Not just a home: Why lifestyle matters most in 2021

It’s interesting that people are staying in their homes longer these days — somewhere in the neighborhood of eight to 13 years! That’s up considerably from the early 2000s, when people moved about every five years.

We know that homeownership tenure is impacted by many things — mortgage rates, the economy and inventory. But lifestyle is also playing a role. Not only do we think lifestyle is contributing to people staying in their homes longer, we also believe a focus on lifestyle is changing the home purchase process. Here’s how.


It isn’t just selling a product, it’s a lifestyle

Most real estate searches use filters that relate to specific characteristics of the house, for instance the number of bedrooms and bathrooms or total square footage. In this instance, the home is a product with certain features. But what more and more people are looking for today reflects how you want to live in the home, community and surrounding area — the lifestyle you will lead there.

This approach was first seen in the luxury real estate market during the ’80s and ’90s, with Robin Leach’s iconic television program, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Remember that show? Each week we were transported to new takes on luxury living — an aspirational viewing experience in which we lived vicariously through these wealthy homeowners and dreamed of living like they did. Now with the popularity of social media, everyone can take a peak into the lives of the rich and famous at any time of the day and aspire to at least some of that luxury.

Today, the idea of aspirational living isn’t limited to the affluent. Homeowners of all incomes have begun to proactively curate their desired lifestyle by the careful selection of their home — a place they intend to stay for a while — and where it’s located. 


Location, location, location, lifestyle

The current pandemic has changed what people want in a home but also in its location as well.

Adapting to these new consumer demands means REALTORS® are adding a fourth “L” to their guiding real estate fundamental — the lifestyle elements a home possesses. For example: Potential homeowners can imagine themselves exploring European cooking classes in the open kitchen plan, stargazing with their children in the outdoor living room,
hitting the bike trails after work or strolling the downtown galleries.

Each description evokes not just a place but also how the homeowner can live in that place. These elements need to be demonstrated in the home and neighbourhood that buyers are seeing.

There are many different lifestyles that buyers can choose from now, from country life to city life, and from outdoor life to family life. Many new homes are being built in intentionally designed communities that include public gathering places, leisure trails, man-made lakes and retail.


Ask questions

Although some buyers know exactly what they want, right down to a certain block in a neighbourhood, others don’t yet know what they are looking for in the homebuying process.

So it’s very important to ask yourself questions. What are your hobbies? What do your weekends typically look like? How close do you want to be to your place of work? Schools? Bike trails? The answers to these questions will help your REALTOR® guide you to a place that best complements your life.


Focus on the future

When you purchase a home, you’re looking to your future — both immediate and long term. You want a property you can see yourself building a life in and around, while feeling like you belong.

When making one of the biggest purchases of your life, you believe that how you live within your community is just as important as the layout of your home. With that in mind, you’re less likely to settle and will be more focused on successfully finding a forever home that aligns with your desired lifestyle. REALTORS® is there to help you do this.

— Inman News