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POLL: Will the pandemic impact your next move or remodel?

Emily H
11 months ago


Larchlea Project · More Info



After the COVID 19 pandemic, will your next home search or remodel reflect the possibility of sheltering in place for long periods of time?


VOTE and tell us about it in the comments!

Yes, I will always consider this going forward
No, that will not impact my next home search or remodel
Other - tell us below!

Comments (37)

  • worthy
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    Access to mass transit will not be a consideration as we intend to never take a subway or bus again. That's even with gas hitting a record tomorrow in Toronto at C$1.439 a litre for regular, (US$4.332 per US gallon).

    Our work "commute" is from bed to computer. (Except when my judgement fails and we have to re-possess homes for lender clients.)

  • Rina
    11 months ago

    As my life style would remain the same (hermit-like anyway), I can't think of any reason for the pandemic to play a role in my choice. However, if I were someone who frequently entertained I would probably make sure that I have a spacious patio or deck -- preferably covered for rainy days.

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  • mxk3 z5b_MI
    11 months ago

    No. No impact other than contractor delays and long lead times for remodeling. I chose to return to commuting to the office, I don't like working from home on a full-time basis, I need a clear separation between work and home. That said, it is nice to have options -- say, when DH retires he may want a small cottage up north or something, it wouldn't have been possible to spend summers elsewhere while I'm still working pre-pandemic but is now that my company has changed the rules for telecommuting.



  • Ann Fitzer
    11 months ago

    No. There would be no changes as I enjoy decorating and upgrade on occasion to freshen up my home. But I do feel it is important for it
    to be done safely, with only one or two professionals in your home that wear a mask.

  • timeless3703
    11 months ago

    The pandemic will not force my hand on what kind of house I buy next or remodel  in a certain direction. Bottom line is that it has to make sense and get a good value for the choices I make.

  • Mrs Pete
    11 months ago

    If I were not only months away from retirement, yes, I would build in two pocket offices. Something like 5x7 would be plenty big.


    Whether you and I are pro or con on the idea, I definitely think working from home will become a more common thing in the future, and it'd be smart to be prepared for it. I wouldn't go too big -- but a built-in desk with good lighting, a professional-looking backdrop for Zoom meetings, and some space for books and files. Plenty of electrical outlets and a door for quiet.


    Other than that, no, I wouldn't do anything different because of the pandemic.

  • SeattleMCM
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    No and yes. My current place is too remote. It was awesome having a big yard and not too many people walking around the neighborhood during the pandemic, but I am a city gal at heart. My plan has always been for our next home to be closer to city center, in a more walkable location, close to public transit. I want to be as non car dependent as possible, especially as we age.

    On the other hand, we won't be downsizing as much as we planned. I used to think our current house was too big for two people, but during the pandemic, I realized that it's just enough space w/o getting on each other's nerves. We will continue to want our own separate offices even after retirement. They will be our personal spaces for hobbies, etc.

  • Laura B
    11 months ago

    We already did! Moved out of our house in June 2020 to do a big remodel. Halfway through the project we added in a master office space with 2 separate desks side by side... Including a set of pocket doors in between so we could close and muffle each other's voices during calls. With all the Covid delays, we finally moved into our new office spaces last week. Now we get to work close by each other but in private dedicated spaces. Huge improvement vs us working in separate bedrooms like before our offices were ready. Such a good investment especially since it seems my job may have switched to primarily remote during the pandemic.

  • M L Radcliffe
    11 months ago

    Yes, I’m looking for a new house now &

  • M L Radcliffe
    11 months ago

    I definitely want a front porch

  • Patricia Nixon
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    💯I am SO glad someone is talking about this. I do not yet own property. I really ❤️ my apartment, I'm on the 8th floor and live in New Jersey. We've always had road flooding during storms but Ida knocked us out! Even me, on this high floor, lost power for 6 days. Luckily I have renter's insurance to help. The underground parking flooded, where the breakers are. It was a mess, and this is a very well maintained building. I do love living here.

    But I digress. Since then, I would NEVER consider living on a ground floor or private house. Nope. Not me. I'm absolutely committed to a condo now with:

    1. outdoor living space
    2. views of New York and New Jersey
    3. no higher than like the 10th floor. Just in case.

    Yeah, this is something that I will never forget. And I do not mean to be unkind but really, we never expected it because this is not a rural area and buildings all around us were just fine. I honestly thought it was MY bill at first because not all apartment went out initially.

    But supposedly now everything has been upgraded and repaired. But I will never forget that feeling of dread. Phone on like 15% and I've gotta make a choice immediately to pack and hope the nearest hotel (expensive-ass Hilton 😂) had availability. That actually worked out well because I was close enough (and bored enough) to walk home round trip every other day to see if the power was back on.

    So yeah, things have changed for me. Forever. I'd be nuts if I were in a private house...and with a basement. 🤦🏽‍♀️ #EAHWP 👈🏽

    Pardon any typos - Siri's fault; dictating

  • dwhite2762
    11 months ago

    I’m so lucky that the house I am living in has almost everything I needed and loved. I am building more storage options for more bulk groceries (potatoes, pasta etc). And, I am going to buy a fancy bidet!

  • SeattleMCM
    11 months ago

    dwhite2762 I wanted to buy one of those add-on bidets (like Tushy), but both of my toilets are the wrong shape for it. would love a Japanese toilet!

  • Donna Thompson
    11 months ago

    We ordered new kitchen cabinets mid March,2021. They arrived late July. Boxes were in perfect condition, however when we opened the boxes to check the cabinets many were damaged. It had be be done in the factory, unbelievable! The company has replaced the damaged cabinets, apologized but it took almost another 3 months for replacements. Company said lack of skilled workers , no quality control, all because of Covid and ppl not wanting to work.

  • Keith Jarvis
    11 months ago

    It has altered the way I decide which houses to go into, and now that I have purchased, it is going to affect how and when I do remodeling.

  • Kathleen Marineau
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    We live in a rural area, 15min outside of a small town. We and all our neighbors have approximately 3 acre parcels. Crowds are only an issue at the supermarket and high school sports.

    So far the price of materials has been the primary impediment to already planned upgrades in this 45year old house.

    Our projects are small enough, i.e. replace basement stairs, that supply delays haven't been an issue, until this week.

    We need 3 bundles of asphalt shingles for a small roof repair. The match to the existing roof color is out of stock until late November, so we'll have an off-color patch. We hope to replace the entire original roof next summer, depending on supplies and cost increases. Otherwise we might end up with more multicolored patches. Hmm, could it be a new design trend?

  • Kathy Furt
    11 months ago

    Kitchen remodel is delayed due to high cost of construction

  • valster53
    11 months ago

    We bought our fixer-upper retirement home 3 years ago. Kitchen, 2 1/2 baths, window replacement, roof & gutters, geothermal HVAC, attic insulation and electric upgrade were all completed pre-COVID. New garage addition was mostly delayed because of borough codes and historic district restrictions rather than pandemic.
    We have only 2 major expenses left but lots of small details I’m tackling myself such as woodwork, spackling and painting. The biggest problem right now is inflation eating away at our budget.

  • arcy_gw
    11 months ago

    Not many saying yes. If there were I would doubt it comes true. As with the 911 re-awakening of patriotism, any awareness one has now will fade quickly as life gets back to 'normal'. It's the way of humanity.

  • artemis_ma
    11 months ago

    I'm retired, and since I moved in at the end of 2017 (with further completion work in 2018), I don't see any need for real remodeling. And I don't plan to move at least as long as the body lasts.

  • Kathleen Marineau
    11 months ago

    I agree with valster53 about costs going up, on some things. The shingles we need for a roof patch job (leak is new in late September), cost less than the contractor estimated, but we had to settle for a different color or wait another 6 weeks.

    The cost of paint (detached lawn tractor shed, playhouse and deck stain) is nearly double what I paid last winter. Sure glad I don't have any big projects pending.

  • Emily H
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    I think this will definitley impact our next move. We live in an almost 100 year old smallish home, and when we had kids home from college and two adults working, it was rough without a little more personal space available. Add to that having to have people quarantine twice (never had Covid, luckily) I really would like to have a guest suite with it's own unshared bathroom. So... next house - dedicated office spaces, at least two ensuite bedrooms in addition to a shared bathrooom for guests, and plenty of outdoor space, which we luckily have now.


    Our house is fairly open, and I have to say it has made having a few walls here and there pretty attractive to close off common areas.

  • Anita Hillstead
    11 months ago

    I bought a smaller home after my husband passed 6 years ago. Put in new hardwood through out, finished fence for dogs and put in raised bed gardens and an orchard. All done pre-covid.
    As for the rest of the projects, I'm having a hard time finding quality construction people that aren't busy. So, I'm on waiting lists.
    Yes, Covid has changed my life. I plan on being in lock down again at sometime again, so making my home some where I can be 24/7.

  • HU-365205083
    11 months ago

    Changed our entire lives. Just finished our forever home from inside to out then brother became a widower and moved in with us when Covid hit…he sold his CA home and came to the Big Island. Discovering he had medical concerns, doctors were 1.5 hour drives but if you needed surgery, specialists etc you had to fly to Honolulu, HI. First most places wouldn’t except my medical exemption then the Governor mandated no island to island travel without a Vax…that wasn’t going to happen so after only being there 2.5 years, broken-heartedly we had to go back to the mainland. Longer story but just finishing remodeling and cleaning up 8 acres we are moving again to a nicer area, far less property and hopefully fits our needs which includes easier access to our stored goods and a nice workshop. New challenge will be fitting what we brought (mix of old and tropical) to blend well. Been very tough and miss Hawaii a lot.

  • kculbers
    11 months ago

    Over the last several years we renovated our “Forever Home”. New windows and slider door, new flooring, new kitchen and bathrooms. All new house lighting, updated smoke alarms, new oak staircase and bannister, new entryway door. We also renovated the outside: paved patio, paved entry walkway and retaining walls. New asphalt driveway. We also painted the inside of our home in antique white after fixing all nail pops and cracks. Washed and rinsed all walls and ceilings prior to painting. New rugs. We did must of our renovations prior to Covid hitting the world. We researched and interviewed all craftsmen working on our renovations; all the time we spent on this research really paid off too. We also thoroughly researched all products used in our renovation. I used Houzz website for great advice. I was lucky enough to have worked from home during the renovations; my husband was also retired. The only thing left to do now, is paint my front entry door, a labor of love!

  • Debbie Bates
    11 months ago

    Cost and availability of materials have paused my plans to remodel my kitchen. Earlier, I was concerned about the variety of workmen who would be in my home.

  • carol beachlady
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    I am in my "forever" home - perfect size and location. Between COVID and advancing age, and at home more in retirement, I want to be as comfortable as I can here. Can't think of any place I would rather be. Kitchen remodel would be nice, but like other commenters, there are concerns now with high cost of materials and dependable labor. Going forward, my home improvements will be maintenance items, replacing some back fencing, sprucing up the back screen porch, new fridge, and some aging-in-place upgrades like grab bars and new toilet in master bath . . . I am fortunate that I can still do all my own yard work, though much more slowly . . .

  • Elizabeth Gee
    11 months ago

    YES. So glad that you asked this question. I've been waiting for my remodel to start for most of 2021 (we are on our 3rd remodeler). When a household member contracted Covid-19 at work, suddenly our house got really small. It felt like we needed 3 full bathrooms (instead of 2 -1/2) and a second exit from upstairs.

    In February we had a horrific ice storm. Our property incurred the most damage on our street. 5 days without power, gave us time to focus on what needed to change. We occasionally live off the grid (only once every few years) in a semi-rural neighborhood when the weather is bad.

    I decided to do the whole house remodel all at once, and expand our front bedrooms to give us more space.

    It's October now. I'm barely starting with Neil Kelly, because the backlog of remodels has been long, due to the ice storm.

    We decided to stay in our house rather than move, because

    1. our house is 300 feet above sea level on a rocky hill
    2. our hill has a natural underground spring
    3. very quiet neighborhood
    4. have a view of Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens when the trees drop their foliage
    5. can walk to a local neighborhood supermarket, restaurants, buses, etc. 2-3 blocks away

    Our designer, Byron Kellar, of Neil Kelly recommended an elevator, which would give us 2 exits from upstairs, and the ability to "age in place". He's recommending bathroom and kitchen remodels too.


    I've never done a remodel before. I believe in Form Follows Function.

    Somehow more functions of our home have materialized, so it's time to remodel.

  • Weyeswoman
    11 months ago

    My little retirement home lives much bigger than we originally thought, as we learned when our son and daughter-in-law had to move in. Because life is short and I made a promise to myself to complete the tasks and wishes I had for this home, we have taken on projects such as upgrading kitchen counters and lighting; accent wallpapering; upgrading the pantry and replacing metal closet doors with wood. No question now; this is our forever home and we love it.

  • teamaltese
    10 months ago

    In July of 2020, after learning of the deaths and terminal illness of friends and family, along with Covid, we realized that life is too short. We realized our dream, bought a condo on the beach, sold the much bigger house, and we’re very happy with the move.

  • Marco
    10 months ago


    During early covid, we learned of benefits of our current house that we never would have anticipated:

    - a big porch with access from both indoors and from outdoors;

    - bulk storage space;

    - strong web connection for novel social uses of zoom.


    To expand on these...

    Early in the pandemic, when the only protections were distance and masks, isolation from friends and loneliness for single friends was a big issue. A deep long porch with separate access from indoors (two doors) and a side entrance allowed us to set up a fifteen-foot-long table and seat ourselves at one end, and a guest couple or single at the other end. We worked out protocols based on the highest level of caution advised as months passed and research came: wear masks until all are seated, serve via a side-table, encourage guests bring their own food if that is what made them most comfortable. Isolation is no time to get judgy. For Thanksgiving, Dinner, Christmas, we heated the plates and dined at noon in our parkas, and had as much laughter as ever. In the brutal heat of summer (106 is our daily summer norm) we invited guests for pre-dawn breakfasts instead.

    So, if shaping a new house with future pandemics in mind, a large porch with multiple access from inside and out would be part of the plan.


    Bulk Storage was a bit of a problem for us, until a friend tipped mentioned they were using their unused guest-room bathtub for storage. We did this too, and it got the clutter out of the way, conveniently accessible yet neatly hidden behind a curtain. Someday when we can have houseguests again, we won't need the tub for bulk storage. And if there is another pandemic, the tub will switch uses. Permanent extra storage adds to a house's construction cost, footprint and tax liability, and invites accumulation of junk. So, if planning a house with future pandemics in mind, it would include a guest bathroom with a tub or shower that could alternate functions between bathing and storage.


    Zoom or similar platforms were usually thought of as business platforms (by us, anyway). We used it many many times for after-work cocktails and hors d'oeuvres with friends. We also learned to set up on a corner of the dining room table and have "zoom dinners" with far-away friends, and had fun talking about our different menus, as well as catching up on news. We've even done cook-together zooms in the kitchen (a little clumsy and noisy, but still fun to cook simultaneously with isolated friends). So, if planning a house for a future pandemic, a strong web connection is something we'd want for maintaining social life.


    Lastly, I try to remind myself that, though not planned for a pandemic scenario, these features of our home are real privileges, especially when we add the luxury of high-quality masks, vaccines, booster shots, and access to up-to-date public-health information. Most of the world's population has only a mask made of an old tee-shirt and physical distancing as its sole public-health control, if they have received even that amount of information.

  • dwhite2762
    10 months ago

    I loved my front porch during the shutdown. We could speak with our neighbors and find out how everyone was doing. We also have a back porch so we could talk to our closest neighbors across from the Fence. Super important.

  • tarakate21
    10 months ago

    I live in a fairly small house in the suburbs of DC, and from the time we moved in ten years ago, I have wished that we could open up our chopped-up main floor. I wanted to take down walls, merge rooms - the whole nine yards. I especially detested our long, narrow living room. I wanted to knock through its walls and make it part of the kitchen.


    Then the pandemic brought my two adult children plus one of their partners home. My not-so-big house had six adults living in it during that first cold, scary spring. (My elderly mother lives with us, too.) .Boy, do I love my separated, not open concept living room now! It houses my new desk, an area for exercise, plus the fireplace and sitting area that it always had. Also (and this was critical at the lowest moments of us all living on top of each other), it gives me someplace to escape to where i can, at least momentarily, not see any of my other family members. My husband and mother most likely survived the pandemic because I could go in there and pretend for five minutes that I was alone, 😂


    All that is a long way of saying that after the pandemic, as much as I love open-concept houses, I will always keep in mind the importance of preserving some secluded space (besides just bedrooms) anyplace that I live. It's crucial for my sanity.

  • Tracey Paterson
    7 months ago

    Well, the pandemic just prompted us to move. After it became generally accepted to work remotely and many companies, even after the relaxation of quarantine measures, allowed employees to work from home, mud and I decided to move to the house that I inherited from my parents.

  • J D
    7 months ago

    The pandemic SHOULD impact designs, but not everyone can see that clearly...

  • Navy Bear
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    Well, the pandemic just prompted us to move. After it became generally accepted to work remotely and many companies, even after the relaxation of quarantine measures, allowed employees to work from home, mud and I decided to move to the house that I inherited from my parents. We work as programmers, so it is very convenient for us to work remotely. We contacted European removals Germany in mid-2020, and they helped us move our belongings. We even packed everything neatly because we didn't have time to do it at that moment. So the pandemic has made my life much more pleasant.