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    There’s been a lot of talk about small properties lately. 

    Granny flats, accessory dwelling units, tiny houses, and in-law suites — they’ve all been making major headlines in recent years, especially as home prices crept up and the Marie Kondo-inspired minimalistic movement took hold.

    But it looks like the pandemic has stopped that trend in its tracks. In fact, buyers are now moving in the opposite direction, opting for larger, more spacious properties instead.

    Why exactly is this happening? And should you start to look for a larger house, too? Let’s look at a few of the drivers behind this new trend:

    1. The need for more space 

    The coronavirus pandemic has confined most Americans to their homes for the last six months. For those with significant others, kids, or pets? It’s gotten pretty darn crowded (to say the least). 

    As a result, many people are looking to expand. They want larger properties, more rooms, and simply more space to spread out and get some privacy. Homes with larger-sized lots and outdoor areas are also getting more popular for these same reasons. 

    2. More multigenerational households

    Multigenerational living has been on the rise for a while. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, about one in five households is multigenerational. 

    The pandemic has sent that multigenerational household trend into overdrive. Older parents are being moved out of high-risk nursing homes and back in with their kids, and college-aged students are heading home, too, unable to stay on campus as the virus rages on.

    As households add in more members — especially those from older or younger generations — the need to expand arises. Families want more spacious properties, particularly ones with extra floors or wings to maintain some semblance of privacy.

    3. Remote work demands

    Many companies have switched over to remote work environments, allowing their employees to work from home until the pandemic blows over. Unfortunately, many households just aren’t equipped for this newfound demand —  at least space-wise.

    Workers are forced to check their email from the dining room table, conduct Zoom meetings on the back porch, or take conference calls from the bed or a crowded couch. The problem is only compounded when there are multiple remote workers on the property or, as is the case with many families, kids are at home doing schoolwork, too. 

    For families facing these increased demands of at-home productivity, a larger property — ideally one with a study or office — is sometimes the only option. 

    4. Lower mortgage rates 

    Mortgage rates have been at record lows for a large part of the pandemic. And while they can certainly make buying a home more affordable, they also come with another perk: they let buyers do more with less. 

    If you qualify for a low rate, this can increase your buying budget. That could mean an extra room, another 300 square feet of space, or maybe even a pool.

    Many buyers — especially those working from home or living in multigenerational households — are using these suddenly bigger budgets to purchase larger, higher-priced properties they wouldn’t normally have been able to afford.

    Thinking of buying a bigger house?

    If you’re considering buying a larger house during the pandemic, make sure you take a good look at your finances first. You’ll want to have a good handle on your budget before beginning your search.

    You should also talk to a loan officer about your options, and get pre-qualified for a loan, too. This will give you an idea of what price range to shop in, as well as what interest rate you can expect on your mortgage. 

    Finally, don’t forget to proceed with caution. When possible, use virtual tours to gauge a property’s potential, and work with your real estate agent and lender remotely if they’ll allow it. If you do have to visit a home in person or have a face-to-face meeting, wear a mask and be diligent about washing your hands and keeping at least six feet of distance. You should also clear of any high-traffic, shared surfaces and fixtures (like doorknobs, countertops, armrests, etc.)

    Start your home search today

    Are you ready to get the ball rolling on that larger home search? Then get in touch with Embrace Home Loans today.

    Your mortgage options for a smooth journey home.

    Get expert guidance and personalized solutions for a stress-free mortgage experience.