Today, especially since the advent of COVID-19, more and more people are working from home, either by choice or from necessity. Many of these people who have had working from home suddenly and unexpectedly thrust upon them are working under less-than-ideal conditions. If you’re one of them and already own your home, there may not be much you can do about that (short of building on a new room for your home office). But if you are looking to buy a new house, you do have options. So if you’re working or plan to work from home, let’s see what you should look for in your new Baltimore house.
Home Workspace Essentials
Before actually getting into what, exactly, you need to look for in your new Baltimore house, let’s set the stage by examining just what makes a great work-from-home space or home office. Here’s are the essentials you’ll need:
Dedicated area – First of all, you’ll need a dedicated area – whether it’s a corner of the living room, the dining room table, a converted bedroom, or a room addition – to allow some privacy and uninterrupted work time.
Proper lighting – Your home workspace or office must also have good and appropriate lighting. Experts recommend that you “[s]et up your home office so it has plenty of light. You’ll do your best work if that includes natural light. . .. “Working in a space with natural light can reduce headaches and eyestrain, allowing you to be more productive on a day-to-day basis and healthier in the long term.”
Storage – You’ll also need plenty of or at least adequate storage (definitely something you should look for in your new Baltimore house). “You’ll want to have plenty of closed storage so you don’t have to leave the mess for all to see at the end of the workday . . . Equally as important as having a place to put away the things you’re not using, though, is ensuring easy access to what you do need.”
Other Home-Office Variables
Exactly what you should look for in your new Baltimore house for working from home will also be determined by several other variables. These include:
- The kind of business you will operate from home
- How large a workspace you’ll need
- How separate your workspace must be from daily life
- How much distraction you can tolerate and still be productive
- Whether clients will be coming to your home office
- Whether you will need to stockpile and ship products
- Likelihood of your business creating noise and byproducts
Options in What to Look in Your New Baltimore House
Once you’ve determined your home-office needs and considered the other variables, it’s time to consider what you should look for in your new Baltimore house with respect to home-office options. For example . . .
If you’ve opted for a dedicated room, you might consider the dining room. “Believe it or not, the dining room is the most popular room of the house to convert into a home business workspace, mainly because it is cheap and quick to do and because the dining room is an area that is often used only on occasion.” But there are drawbacks like a lack of doors you can close.
A spare bedroom is the second-most popular choice for a home workspace, and with just a little work it can be made into an almost perfect home office. If this is what you plan to do, then what you should look for in your new Baltimore house will be enough bedrooms so that there’s an extra to accommodate your office.
This can be an even better option for a home office than a spare bedroom. A converted garage “has a separate entrance, requires few alterations, and is large enough to meet your needs.” The downsides are that it will take some time and expense for the conversion, and you’ll have to park your car outside.
If you want to go this route, what you’ll need to look for in your new Baltimore house will be an attached garage that is in good shape already. It will also help if the house has a carport and an outbuilding for storing all the stuff that would normally be in the garage.
Basements are becoming increasingly popular as home workspaces, not least because they are separate from the rest of the house and offer a good measure of privacy and quiet. The drawbacks to basements are that they are prone to moisture and typically lack or have very little natural lighting.
If you want to use a basement as your home office, what you’ll look for in your new Baltimore house is a sloping, well-drained yard and a basement that is well sealed and has windows above ground level. Your best bet here is to let your agent know what you want, and she can find listings that meet your criteria. To learn more about this, call 443-928-4550.
If you really want to go all out and have a custom-built and custom-designed home office, you can add a room to your new house. The drawback here is, of course, the cost. “On average, you can count on spending $30,000 to $50,000 just on the addition, before you spend one dime on business equipment, inventory, marketing, or any other aspect of setting up and getting your business rolling.”
But if expense is no obstacle, what you should look for in your new Baltimore house is enough outside space to accommodate the addition and a structure that will make adding on fairly easy. You also need to check zoning laws to make sure an addition for business purposes is allowed. Again, consult your agent on this.
Your Call, But Use Your Agent
Ultimately, it’s your call on what you want to do with respect to your home office. But don’t hesitate to lean on your local real estate agent’s knowledge and expertise. Your agent will know what to look for in your new Baltimore house for working from home and will be able to help you find it. Our experienced agents can assist you in finding just what you need. Send us a message or give us a call today at 443-928-4550.