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A New Trend: Zoom Goes to the Dining Room

Nov 28, 2020 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson
I think it's safe to say that it has been an exhausting year with twists and turns around every corner. As we meet the challenges of these turbulent times, the functions of our homes are changing as well.  Homes are being adapted to accommodate working and schooling remotely, changing with an eye toward a new flexibility, function, and look.
We all have our own story. Whatever it is, there is a common thread. Our homes have become offices, dorm rooms, classrooms, and art/yoga studios; and, with luck, maybe there is still a place to sleep! Just the other day, I was in a home where three of the six rooms were being used for education purposes. There is literally no place left for old-fashioned living. Mom (a teacher) and the kids (of different ages) needed their own spaces for uninterrupted teaching and learning, respectively. We see this scene playing out in homes across the country. 
Are these changes shifting the “identity” and function of rooms as we ourselves adjust to these developments? Is a dining room no longer a “must have” for most families? The formal living room has long been considered unnecessary by many who embrace a more casual living style and who might opt for an in-home office instead. As we look ahead to the future, are more private “Zoom” areas around the house going to be the future "must-have"?   

According to a 2020 Homelight survey of real estate agents across the country, the in-home office has become a prime feature for new home buyers. That’s no surprise, but experience tells us that just one room is probably not going to cut it. People need not just a dedicated space for work or education, but one that is appropriate for learning and/or for the outside world to view us in a professional capacity. I don’t know about you, but it’s no fun running around the house at the last minute trying to find a quiet, appropriate, and professional-looking space to Zoom with a client. I’m quite sure they don’t want to see the “My Pillow Guy” selling his wares in the background, nor do they need to see how pretty my bedroom curtains are while we try to conduct a productive meeting. As we prepare our homes for today’s market we might want to think about the “Zoom room.”

Over the past 33 years, I have learned that buyers will generally view homes as they are presented. In other words, if you present a dining room (even if that is not the intended use of that room), it is what the buyers will identify that space as. Knowing that buyers need more Zoom rooms and that they “buy with the eye,” we might think of staging and updating little niches in our home where buyers can easily envision uncomplicated, uncluttered, remote education or designated office space. Depending on your home, maybe desks are a staple of the bedroom again. The spare bedroom—is it really necessary now?  Maybe we are rethinking Uncle Bruno’s dining room furniture, instead turning that rarely used dining room into the Zoom room—one that does not have my colleagues looking at antique teacups or a wine collection.

Regardless of how you do it, sprucing up, changing the function of your rooms, and identifying home work spaces might not only improve your day-to-day living, but you should see a decent return on your investment when you decide to sell.

ubmitted by Carol Ann Palmieri, Home-Sale Artist (left) of Al and Cal Realty Group, RE/MAX Executive Realty. Palmieri may be reached at 508-494-9061 or [email protected]



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