Let’s talk about real estate in a post-COVID world.
René Nelson, Eugene commercial real estate broker
Marcia Edwards, Eugene residential real estate broker
Marcia Edwards: I want to talk a little bit about, well, what we see coming over the hill as COVID unfolds, or it goes away, we hope. We’re going to see another shift, and it’s going to be, how will people sustain their lifestyle? What part of their lifestyle will they hold onto? And what will it revert back to what was pre-COVID?
René Nelson: So I can talk just briefly about what I’m seeing in the commercial office space. In March of last year, we saw, when we went into lockdown, right after that, we saw a lot of shifting, where people were letting go of office space. Some were up-sizing because now they needed to distance their employees. Some were officing at home, so they were getting rid of their office. What are you seeing in residential? Are you seeing more people starting to work from home, or people still going to the office and commuting?
Marcia Edwards: Well, by great majority, people intend to keep this, at least part-time, as a stay-at-home workforce. So in large part, they expect to have room in their house. So looking for a new home, they are. We are now staging home office and Zoom spaces in residential real estate, so people can envision how they’d work from home. And that fourth bedroom doesn’t have to be a fourth bedroom. It really is a den, usually is what they’re considering, so you’ve got to make sure that you name that in the marketing.
So we see that people want to understand how they can navigate working from home. Also, working from home means less of a commute. And that means there’s some commuter tolerance, where if they work three days a week in town, and four days a week and they’re not in town, two of those are working from home. That’s a different makeup and they can tolerate a greater distance from their workplace.
René Nelson: Oh, that’s interesting. You’ve mentioned about the fourth bedroom, that it could be an office. How does that equate into value when you’re doing a market analysis on a property, just in general? Because isn’t there a rule that you have to have a closet in order to count it for a bedroom?
Marcia Edwards: And an egress, a legal window egress for emergency purposes.
René Nelson: Okay.
Marcia Edwards: So you’ve got those two points. And that is a problem because in Zillow, a lot of people will search and say, “I need a minimum of four bedrooms,” but really, they need a minimum of three bedrooms and an additional space. You’ve got to get your eyes on it with a realtor scouting for you to understand the floor plan a little more than a lot of those you discover in Zillow.
René Nelson: Okay. Here’s the deal about Zillow. It’s just eye candy. You can go in there and look at fluffy pictures, but don’t trust it.
Marcia Edwards: That’s right. It’s just generalizations from broad algorithms.
Join Eugene, Oregon, real estate experts: Bob Nelson, Real Estate Investment Broker with Pacwest Real Estate Investments, and Marcia Edwards, Residential Real Estate Broker with Windermere Real Estate, daily at 5:30pm on KPNW for the “Real Estate Today” radio show.