How to Create the Perfect Home Office
If you work from home, or are planning to, it is important to know what to look for when buying a new home with the perfect home office space.
You want to start a home business, but your current home isn’t really suited to it. So, you’re on the hunt for a new one. Here’s what to look for in a home that’s suitable for running a home business.
An Office Space
Far and away the most important thing is a place to conduct business. If the new home doesn’t have an office, or a room that you can convert into one, then what’s the point? This isn’t as easy as it might first seem. You can view www.Bridgfords.co.uk/forsaleoffice/newcastle/337/ for homes in your neighborhood that might be a good fit.
Basically, though, you’ll want a home with a semi-private room sealed off from the rest of the house. It’s probably OK if there’s an entrance to the main house from the office, but the room needs to be its own space. If the office is just off from the family or television room (or other noisy area) you may be unhappy with that space when you need to concentrate or make important phone calls.
This means: no dens, no fold out desks in the hallway, and no built-ins in the living room.
Maybe more important than noise, is the fact that these types of offices will not offer you a tax deduction. To qualify for a tax deduction, your office must be your primary place of business, and it must be in a dedicated room.
In other words, you can’t be doing anything else in this room aside from conducting business. If it’s not a dedicated workspace, then you don’t get the deduction. And that, my friend, would eliminate the whole reason for buying a new home.
Good Efficiency and Low Maintenance
Ideally, you want a high-efficiency home. Since you’ll be working here all day long, efficiency is important. Replace all incandescent lights with LED bulbs. It’s probably also a good idea to have a ceiling fan in the room to help circulate air. A window also helps during spring, summer, and fall months.
An HVAC system with zones would be ideal too, since you can just shut down the zones for the rest of the house during the day and only heat and cool the office. Not too many homes have this though, so you might be out of luck on that one. Plan for a remodel job if you want to save money on heating and cooling. Temperature zones helps a lot with a home office setup.
A Separate Entrance
This isn’t absolutely essential unless you have customers or clients coming to the house. A separate entrance into the home means you don’t have to have random people traipsing through your home. It’s also more professional to have them come to the door for your business.
Of course, if you do have a separate entrance, you may need to talk to zoning about licensing and permitting for the office. Some municipalities prohibit you from having customers in the house if the area is zoned residential.
So, check with the local zoning and find out how the home’s zoned. Find out if it’s zoned for commercial or residential or some combination, or if the authorities will grant you an exclusion for your home office. Many local municipalities will do this for you as long as you do not have many customers in the home or if you don’t have more than a certain number of people in the home per month.
You want parking for customers, and for yourself. If it’s just you, you probably still want to have plenty of parking for whatever vehicle you use in the business. If you are running an in-home business, like freelancing or something you’re doing over the Internet, then parking may be a non-issue.
While owning a home-based business can be fun, setting one up and maintaining it can be a bit tricky. You have to have not only the space, but also the permits and access to make it work. And, your workspace has to be separate from the rest of the house.
Usually, this is for legal and tax purposes, but also for your own sanity. Most people have trouble separating their work life from their personal life. Having a dedicated office in the home means finding the right home that will do the job.
Emma Harris works from home and has years of experience in the real estate industry, so when it was time for her to move house, and move her business, she knew what boxes needed ticking. She hopes her articles will help others tick all the boxes they need!