We’re toying with the idea of building a home office in our new extension, but will it add any value?
A home office can add up to 10% to your home’s value. This means for a $500,000 home you could add $50,000 by having a home office. Building a dedicated home office can also make your home sell quicker, so this is a win-win for value creation.
Let’s dive down into the topic of home offices in more detail, and discover exactly how much value they add, what needs to go into them to create that value, and whether you should build an extension or use an existing room to build your home office…
How Much Value Does a Home Office Add to Your Home?
In recent reviews, experts say that a home office can add up to 10% to your home’s value. Holy smokes! For a $500,000 home, that could be a $50,000 value add. Not only that, but having a dedicated home office can make your home sell quicker.
Zillow surveyed potential home buyers for their home buying wish list. At the top of their wish list – the dedicated office.
Homelight recently said that adding a home office can return up to 87% on your investment. However, the investment return will depend on your home and your neighborhood. If you are considering a large investment, the best advice is to consult with a real estate professional.
Most home investment experts say that a smaller investment is less risky than a large one. So, for a home office, first try to repurpose an existing space. Update the space with paint, office-style furniture, new window treatments, and some art for the walls.
If you have to pour a slab and extend the house for your home office, then be sure to check in first with a local real estate professional.
What Makes a Home Office Attractive to Potential Buyers?
Dedicated home offices can be attractive to potential buyers for many reasons. Here are the top three: they help with a work-life balance, they limit distractions, and they are comfortable spaces to work in.
Working from home used to be a euphemism for not actually working. Today, working from home is an acceptable business solution, thanks to COVID. Corporate America has been forced to become more flexible. Flexibility is a big step forward.
A good work-life balance has always been tricky, but having to work inside your home is trickier still. For everyone working from home, or considering it, a dedicated work space allows you to separate business from personal. Just close the door on business and walk away.
Then, there’s distractions. Typical office buildings do not have many distractions. But our homes are filled with distractions – because our homes are stuffed with the stuff we love. Family. Music. Art. TV. Books.
Home offices are attractive to buyers because they can be distraction-free spaces. Present your home office as an organized and clutter-free space.
Finally, to make your home office attractive to potential buyers, fill it with comfortable and professional-looking office furniture.
What Elements Should Go into a Home Office to Make It Valuable?
Experts say that when potential buyers come to your home, they should be able to picture themselves living there. High-value home offices should have office furniture, storage spaces, bright lighting, updated paint, and inspirational art.
The highest value home office will have the space for a nice size desk and an office chair. The desk should be large enough for one or two monitors, maybe a laptop, keyboard and mouse. It should not be cluttered. Then, invest in a good office chair.
If you have a closet in your home office, there are many organizing products you can use to reduce clutter. Then, consider upgrading the lighting in the room to make it brighter. Replace the overhead bulbs or the fixture and add a desk lamp.
Update the paint in your home office. Fresh paint will make the room cleaner and more professional looking. Check out websites for popular calming colors.
Then, use wall art to complete the home office look.
Need some home office inspiration? Here are 50 home office decorating ideas on video.
Can I Convert a Bedroom or Spare Room Into a Home Office?
Absolutely, yes. If you have a room to spare, converting it into a home office is a great idea.
If your spare room can be classified as a bedroom, though, you may want to make changes that you can undo if you take your home to market. That’s because bedrooms still return a better investment than home offices in most areas. So – no giant built in desks and leave the closet alone.
But for a minimal investment of time and bucks, you can have your own dedicated workspace. Here’s how.
First, clean it out and clean it up. If it was a bedroom, take out all the bedroom-type furniture. Then, do some painting. Paint the walls a soothing, relaxing but studious color like off-white, light gray, steely blue, taupe, sage green, or clay.
Get yourself some office furniture – a desk and comfy office chair. Office chairs are expensive but you are going to sit in them for hours. If you have the room, consider repurposing a dining room chair or an accent chair into an office guest chair.
Check out your lighting, Lighting needs in a bedroom and an office are very different. For your office, you’ll need a bright overhead fixture and a couple of other light sources, too, like table or floor lamps.
If you have a window, think about taking down the chintz curtains and putting up some honeycomb shades. Find some storage solutions for the empty closet. Then try to find inspiring art for your walls.
If your home office space can double for a bedroom, then when you take your home to market, it will be even more valuable. Adding a bedroom is one of the ten most valuable improvements you can make to your home.
What makes a space a bedroom? There are rules for that and here’s the link to the legal requirements of a bedroom.
Is It Worth Building an Extension for My Home Office?
Maybe not. Spending big bucks on a home extension is a little risky. Before you decide, be sure to get plenty of advice from local real estate professionals.
Many experts say that the larger your renovation investment, the bigger the risk you take in recovering your money. If you design the home office extension to qualify as another bedroom (see a previous section for a link to bedroom requirements), then it may be worth the investment.
Adding another bedroom is usually a good investment. But not always. It depends on your home and your neighborhood. Consult a local realtor (or three).
Will a Home Office in the Garden Add Value to My Property?
Surprisingly, a home office in your garden can add up to 5% to the value of your home. They increase the total square footage, which adds value. And, they can cost less to build than adding an addition onto your home.
If you have no space inside your house for a home office, but plenty of space in your backyard, then consider a garden office. You’ll love the commute. Garden office buildings can be custom made or prefabricated.
First, check with your HOA, city, county or state to find out what your building regulations are.
Then, consider which utilities you’ll need. You’ll probably need electricity. You may need water. Think carefully about whether you really, really need a bathroom out there, because they are costly.
The best thing about garden offices – green retreats – is that they are very flexible spaces. You may need the space for a home office now, but down the road you can repurpose it to a guest room, a mother-in-law space (aka granny flat), a she-shed, or a man cave.
You could even make some bucks on Airbnb.
So with gains of 10% of your home’s value for a home office inside the house – and 5% for one in the garden – it looks like building a dedicated home office is a very savvy investment.
We’re definitely going ahead with ours, because with the double benefit of helping your house sell quicker, creating a home office is a total win-win when it comes to creating value. 🙂