Double Duty Homes offer a place to Live and Work

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist RS310271

1105 E Carson StreetNew living arrangements offer artists, professionals and entrepreneurs the opportunity to own a space that can serve as both a home and workspace.

With so many people working at home these days it is not surprising that the idea of a live/work property is sparking growing interest. Perhaps because of the high-cost of commuting, a desire to live closer to the action of the city or the search for cost-effective solutions for small businesses, finding a home that can do double duty is an idea whose time has come.

The USA Today recently reported that “in more than two-thirds of the nation's 51 largest cities, the young, college-educated population in the past decade grew twice as fast within 3 miles of the urban center as in the rest of the metropolitan area” It’s not surprising that the same people that are looking for a different lifestyle, have also redefined their living and working arrangements. According to the U.S Census Bureau, the number of Americans working out of their homes increased from about 9.5 million in 1999 to about 11.3 million in 2005.

On the most basic level the idea of live/work homes could be finding a home that has a great office space as well. But who need a space larger than just a home office can find options like two-story properties that let the owner live upstairs and work downstairs, loft-style open floor plans and converted commercial properties with separate entrances.

If the idea appeals to you, here are a few things you should keep in mind.

  • Verify zoning restrictions to make sure your use of the property will comply and look into commercial codes that deal with things like ADA compliance, fire protection and parking.
  • Check into financing early. While lenders may give you better terms for a place that you plan on making your home as well as your workspace, you should still expect to put at least 20% down for the commercial type loans that are usually the only available financing for these properties.
  • While quirky and cozy spaces are part of the benefit of a live/work arrangement it is unlikely that your clients want to feel like they just walked into your bedroom, so be sure that the property you pick has clear boundaries between personal and professional.
  • Plan for growth. If you have big plans for the future then choosing a property that can grow with you business will be crucial.
  • Be sure to check the condo docs if you are considering a property in a residential building. Some uses may be restricted. Start your search for this type of property in the commercial listings, since it will be less likely that you will be able to re-zone a residential property to allow commercial use. Main street properties with retail on the lower level, and apartments above, offer great conversion opportunities.

Live/Work on Pittsburgh’s South Side

1105 E Carson Street is a perfect live/work property on the South Side. The building has been completely redone and is move-in ready.

The first floor is rented by a design company. Rent from the first floor lowers the monthly cost of owning the building.

The second floor space has wonderful potential as an office, with a beautiful tile reception area, two front offices and a large space with original hardwood floors. This floor also offers a gourmet kitchen and small deck. Many original features have been lovingly restored and confer a cozy and unique feeling to the space. Sound and energy insulation between floors and energy-efficient upgrades keep utility costs, and distractions, to a minimum.

The third floor serves as a living space, with gleaming hardwood floors, a wonderful front living room, two bedrooms plus a small study and two full baths, including a beautifully remodeled master bath. Finally, the crown jewel of the building is on the fourth floor, an amazing rooftop deck with 360 degree view of the city, the perfect place for your own private oasis, a stunning place to entertain guests, clients, or friends, or a great outdoor workspace on sunny days. For more information on 1105 E Carson Street go to


Looking for a great space in Pittsburgh to live or work? Call Christa Ross at RE/MAX Select Realty, 724-933-6300 x214 or 724-309-1758. Email


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Buying or Selling a home in Pittsburgh? Call Christa Ross from RE/MAX Select Realty, at 724-933-6300 x214 (office) or 724-309-1758 (direct) or visit my website at

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Comments (1)

Jerry Sasser
Butler, PA

That does look awesome, what I great idea for self employed buyers

Apr 12, 2011 08:06 AM