For buyers, is the home office on its way out or still a big want? The Sun Gazette asked some local agents that question. Here are their answers:

Dawn Wilson, Keller Williams: “I still have buyers who want a home office. More and more of my clients are working from home or working from home part of the week, and like having a dedicated space for working if it is possible with their budget. I still have some clients who want built-in shelves for the office, but others do not think built-ins are very important.”

Vivian Lyons, Lyons McGuire Homes and Estates: “In the Great Falls market and in upper-end homes, a home office is still desirable.”

Jane Price, Weichert: “Home offices are still important, though they may not be called as such. Young busy families want a designated area for equipment, paperwork, etc., that functions well for keeping all aspects of their lives running smoothly, organizing and doing work remotely.”

Christy Hertel, McEnearney Associates: “Home offices are still a need, but maybe getting more kid-centric. A family computer and all electronics in one place. It is kind of like a central control for the house, especially with smart-homes coming into play. So they need to be carefully planned with wiring for Internet, wi-fi and cable for computers, printers, TVs, phones, etc.”

Jillian Keck, McEnearney Associates: “Buyers are more efficient with their space now more than ever. When a buyer is looking for a home office, they are tending to also use it as a multi-purpose room. Say, a spare bedroom for guests.”

Yolanda Mamone, McEnearney Associates: “The home office is very ‘in.’ I have so many requests for large condominiums and cooperatives that have two bedrooms plus a den, or three bedrooms, so that each member of the couple may have their own home office. These individuals I work with are 60 to 80 years old, who want space to continue to work and for a myriad of interests.”

Karon Ricker, McEnearney Associates, McLean: “Home offices are going out, in my opinion. Buyers don’t see the value in an office, but rather, they are all about bringing more people into one area of the home. People are also getting creative with spaces.”

Casey Samson, Samson Properties: “Offices are a must. More and more people work from home and home offices will always be attractive. If buyers do not need one, they need to consider resale value.”

Barbara Lewis, Washington Fine Properties: “Home offices are still desirable. Many more people are working at home or tele-commuting, and they need a designated place to keep their things. While there is a desire to be paperless, there is still a lot of paper that we need to handle, and all of this is best done in a home office.”

Craig Mastrangelo, Re/Max Allegiance: “The past decade has seen a real increase in the percentage of the workforce that is able to telecommute, thus placing an increased need on having separate/dedicated work space in one’s home. This trend, especially in a highly trafficked area like Northern Virginia, shows no signs of abating.”

John Mentis, Long and Foster: “At prices of $1 million and higher, home offices are still desirable. At less than that, buyers are becoming more resolved to the fact that either the home office doesn’t exist or that it’s very small or that it’s makeshift.”

Jean Beatty, McEnearney Associates: “The home office is a huge want, and in many cases a need, as so many buyers plan to telecommute. Often, buyers will look for a house with more bedrooms than otherwise needed to enable them to transform one of them into a home office.”

Mike Highman, Acquest Realty, Inc: “We are in a mobile-device era and that is exactly what I am experiencing with my buyers. They are not asking specifically for a home office as a criteria during the home search. Their tablets, smart phones, and the cloud are their floating office to be used in the kitchen, family room or wherever. There is no need for home-office space to store file cabinets and huge desktops of long ago. The only space that is needed is for a multi-function-printer unit, and that can be stored in a wired family room wall cabinet.”

Diane Lewis, Washington Fine Properties: “More and more people work from home, so there is a need. A new trend is trading the living room for a formal library and still having a working office off the family room.”

Joan Stansfield, Keller Williams: “The majority of today’s buyers want or need a home office, or space to create one. I see it in greater demand now than ever. With so many people now working from home, it’s become a must-have.”

Mary Roberge, McEnearney Associates: “I am definitely seeing that the home office, if not two, are still a definite want for buyers. The room that I don’t think is desired as much is a media room.”

Natalie Roy, Keller Williams: “Home offices continue to be popular with a wide range of buyers. More people are telecommuting and looking for that extra space to set up a designated study or office.”

Jennifer Thornett, Washington Fine Properties: “The home office or library has always been a traditional need/want of buyers, and we don’t see that changing. However, what has changed is that buyers are able to demand more flexibility with regard to the location of their home office within the home or the style of the room.”

Betsy Twigg, Washington Fine Properties: “Having a home office is even more important than five years ago. With so many more people telecommuting now, a dedicated space for working from home is needed.”

Casey Margenau, Casey Margenau Fine Homes & Estates: “Today, it kind of has to be there and is expected, even in a little tiny condo. People have to have a work space in their house, because everybody has a computer.”

Dean Yeonas, Yeonas and Shafran Real Estate: “A work space is very important for most people. We have sold houses where living rooms are converted into a home office. We see that a lot, because formal living rooms aren’t used as much now. A home office is more important.”

Karen Briscoe, Huckaby Briscoe Group: “There has to be a designated space, even if they are built-in cabinets. We are seeing a trend to have one big office space in homes, then another smaller space, typically near the kitchen as kind of the hub and a multi-purpose space.”

Rob Ferguson, Re/Max Allegiance: “Going forward, the home office will continue to be of big importance because there are more people working from home, and that isn’t going to change.”

Ann Wilson, Keller Williams: “At least some type of small nook is important to have, even if it’s working on a dining-room table.”

Gloria Adams, TTR Sothebys International Realty: “Everyone likes to have a work space or library. That is kind of expected now.”

Mark Middendorf, Long and Foster: “Husbands and wives want an office, and to have a work space for their children, as well. We are seeing more little work rooms.”

Carol Temple, Coldwell Banker: “Dedicated office spaces are a big market now, and there is a big value to that. People want two or three bedrooms and an office. And if not, they will build one or add doors to have one made. They want the ability to work in a separate space.”

Adam Gallegos, Arbour Realty: “We are seeing more and more telecommuting, so buyers need home offices more and more. Buyers are willing to convert space. They want a designated work space, even if it’s plopping the laptop on a living room coffee table.”

Jack Shafran, Yeonas and Shafran Real Estate: “Many want that separate room off the kitchen area for kids to do homework, or look up recipes on computers while cooking. The room is for family use. Then, sometimes a whole separate space is still wanted.”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.