also the preference for delivery rooms, so we don’t have to meet the e-commerce delivery person.