By Craig Knizek
Technology continues to exert a dramatic impact on our economy; iPads, smart phones, Wi-Fi, virtual offices continue to change the manner in which we work. It’s now a reality that more than 30 million Americans conduct some business from their home. That ability to shift the paradigm of the typical workday, so as to not have to drive miles through traffic-choked freeways to sit at a desk, is enhanced and accommodated by having a legitimate workspace in your home.
Some workspaces are merely a bedroom in the house that is no longer needed–the maid’s room that the children outgrew, or a teenager who has moved on to college.
Increasingly though, and especially here in Los Angeles where many people are self-employed and creative artists, home offices are custom tailored spaces that enable the homeowner to conduct client meetings or use specific functions such as home recording studio for a musician/composer, dance studio, video and sound editing bays, or special effects studios that accommodate multiple computer work stations.
The value of a home office can be measured directly against what one would pay in rent to lease a commercial space, which even for the most modest of spaces, usually runs $1,000 -$1,500 per month. There is usually additional costs such as parking, utilities, security, and maintenance. Add on top of that the deductible benefit a homeowner can take to reduce their taxes by calculating the square footage of the space as a proportion of their total home, and they can then actually deduct a portion of their mortgage, utilities, equipment, and maintenance against their income. This should all be done with the guidance of a qualified CPA to ensure compliance with Federal and State tax regulations.
It’s a huge benefit if the home office is an additional detached structure. This enables the owner to maintain the advantage of separating their personal life from their workspace, even if only by a physical distance of ten feet. It can create that important psychological divide. It can also serve as an occasional guest house for the overnight guest or out-of-town relative visiting for the holidays. There is a meaningful increase in value, aside from just the price per square footage, to a home office.
The housing market affords a huge financial benefit to properties that have legitimate home office spaces or structures. Not only do these homes command higher prices than their comparable peers, but sometimes they represent the only type of property a certain buyer will even consider.
The seller of 3950 Vantage in Studio City, a 7 bedroom, 6 bath home in the prime South of Ventura/Carpenter school district, grew tired of commuting from his West Valley home to his video production studio in Hollywood, so when this lovely home with a detached 1,500 sf 3-room office became available, he knew he could move his entire editorial staff into the structure, and be able to walk 10 steps to his work. Now when his staff has finished a version of their commercial, the owner could quickly review it, spend as much or as little time as necessary, and get back to his other work. The amount of time saved is priceless for many people who want this type of scenario.
Photos Above: The home office at 3950 Vantage Ct. View More Photos.
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