How COVID-19 changed our priorities when looking at how we live.
Back in early 2020, pre pandemic times, I started house hunting. It started as quite a innocent search, just seeing what was out there for me and what Id be able to afford more importantly. At that point I prioritized a larger living space for having friends over and generally living my best life. I was looking at wardrobe space and wardrobe size.
Once the pandemic hit everything changed, the top priorities in house hunting suddenly became finding a space you can live, work, eat, sleep and stay sane in 24/7 if you need to. Suddenly when viewing homes, I was noticing if there wasn’t enough space for a good size desk, not just one I could shove in a corner. I also stopped looking at Studio apartments entirely!! I had realized how confined you can feel staring at the same 4 walls every day, for work, leisure, sleeping, eating…
I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING….. the pandemic wont last forever. Why care so much about these details???
Well, while I hope and believe with all my heart that we wont see another time like this in our generation, we cant pretend something similar will definitely never happen. Our homes became our whole world!
Our home is our sanctuary…
But also sometimes our office, a creche, social space.
I LOVE HOW MUCH more focus has been put on the work from home spaces now if I am honest! My home office space is my favourite space at home, check out this piece full of home office essentials you didnt know you needed.
I was looking at Studios and 1 bed apartments, the amount of places I found which I would not have even been able to fit a small desk in the corner of a room.. honestly shocking! Considering how much they charge too!!!
I actually didnt realise how little I would get for my money, and I cant bare the thought of having no space for anything but a sofa and a bed to go between. DISCLAIMER I am from Brighton, it is extortionately priced, BUT my point is I realised how little I could get for what I thought I could afford.
However I found online a bunch of really handy tools to help me plan and budget better, one I found and loved was MortgageCalculator.co.uk. I actually realized I could up my budget! Which was a HUGE relief. Iv never bought a home before so having a site to be able to calculate my payments on and generally get a much clearer idea of exactly what id be able to afford and what to expect! I did this using a tool that estimated mortgage affordability based on my income.
Once I realised i could afford more than I originally anticipated… I went back to house hunting with a fresh mind. Not being greedy or going to my max budget necessarily BUT definitely feeling more optimistic about my future home.
Virtual Viewings and the importance of a floor plan…
During the pandemic, house hunting became a almost entirely virtual experience! I watched countless videos on Zoopla and YouTube, but when I finally saw them in person, I felt Catfished I’m not going to lie. So many virtual viewings are filmed using a fish-eye lens effect meaning the rooms seem so much bigger than they really are! I get it, they want to sell homes. BUT its very annoying when you get your hopes up about a place and have a picture in your mind of what it looks and feels like, even where furniture could go and then you see it in person and its different. Its disheartening.
I am absolutely obsessed now with a floor plan… get my tape measure out and really feel what the rooms are sized like. You can see the layout, figure out where the windows are. Personal opinion but I think floor plans are a essential part of a property listing, even on a studio!! You still want to see where the appliances, windows and doors are. You can get a real feel of where your bed would go, if theres space for a seating area, sofa, desk, dining space.
I can tell you now, before the pandemic I did not care as much about the dimensions and layouts of rooms in my home!! I always had the mentality of ‘Ill make it work’ … but then I didn’t even work from home then.
I haven’t found my dream home yet…
But I am on my way… I have new priorities and am feeling way more optimistic about how FUTURE PROOF my home will be.