By Tina Martin of Ideaspired

If you are starting a new home-based business or expanding your current enterprise, you may need a dedicated space in your home to manage your business. Depending on the type of business, it may make sense for you to buy a new house or make modifications to your existing home. Begin by evaluating your wants and needs. Will clients be visiting your business? Do you need room for inventory? Write out a list of what the perfect space for your business would look like in terms of square footage, layout, design, and features. Talk with your family about possibly modifying your existing home or taking a much bigger step and buying a new home instead.

How to Save Money When You Buy

If you’ve decided to buy a new home to make room for your home business, you don’t want to spend so much money that you don’t have the funds needed for your business. Look for ways to save when you buy, such as purchasing a bank-owned or foreclosed home. Start by finding a real estate agent with experience dealing with foreclosures. To make your offer look as strong as possible, you should also get pre-approved for a mortgage first.

When you find a home you like, invest in a professional inspection. While many foreclosed homes only need inexpensive, cosmetic fixes, others many have plumbing concerns, old wiring, water damage, roof issues, structural problems, or foundation damage. These types of repairs can be extremely costly and you need to know what you are getting into. According to BobVila.com, many states require a Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS). The SPDS can give you more information about the home’s history, including details about previous repairs, additions, maintenance, and other important factors.

You can also save money when buying a home by choosing the right time of year. On average, homes that sold in January and February were 8.45 percent cheaper than similar homes that hit the market during the summer (June through August).

Consider Converting Your Garage

If you want to stay in your existing home, you have several options for your home business space. You can simply transform an existing room, basement, or attic into your home office. This is probably the most affordable option, but you’ll have to decide if it will provide the space that you need. On the other hand, you could also build a new addition to your home. According to Entrepreneur.com, this will typically cost $30,000 to $50,000 — and that’s before purchasing any equipment, inventory, or other business supplies. However, the upside is that you can build it exactly to your design and space specifications.

If you are looking for some middle ground in terms of costs, you may want to consider a garage conversion. Converting your garage into a business space can be simple and affordable. You can merely add flooring and drywall, and bring in portable heating and cooling options and basic furnishings. This may be a good option if you are just starting out. And then, as your business grows, you can add in the extras, including more windows, lighting, and other design elements.

Check Legal Restrictions and Zoning Regulations

Whether you are buying a new house or making changes to your existing home, make sure you are legally allowed to operate a home-based business. Begin by talking to your homeowners’ association to make sure there are not any restrictions in place. Then, review your local zoning regulations with your city and county. You can often find the zoning code ordinances online on your local government website. But if not, you will need to visit the municipal office and get copies of anything applicable to make sure you are in compliance.

Starting or expanding your business is exciting yet often challenging. However, with some planning and research, you can decide if it’s better for you to purchase a new home to meet your needs or to modify your existing residence. Whatever you decide, spend conservatively for now and reserve the extravagances until your business is highly profitable.

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