If you are anything like me, you are working from home for the first time in your professional career. In all likelihood, you were probably unprepared for that sort of shift in lifestyle. For example, growing up you probably had a desk at home with a computer set up and room for books and papers so you could do homework. I know I did. However, as you exited school and entered the workplace, that desk disappeared and now you are reading this with your laptop set up at the dining room table or a makeshift workspace that feels awkward and uncomfortable.

Previously, “work from home” days previously meant that I set up shop in my local coffee shop or library, but with the stay at home order working from home literally has meant working from home. Lucky for me, my wife already worked from home and she has taught me the ropes, but the transition was (and still is) a work in progress. My house is equipped with a home office, but that is my wife’s space. I started on a table in the basement, moved it from one spot to another, and finally retrofitted a concrete walled storage room into a makeshift second office space. This finally feels right to me even though on my video conference calls it sort of looks like I am in a prison cell. 

Perhaps the longer the stay at home order is in place, the more comfortable you are potentially becoming with the idea of working remotely. Hopefully, by now we have all gotten the hang of Zoom or GoToMeeting. The morning routines of shower, shave, put on a tie, grab a coffee and go is being replaced with sleep in an extra 30, brush teeth, put on slippers and sit down. All of this makes me wonder what the new normal will look like and how it will affect the way we look for things in our next house or in our ideal neighborhood. For example, will you be looking for an extra bedroom than you otherwise would have in order to create more home office space? Will the “man cave” or “she shed” become the home gym? Will walkability become even more important than it was before because you have been walking your neighborhood now and realize the benefit of a mindful constitutional or walkabout? During quarantine, I realized I appreciate the ability to sit at a desk and write articles like this and do a home workout. I have delved into the world of the Peloton App, online yoga classes, and utilize my bicycle on an indoor trainer. In my search for my next home, this experience will definitely shape my perspective. Additionally, I have thought about home improvements to make my current space more suited to the lifestyle I have been forced to become accustomed to. The benefit of these home improvements could lead to increased salability or even an increase in value. (In the near future I will post another article on the types of home improvements you can make to increase the value of your home.)

I live in the Madisonville neighborhood of Cincinnati, which if you are unaware, Madisonville is in the midst of a bit of a resurgence. There is a lot of development happening and as I walk my 5-10 miles a week around my neighborhood streets, I have become more aware of what is available to me in terms of shops, parks, and other community amenities. I have also become aware of the types of establishments that I would like to see pop up along the main streets and in the business district. This has prompted me to become more involved in my neighborhood than I have been in the past five years of living here. I started to get involved in community planning efforts led by my local community council and recently joined the real estate committee of the Madisonville Community Redevelopment Corporation (MCURC). All of this is because I was forced to spend more time in my house and in my neighborhood, which I consider now to have been a blessing. I am curious to know how your perspectives on your house has shifted, what you will look for in your next home, and the types of things you have noticed about your neighborhood due to the Coronavirus pandemic stay at home policy. Please feel free to share in the comments section or reach out to me at jflick@pivotrealty.com.