Posted on September 9, 2012
As we all know, the “working from home” practice has become more popular and increasingly utilized these days. And it applies to so many of us – from those who run businesses from their homes to those who take the occasional day to work from home rather than from the office and almost everyone in between. It seems that many homeowners these days are using their home offices more regularly than other rooms in the house. In fact, we see many newly-constructed homes with smaller living and dining rooms and larger offices – and sometimes even two offices. Often these new home designs feature a first-floor mahogany office for him, and a kitchen office for her (or vice versa depending on the family work roles and structure).
But back to the question at hand – is having an office in your new home so imperative that it becomes a make-it or break-it decision about whether or not to buy the house? If having an office is a home-buying must, it seems that there are other important, related questions on the subject that follow. For example, is the size of the office adequate? Some people don’t want a “cozy” office; they prefer something more spacious. Not only do they want a place to spread out their papers, file cabinets, computer equipment and the like, but they also want a multi-functional room, one with a state-of-the-art media and sound system, wet bar and bathroom. Another pertinent question – is the office in the right location of the house? Some want the office in a discreet part of the house so that all of the messy papers and documents aren’t seen by guests when they enter the home. And then of course, there is the look of the office – does it have the appropriate decor and style? Some like a less formal and traditional office that is light, bright and airy, while others prefer an office that is more traditional, formal and steeped in dark wood and brown tones.
On the other hand, if having an office is not a home-buying must, do you find yourself improvising an office in your new home? For example, maybe you could put a desk in the living room, family room or a portion of the kitchen or master bedroom? For me, my office has been a moving target over the years. We don’t have an official “office” in my house in Weston, MA, and therefore as my family has grown and their needs have changed, so has my office location. When we bought the house 10 years ago, my office was in the guest bedroom, which was barely used because we didn’t have frequent visitors. Then when my youngest started to need a larger space for his bedroom, he took over my office, and I moved my office into what had been his room, a.k.a. the nursery. It was a smaller space but cozy too. And then just in the last few months, when it was apparent that each of my children needed their own space/bedroom, my office was moved to a portion of the living room. (I contemplated having my office on the lower level of my house, but I ultimately decided against it because there isn’t as much natural light there plus the kitty litter for my three cats is housed there, and it was a bit too much kitty litter dust for my liking.)
So for me, someone who works a great deal from my home, I have been able to improvise an office in a variety of rooms. However after all of the various office locations and moves within my home, the next time I am looking for a new abode, a designated room for an office will be much higher on my home-buying “must have” list….
What are your thoughts on the subject? How important is having a home office to you when buying a home, and where do you fit on the home office “must have” spectrum? I can’t wait to hear….
For more information on this subject or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (781-267-2844 or www.homesalesbylisa.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.