When Your Home Is Your Office…
Make a workplace that works.
The world of office work may have changed forever. With so many people working successfully from home, companies are becoming more open to the idea and employees are expressing a desire to continue to do so at least a few days a week, if not full time.
If you’re one of these people, you may have been making do with the dining room table or part of the kitchen island as your workspace. If you’ll be working from home on the regular, it’s time to create a home office where you can concentrate and do your best work.
Let’s be realistic. If home is an apartment or condo, it’s unlikely you can make major modifications. Unless you have a room you can turn into a home office, you have to re-assess your living space and decide how to use it efficiently.
As you look around, do you see a place you could set up a small desk? It could be a narrow table or even a sturdy drop-down shelf. You probably only need room for a laptop, a task light, and maybe a monitor. If you can, invest in a comfortable work chair to use as extra seating when you’re not working.
Of course, you may need to claim one end of the kitchen or dining room table and call it good. If you can’t leave your office set up there all the time, get a storage bin that will hold your essentials and pack things away at the end of the day.
Repurpose a room
You may be lucky enough to have a room you can convert to an office. This gives you greater flexibility, but you might still need to use it for more than one purpose.
Office by day, guest room by night? This is the place to install a wall bed, sometimes known as a Murphy bed. It folds up when not in use, looks like a wall unit, and may have the added plus of storage cabinets or shelves on either side of the bed.
If that’s not practical, or you have an existing bed and don’t want to change it, look at where you can place your office to make the best use of the room. Slim built-ins along a wall can create a sleek look, combining a desk with storage.
Convert an attic or basement
Look at your home with fresh eyes. Do you see an unused or underused attic or basement? This could be a great location for a full office. You can finish the space to make it work exactly as you wish, and if you need offices for two people, you can build half or full walls to divide the area.
In an attic, you may be able to add dormer or gable end windows to provide natural light. In a basement, you may already have windows above ground level. If windows aren’t an option, invest in good lighting so you don’t feel like you’re toiling in a cave.
Time to build
It’s a bigger undertaking, but since it looks like we’re in this for the long haul, why not add to your home to create the office you really want? Remodeling will require plans, permits, a builder, time – and patience. However, you can assess your home and decide how to create a home office that will fit your needs.
Rather than just thinking “build an office,” your remodeling project may be to add a new master suite or great room and take an existing bedroom or part of a dining room and turn that into your new workspace. An architect or designer will help you explore the possibilities and plan for a smooth remodel.
Let your home pay for your new home office
If you think these ideas sound great but wonder where the money is going to come from, look around you. No, we’re not suggesting you sell your collectibles or sports memorabilia. Your home and your borrowing power give you options.
There are home loans designed specifically for renovations. You can also think refinance. Home values have been rising steadily for years, creating more equity (the difference between your home value and your home loan balance) for many homeowners. Refinancing allows you to tap the equity to pay for your project, and cash-out refinance loans can be another source of funds for creating a home office space that works.
Big project or small changes, renovation or refinance, talk to your licensed CrossCountry Mortgage loan officer about your loan options. Call or email today. We may have just the mortgage you need!