Do not Lose Money Working at Home

Real Estate Sales Representative with Apex Results Realty Inc.Brokerage

The Home Office At What Cost.

The trend to work at home is ever increasing, in 2010 there were over 722,210 people claiming home office expenses on their tax returns. With this trend in mind many times the option to work from home was not a factor when you purchased your current home.

 Unless your home has a main floor office or den you will have to look for a solution for the home office. This may be a room that is not serving as its true function, here enters the extra bedroom that is not required.  The next option is the extra room in the basement, or considering building a room in the garage. All three options have there pros and cons and will be a factor when it comes time to sell the home. A separate work space is required to qualify for home office deductions when submitting your tax returns.

The design and placement of the home office can effect how the home will show when it cones time to market the home for sale. The selection of a spare bedroom to conduct your business from offers a bright and relaxing environment, providing your newborn is not in the room next door, when prospective buyers come to view the home they may have trouble seeing past the office and discounting it as its’ true use, this would be more evident if the room has been fitted with built ins and attached desks. Buyers may feel that it may require too much work to bring it back to a bedroom, and it would be simpler to look for a home with 3 or 4 dedicated bedrooms. In general buyers looking at homes tend not to include second floor offices in their wish list. The important thing to remember when converting a second floor bedroom into an office is how simple will it be to convert it back when the time comes to sell.

The option of  finding a space in the basement can be a challenge when it comes to how motivating will it be to sit in a basement all day, cold in the winter and damp in the summer. Having said this it is the easiest option to create a work area. Buyers tend to not put as much emphasis on finished basements as the rest of the home if there is an existing main floor family room.  An unfinished basement may seem as a simple alternative, a functional work space will require good lighting ample outlets, telephone outlets, and the ability to have a private area. The benefit of having a basement office is that it could be converted to a future bedroom, playroom, without much disruption to the rest of the home.

The third option though not common will have the greatest impact on the homes values at time of resale. Reducing the size of a garage will reduce the value that a garage brings to the home. The inclusion of a garage can be determining factor weather Buyers will consider a home or not. The concept of having a separate office from the interior of the home can seem like a good idea at the time more so if you entertain clients from your office, the convince will be greatly out weighted by the lose of potential Buyers.

When considering the addition of a home office one should always keep in mind that there will come a time when the house will be put on the market for sale. In today's market Buyers are not willing to settle for less and are demanding that their wish list be as complete as possible at times including the right colour paint or carpet. It is very important that if a bedroom is your choice of office keep it simple and minimal work to convert it back to its proper use. The thought of reducing a garage for office space will definitely affect resale and should be considered very carefully as this option is the most costly to implement or remove latter. The basement office is the least obtrusive but also the least appealing, with the modern designs in homes this maybe your only option.

The opportunity to work from home is an exciting venture but plan ahead to ensure you will maximise your return on the sale of your home.



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Trisha Bush-LeFore
Preferred Properties Land & Homes - Walla Walla, WA
Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area


More and more people are working from home. These are insightful points to think about when setting up the home office. Resale of the property isn't always a consideration in the planning process, it should be. Thanks for all of this information, it's very helpful and hopefully people will put alittle more planning into the home office concept.

Jun 10, 2013 02:39 AM #1
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

Very important work creatively and productively at home really does require some logistics "thought".

Jun 10, 2013 03:07 AM #2
Tibor I. Olah
Apex Results Realty Inc.Brokerage - Burlington, ON

Hi Trisha, and Li, even as Realtors it is so easy to set up an office at home, but we sometimes forget we still do on occasions have to meet clients, and the up stairs bedroom may not be the best place.

Jun 12, 2013 11:57 PM #3
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