3 Things to Look For in Real Estate When You Need a Home Office

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Man working on some paperwork at home.Technological advances have made working from home easier and more cost effective than ever. So many professions are ideally suited for such an arrangement that many prospective homebuyers put office space at the top of their house-hunting checklist. The business and technology research firm, Forrester, Inc. recently reported that by 2016, 63 million Americans will be working either part of the time or exclusively from home. If you plan to be among them, here are 3 things to consider when shopping for your next home.
Space- Your occupation will most likely dictate how much space you’ll need for a home office. An architect, surveyor, or draftsman would benefit from a large area, with plenty of room for a drawing table, tools, maps, and plans. They may also need a large conference table and seating for clients. A copywriter, like me, for example, requires only a quiet nook with a desk, printer, comfortable chair, and laptop or PC.
When most people work from home, there is no one in the office to break the silence, bounce things around with, or help retrieve that lost word from the old memory bank. That’s why it’s a good idea to have another zone, space permitting, where you can escape from your desk. A comfy chair and ottoman, balance board, or Pilate’s ball provide a change of scenery where you can clear your head, read over a report, or prepare for your next conference call. So, as you tour prospective homes, keep those things in mind. Also consider how you will address lighting and storage issues. Look at your real estate choices with a critical eye and try to envision the layout of your future office. If there is only one logical spot to set up your computer, will the afternoon sun cast a glare on the monitor?
Location- A key factor in successfully being able to work from home is how far away you can position yourself from the household hustle and bustle. Having only one entrance that you can close off is ideal and having an area completely detached from the house with a separate entrance is even better! Properties that have a guesthouse, room over or within the garage, spacious attic, or basement, could be perfect for your place of business. Make sure to take into account how they are heated and cooled.
Tools of the trade- What elements do you require to get the job done? Make a list of your must have items, followed by the nice to haves, such as multiple monitors, several phone or fax lines, and a backup power source. The idea is to ensure that the home in question can handle your electronic needs. You will want to investigate the IT capabilities of the neighborhood. Speak with the neighbors to find out about how reliable their high-speed Wi-Fi connections are, which carriers serve the area, and the nearest local tech support. Remember that high tech communication options are of the main reasons home offices are so viable. The ability to Skype and instant message are absolute necessities these days!
As you narrow down your home choices and begin to plan how to incorporate your office into your castle, keep in mind that various tax deductions exist for those who work from home. There are qualifying factors based on several variables that you can learn about here: www.irs.gov
In terms of real estate considerations, you may be able to deduct part of your home office expenses, determined by the percentage of square footage it occupies within your home’s living space. In addition to being able to work in your pj’s with office mate Puff the cat purring away by the printer, that’s a nice potential perk!

This post was written by Lisa Andree who is a freelance copywriter who writes for ForTheBestRate.com and other CMG Equities, LLC sites. ForTheBestRate.com is a site which consumers can use to research current mortgage rates from some of the nation's leading mortgage brokers and lenders. CMG Equities, LLC also runs a number of finance and mortgage themed online properties geared towards helping consumers make wise home buying and refinance decisions.

Comments (2)

Victor Zuniga
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties - San Diego, CA

I agree that having one entrance  you can close off is key.

Mar 29, 2012 02:31 AM
Aaron Eden
Tucson, AZ

Thanks for mentioning about tax breaks for those who work at home.. these tips do surely come in handy.


Mar 29, 2012 02:35 AM