What Post-Covid Buyers Seek in Their Next Home

Do homebuyers want the same things in their next home as they did before the COVID pandemic? In some ways, yes, and in others, no. According to the latest summer Realtor.com survey, post-COVID homebuyers are willing to spend more money on a home, have saved more money toward a down payment as they sheltered in place, and plan to buy a home sooner than they did in the spring of 2020.

A greater majority of homebuyers surveyed also said they want a three-bedroom home, with two bathrooms, an updated kitchen, and a garage. In a comparison of surveys conducted in both the spring and summer, a notable share of homebuyers wanting move-in ready homes has gone up 10 percent and six percent more buyers are willing to take on longer commutes to get the home they want. In addition, low mortgage interest rates, combined with additional personal savings, are making conditions attractive for them to buy a larger home in a nicer neighborhood.

Six percent fewer homebuyers plan to put more earnest money down, plan to offer above listing price, or offer all cash. Three percent plan to put down more than a 20 percent down-payment.    

The trend in these numbers appears to point toward less willingness on the part of homebuyers to compromise on what they want. They may spend more for a home, but plan to preserve as much cash as possible. Homebuyers may be planning to stay in their next homes for a longer period.