Work has vastly changed over the last 10 years and technology has played the biggest role in the changes and progress that have been made. People in a wide range of industries now enjoy the freedom and flexibility that prior was primarily available to creative careers such as artists, writers and the like. With the expansion of technology, people in more traditional roles are able to work in locations of their choosing. Software such as Slack, HipChat and others allow for team collaboration regardless if you are sitting next to your teammate or if you are a continent apart.
How does this correlate with real estate? In many ways…considerations such as home office space and the freedom to live away from the city where your ‘job’ is technically located. Historically you have needed a home office with which to work out of. Remember the days of a land line for phone and computer? It may have even been a job requirement, not to mention a tax write off. A recent article in Bloomberg speaks to the fact that house listings that mention having a home office have decreased 20% in the last year. This is not because people working from home has decreased, rather people are able to work anywhere. With wifi and mobile phones you don’t need to be tied to a large wooden desk in a home office. You have the ability to work from the couch or roam around your house, coffee shop or park. Fifteen years ago when interviewing people to work from home the hiring manager would spend a tremendous amount of time deciphering if the individual has a suitable space to do so (corporate needed to know where to send the fax machine), why they weren’t willing or able to relocate and and if this person was capable of focusing on their job when not standing on the company carpet. So not only are more and more careers open to allowing people to work outside of a traditional office but further you can do it from anywhere and your new ‘office’ can change daily, if not hourly. For many industries globalization and technology has created a 24 hours work day…but again, it also created a tremendous amount of flexibility.
Further related to real estate is the opportunity for people to consider moving to a new area that is more suitable to their non-work life or the ability for people to move more often. At Redi Match we love the idea of people being given the opportunity or more freedom and flexibility and we want to empower people to have more opportunities and choice. In ‘our’ world that focuses on real estate and we firmly believe that real estate can be a considerable wealth generator. For our part, we can help people make decisions; we can empower them with information and we can help them manage and assess changes in their real estate holdings along with the financial and tax consequences of any changes.
We want to hear from you! Do you work from home? Do you require office space in your home? Do you think that an office is important as you purchase a property that will not be your home? All exciting factors to consider but don’t forget the math. For tax purposes if you are writing off a home office you have to adhere to the IRS requirements. As a company we think about this quite a bit when we are evaluating the trends in real estate investing. What may have been a good residential real estate investment 10 years ago may not be what people are looking for in the future. Further, how does this change help or hurt them when it comes to the financial aspect of an investment. Are you writing off your home office or will your prospective tenants? Investing in residential real estate is tricky. You need to consider your potential tenants before you even meet them and you need to make assumptions about how a space will work for them and possibly for their work…and it’s a moving target.
*We do not offer tax advice. We recommend contacting a tax and/or financial advisor before making any financial or tax decisions.