Emily Merkley, chief executive officer, Cache Valley Association of Realtor

A quote originating from the early 1900s novel The Beasts of Tarzan explains how, as humans, we are creatures of habit. The idea that “we fall naturally and easily into the manner and customs” that have been implanted within us is fair; however, that same idea explains that our habits and customs are shaken when we are forced to find new ways to exist. So, while we may (past or present) live habit-forming lives, this past year has taught us just how open and adapting we can be.

The disruption of everyday living has left few unscathed, and the biggest transitions have taken place within the walls of our own homes. The world has changed, our lives have changed, and our homes are evolving to meet these new needs. Homes are housing families, providing space for virtual learning, transitioning into remote offices, and even morphing into home gyms. These new requirements mean that what people are looking for in a home is also shifting. 

Just as designers and builders must be thoughtful of these evolving demands when constructing homes, homeowners must also consider these different factors during remodeling projects and when staging a home to sell. While open-concept living has been popular for years, a need for clearly defined spaces is becoming a requirement for many individuals. This demand for more walls (typical of historic homes), means that spaces within a home will be dedicated to certain responsibilities. The ability to work, play, learn, and live within a single space requires a clear delineation of a home’s layout.

With a change in seasons just around the corner, many buyers are interested in homes with outdoor spaces that allow them to take advantage of Cache Valley’s beautiful summers. Priorities are being placed on exterior spaces like balconies, patios, gardens, and landscaped yards that can create a haven at home. 

Many areas inside a home are also getting attention: spa-style amenities within master bathrooms, kitchens, gathering spaces, and sanitary stations located close to entrances. The surfaces within these spaces are also changing as buyers and homeowners alike are on the hunt for antimicrobial and solid surfaces that are easy to disinfect and keep clean. 

As our world, and therefore our needs, shifts, it can be difficult to determine what the priorities for your home should be. Utilize the knowledge of a REALTOR® to plan reconfigurations of your home layout, prepare for a remodel, find a home that meets your needs, and increase the value of your home for future buyers.

Three Ways Home Equity Can Have a Major Impact on Your Life 

  1. When experiencing financial hardship (job loss, medical bills, etc)
  2. When starting a new business
  3. When investing in a loved one’s future (college, down payment assistance)

Savings in any form is a good thing. The forced savings you can earn from making your mortgage payment each month enable you to build wealth through home equity. That equity can come in handy in both good and bad times.