July 2020: Phase 3, Q2 and One Very Different Market

Remote living has changed the way we see the world. It’s certainly changed real estate in New York City. The market suffers from the uncertainty of ever-changing plans for reopening workplaces and schools. And with newly remote-capable jobs creating an exodus of white-collar workers, the pent-up need in urban real estate is not necessarily turning into demand. Still, there are fresh buyers that have emerged during the pandemic, and new development purchases seem to work especially well in a world of virtual home viewings. The emphasis in the market is on homes that are multi-functional. Home offices, pantries and mudrooms have taken on new importance and every inch of private outdoor space is precious gold. As we evolve into a new phase of reopening, let’s take a look at how we are really seeing that place we call home.

The Story: Home, Sanctuary, Fortress

The Jump Off

Never have we ever asked so much out of so little. Though NYC apartments are notoriously small, many families happily live out of 1,000 square feet (or less) to stay in the Big Apple. Central and Prospect Parks are our backyards. Museums, theaters and restaurants are our playrooms. But the pandemic has created a tangible shift.

The Process

In this new era, many are re-evaluating big-city life. What once seemed inconceivable — like returning to live in one’s quiet hometown — is now a distinct possibility. Even for loyal urbanites, priorities have changed. Our homes must be the sanctuary we always craved but also a workhorse, a fortress, arming us to fight the challenges of the outside world. Each corner of our city homes must simultaneously serve multiple purposes, provide the amenities of both a five-star hotel and a high-tech office and schoolroom. It’s a lot to ask.

The Wrap Up

Though we may all be lusting after some elusive item we’re sure would make our Covid-era lives complete — a backyard, a spare room, another bathroom — we are making the best out of what we’ve got. We know what the most important function of our home is today: lifesaver. Staying at home is keeping our families and communities safe. It is the vessel from which we will ride out the storm.

The Conversation Cheat Sheet

Living at home (and working, and playing, and stressing at home) has created a very particular design aesthetic: Comfort Space. Gone is the fixation on pristine open spaces and modern, clean lines. Give us walls! Give us privacy! Give us plants to remind us of the natural world and souvenirs and photographs to remind us of all too remote travel destinations. Give us technology to soothe us — a bread machine for comfort food, a Roomba for our sanity. Maximalism is on the rise, and a more realistic mantra for this time in which our homes are working at maximum capacity. Just sit back, relax and embrace it.

The Gabriele Moment: Those Summer Days

Our home has taken on yet another function these last few weeks. With summer camp cancelled, my kids have created an at-home version for the family to enjoy. My son, slated to be a CIT this year at our local camp, created instead an eight-week summer camp itinerary based on the real thing, complete with arcade games in the basement, a hallway bowling alley and even tie-dye T-shirt making and an ice cream social. My daughter put herself in charge of snacks and prizes, and it’s all been a hit with the entire family. And, lucky for me, I can finally join in on all the summer fun that I’ve always missed out on. A silver lining indeed!

Share The Joy

Know someone considering a move or an investment? Please forward this newsletter to your family and friends — most of my business comes by word of mouth! I truly appreciate every one of your referrals. Thank you.

In Case You Miss Us

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Mom, wife, and top-producing real estate broker at Compass, passionate Brooklynite. www.sewtz.com

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Gabriele Sewtz

Gabriele Sewtz

Mom, wife, and top-producing real estate broker at Compass, passionate Brooklynite. www.sewtz.com

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