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Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Live/Work concepts…

A recent real estate news story discussed a new trend in live/work developments. One benefit of buying a home in the suburbs is that real estate can generally be more affordable there. But, with the cost of gasoline soaring these days, the work commute is looking much less attractive. In response to the cash crunch, some builders are constructing homes with fully functioning home offices. Now you may be thinking, sure most homes already come with an office space, but this is actually quite innovative.

We've seen live/work units for retail or storefront use in this area – Wixom and Howell have examples nearby and Milford will soon have some, too. These new live/work homes are focused upon a different client set – the white-collar home office crowd.

Live Work Builders has created The District at Uptown in Keller, TX, a suburb of Dallas-Ft. Worth. They describe the community as live/work executive residences. It's a combination of residential and employment space that is specifically designed for dual use. A typical buyer would be someone who wanted to establish or grow their existing business and who also desires the convenience and benefits of working from home.

Each office is pre-wired for high-speed internet and features custom built-in bookshelving and filing units. There's an independent, well-defined exterior entrance to the office so that a client can stop by comfortably. There's even exterior signage noting the business inside, and a dedicated parking space for customers. These offices are ideal for professional businesses like attorneys, counselors, web-designers, etc. I can certainly add that they make sense for real estate professionals, too; since I work out of my home office.

The architects of these semi-custom homes note that having a dedicated work space alleviates the time and cost associated with commutes, which can result in higher productivity during the work day. They also remind buyers of the tax benefit of business ownership and the convenience of having only one mortgage for your home and business.

With the direction gas prices are heading these days, this sounds like a trend that might be here to stay. To learn more about the builder mentioned above and the live/work concept visit If these trends continue we might all just never have to leave our homes, except, of course to go to some else’s home to get to whatever product or service they are selling. Maybe they could also build a light rail system, like the people mover, between the units, then you could accomplish things without ever having to get in a car or even to get dressed...but some things are best not even imagined.

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