Working from Home? Vital Questions to Ask When Buying Your Next Home
Working from Home? How to Select the Perfect House for Your Needs
Working from home is alive and well in the United States. In fact, the percentage of people who now earn some or all of their annual income from some type of work done from within their own home is steadily rising.
According to information published by the Bureau of Labor for the year 2015, some 24 percent of employed Americans did some or all of their work from home. If you are a member of this growing group and preparing to purchase your own home, asking yourself the following questions will help you select the home that will be perfect for both you and your growing business.
Is Working From Home Permitted in the Area?
The first step in choosing the right home as a small business owner or telecommuter who will be working from within the home is to make sure that any home you are considering is located in an area or subdivision where these activities are legally permissible. To do this, check with the appropriate zoning board or homeowners association (HOA) to ensure that there are no applicable restrictions in place or expected that would prevent you from working in this fashion.
Even if it there are no laws to limit your ability to work from home, there may be parking, signage, or other limitations that would be counterproductive to your needs. By weeding out properties with untenable restrictions you can better focus on neighborhoods and homes that will provide the right setting to help you work at home more successfully.
Is There Sufficient Space for your Needs?
Now that you have made sure the remaining homes on your list for consideration have no restrictions that will affect your ability to work from home, it is time to determine if they can meet the space requirements you will have. When doing this, look carefully at the interior of the home and decide whether there is an easily definable space that will be suitable for housing your business for at least several years.
If you are a telecommuting business employee, or perform work such as a freelance writing, you may only need a room that will be suitable as an office. However, if you will be doing work that requires significant space, such as catering or producing some type of product, you may need a home with an entire floor or basement area to suit your needs. In addition, make sure that there is sufficient parking and exterior space to easily manage deliveries, client visits, or employee parking.
Is There Access to the Necessary Services and Amenities?
Another factor in selecting a home with the best possible work space for the work you will do there is to make sure that any services and amenities you will require are readily available for that area of the home, including:
- HVAC vents and ducts to ensure the area where you work will be comfortable in any weather
- water, plumbing, and nearby bathroom facilities for hygiene needs, coffee pots, etc.
- high quality phone and internet services suitable for the technology you will be using
- electrical power, including any special electrical service needed to power specialized machinery
In addition, if you rely on your mobile smart phone to make or receive work-related calls, remember to check reception in potential work spaces while you are viewing each home. Unless you are willing and able to make extensive renovations to a home, it is best to choose one that already offers the services and amenities you need.
Is the Work Space Easily Separated From Living spaces?
Working from home is very convenient, but there will be times when you will want or need to distance your work life from your home life. To do this, make sure that the home you choose will make it easy to keep working and living spaces easily separated. If possible, search for homes that offer potential work spaces with an entrance in an area away from the main living areas of the home.
To make your search for a combination of the perfect home and the perfect at-home work space as easy as possible, discuss your situation with your real estate professional before beginning to view homes. They can assist you with obtaining the information you will need to make the best choice for you as well as offer helpful suggestions as you search.
If you are one of the growing number of people who work from their house, consider these questions to make sure the home you buy will really work for you!