With the rise of remote work and a younger generation of digital nomads spending time away from home, small spaces that offer flexible living are making a comeback. As travel restrictions ease, buyers are looking for homes that provide ownership on their terms, with the ability to home-share or rent out their unit to pay the bills while jet-setting.
Developers and agents across South Florida are seeing the return of demand for studios and micro-units that offer flexible perks, from built-in Airbnb services to co-living units and move-in-ready, fully furnished residences.
While the ability to work remotely has created more freedom for those in the workforce, it has also presented some challenges, said Alicia Cervera, Jr., managing partner of Cervera Real Estate. One such challenge is finding quiet at-home workspaces that insulate workers from noise while inspiring them to be productive.
“Well-thought-out common areas and amenities need to include Zoom rooms, fully equipped conference rooms and small offices,” Cervera told South Florida Agent Magazine. Lofty Miami, a new 42-story condominium tower in Brickell, offers its residents amenities including a coworking lounge and private meeting rooms designed with remote workers in mind. “We also need access to open outdoor spaces and the opportunity to have human contact outside of our immediate family. Indoor and outdoor programming for exercise and meals and spaces for children to learn, explore and enjoy are also important.”
Lofty’s amenities also include social areas, game areas, an invitation-only speakeasy and a social club.
Real estate agents have noticed an influx of buyers — and companies — moving to Miami since the onset of COVID. “The pandemic really shifted the perspective of Miami and the game totally changed down here,” said Minette Schwartz of The Schwartz Team at Compass. “Now, buyers see Miami as more than just a second home; we are seeing more permanent residences popping up all over the city.”
Schwartz noted the recent popularity of purchasing turnkey residences. “Labor is tight and renovating while owning a home makes it harder to get a loan,” she added. “I have also noticed a shift in desire for open floor plans; buyers are now looking for closed-off spaces like media rooms for more privacy and a quieter, relaxing experience. We are also still seeing a surge of clients looking for home offices, large outdoor spaces and home gyms.”
District 225, a turnkey luxury condominium tower in Downtown Miami, offers coworking spaces, an indoor basketball court, professional-grade racquetball court, rock-climbing wall, training center and yoga/spinning studio.
Both District 225 and Lofty allow its residents to home-share. According to Schwartz, flexibility is the new luxury, and home-sharing is the perfect way to take advantage of it.
“Home-sharing provides the opportunity to take advantage of so many new options. It gives you the flexibility to move from one city (or country) to another and have a home versus a hotel, with a better price and more complete experience,” Cervera told South Florida Agent Magazine.
Not only does home-sharing provide flexibility, but it is an optimal way for homeowners to monetize on their residences while away.
“Getting into home-sharing is a great way to make income on your house while you are traveling,” said Angel Nicolas of The Nicolas Group with Compass. “As for the tenant side, we have noticed a trend in travelers wanting to stay in a home or condo rather than a hotel — it’s a more private alternative, which is everything people want these days.”