Out of Curiosity:: Home Offices, Good or Bad?

I’m so excited about getting my home office finished.  Just the idea of having a place that’s dedicated to working, blogging, and sewing, makes me giddy.  I’ve been planning and dreaming about my office for a couple of months now, but I kind of had the wind taken out of my sails a few weeks back when I followed a link on Hooked On Houses to an article on Real Simple called Home Upgrades That Don’t Pay Off.  Want to guess what #1 was on the list?  Yep…home offices.

Here’s what the article had to say:

Home office: “If you convert a bedroom into an office, your home will be listed as having one less bedroom―big mistake,” says CNN’s Gerry Willis. Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group, a Manhattan real estate firm, agrees: “People try to envision a room for little Jenny but can’t make the leap past your piles of messy papers.”

I can see their point.  But the fact is, I NEED a home office, but I don’t NEED a bedroom.


But home offices seem to be really popular, and I personally find it difficult to believe that simply moving out the bed and dresser, and moving in a desk and shelves can really have that much affect on resale value.  That doesn’t seem reasonable to me at all.

brooklyn limestone office

One of my favorites, via Brooklyn Limestone

So where do you stand on the whole home office idea?  Do you have one?  Do you want one?  Would you sacrifice an extra bedroom for one?

For those of you who have sacrificed a bedroom for a home office, do you think it would affect your resale value?  Have any of you had experience with that?  Did you really have to list your home as having one less bedroom?  That seems very strange to me.


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  1. I think the person you quoted earlier is wrong.  At least here in California, a room qualifies as a bedroom as long as it has a closet in it, so you can put whatever kind of furniture you want in it.

  2. That's what I always thought!  I'm pretty sure the same is true here in Texas. 

  3. I love the idea! I'm in the process of converting a spare bedroom into a craft room/office. I think you should do what's best for you in your home at the time, and if you ever want to re-sell, worry about staging at that point!

  4. I think that's a really dumb statement.  When we listed out house (four bedrooms), one of the bedrooms was being used as an office.  It didn't seem like a deterrant- and no capable real-estate agent would remove a bedroom from the listing. 

    I have kids who are getting older, so my only problem with the home office (which we have now) is that the computer is not in a central location where I can monitor what my kids are doing.  So, that will soon have to change…

  5. That makes very little sense to me, to be honest.

    I've never seen a listing say:

    Bedrooms: 3
    Bathrooms: 2
    Office: 1

    I've never seen office as a category, ever!


  6.  I couldn't vote, because I have two categories:
    – My husband has a home office that was specifically created as a home office (small room, not large enough for a closet etc.)
    – I created my own "home office" ("studio") would be a better description.
    *IF* we were to ever sell, we would convert my studio to a guest bedroom, so that our house would have 3 bedrooms (currently it has two bedrooms, plus a studio…) – it would be simple to convert – I would just need to remove 2 desks, and put in a bed. I have a built in countertop that would be desk space for a boys' bedroom. 

  7.  we took half of the bonus room and put the sides of the desk against a small wall with the desks coming out just far enough that there is still a straight walkway into the other half of the room with is set aside as a playroom.

  8. Hi Kristi,

    I actually thought as long as a room had a closet and a window it could be defined as a bedroom ..no matter how you use it.

  9. We have a 4 bedroom house for 2 people. We use one room as the master, one as a guest bedroom and the other two as our offices. I just use the closet to store all off my craft/office/sewing supplies. When we go to resell I'll just put a temporary bed in there to stage it, no one has to know i had a desk in there instead of a bed. All of my cabinets are removable too so it's not a permanent office.

    I say if you need it as on office, go for it! 

  10. Your house will be gorgeous so I wouldn't worry about it.  In fact, if you decide to sell, you could just stage the office back to a bedroom with a desk.  Shouldn't be too hard for you!  =)  

  11. I think when people convert a bedroom into a home office (by completing tearing out the closet) that can reduce the home's value, but just swapping out furniture and leaving the closet don't have much of an impact.  As long as the closet can easily be restored or shown as a bedroom (such as rehanging closet doors and swapping the desk for a bed again) when selling a home it should retain its value.  I know if I had the choice of a den with clear glass doors and no closet to use as an office or a bedroom with a traditional solid entry door and a functioning closet, I would pick the bedroom every time because it is more versatile.

  12. As someone who sold real estate for 15 years (texas and florida), it all depends on the community, the size of home, whether there is a closet (or concession for a closet at closing).  Condo communiities often have the 2nd bedroom as a den/office and many larger homes have a room with a closet but that is really  configured to be a home office.  As I always told my buyers – you pay the mortgage, use it to its fullest for you until you decide to sell, then do the most reasonable fixes for the market. 

  13. LeahLovesDogs is right. (Got a few best friends who are contractors.) As long as you keep the closet (you can even remove the doors) then it still counts as a bedroom. But that only matters for re-sale, and if you sell, you might sell to someone who doesn't need an extra bedroom, but does need an office, so I'm sure it all works out in the end. I converted my spare bedroom into an office, and I love it. It's my "get things done" space. When I'm in here, I'm in "work mode," which allows me to be out of "work mode" when I leave at the end of the day. 🙂

  14. I converted our family room into my office/craft room.  We didn't need a family room and a living room, but I needed an office.  And we built my husband a very small office in the back of our attached garage.  We can still park two cars in there (if it was clean!).  It works great for us.

  15. I think that if you are selling you can convert it back to a bedroom for the time it is on the market.  If  you need and office and not a bedroom then make an office.

    I don't have an office, because I need the spare room as a guest room, and it is too small for double duty.  I have a nook, but would like a full office.

  16.  If I had a spare bedroom, I would most definitely turn it into a home office.  I think it is silly that a room can't be shown as an office or a bedroom.  It is all according to your needs and it shouldn't effect a sale of a house.  By the way, I mentioned you in my diy post of my ottoman.  If you get a chance, stop by and tell me what you think!  Thanks for your inspiration!

  17. I work as a Home Stager and can tell you that usually we just convert the room back into a bedroom, using an inflatable bed, dressed to look like a 'regular' bed.  For some reason, people can't picture the fact that they can just turn the room into a bedroom if they want!  I think that you should just go ahead and make the place they way you want it now….then alter it slightly for selling. Not that difficult. 

  18. I don't agree on the Home Office being bad for resale. REALLY???? people can envision their little Susie or Johnny in that room if they add a pertinent paint color???? I think it is no worse than walking into a home and looking past the BRIGHT Yellow or PInk or blue walls and trying to envision that baby's room as a home office. 

  19. Kristi, I agree with you, it just doesn't seem reasonable. 
    Sometimes I think those people quoted in articles really have no clue what they are talking about, and they just say things to hear themselves talk.  I realize the average IQ is only 100, but for goodness sake, I think the average person is also able to envision changing a home office BACK into a bedroom, especially if it has closets that have not been permanently removed and is not an "open" floorplan, meaning the office/room is enclosed by 4 walls and has a door. 
    Also, unless you plan on selling sometime in the next few years, it really doesn't matter what you do with an extra bedroom!  And I don't think a listing would necessarily HAVE to say "1 bedroom, 1 office," but rather "2 bedrooms, 1 converted to office" or something like that.
    I currently have a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment, and live by myself (well, me and 3 cats!).  I would LOVE to make that second bedroom an office/craft/sewing room, but it is full of my "extra stuff/junk" and needs some serious organizing before a multi-purpose room will ever happen!
    Best (and don't sweat the office conversion!),
    P.S.  I adore your blog!  You are so talented!

  20. " I think it is no worse than walking into a home and looking past the BRIGHT Yellow or PInk or blue walls and trying to envision that baby's room as a home office."  Okay, now that made me REALLY laugh out loud!!  😀 

  21. "..they just say things to hear themselves talk."  Oh my, I couldn't agree more!!!!  I think that to myself all the time when I hear various "professionals" sharing their infinite wisdom, and I'm thinking to myself, "What?  That doesn't make sense at all!!"  lol… 

  22. I'd say if you have not removed the closet to accomodate the office then it should still be listed as a bedroom. Regarless of how you use it! Now for staging purposes, I can understand the reasoning behind showing it as a bedroom but not changing the way it is listed. 

  23. I'm one of those "un-typical" people that preferred looking at empty houses when I was house hunting.  That way, I didn't see their version of furniture placement and decor, but saw the blank space with my stuff.  And, the wall color was getting re-painted for the most part – but I did appreciate the rooms that were re-done with neutral colors.  I didn't have to paint immediately that way.  We looked at one house that had "theme" bedrooms that were a bit much, but there were other things about the house we didn't like anyway. 

    I think that as long as you don't have alot of built-ins that are difficult to remove, the room is whatever you need it to be.  We have a 3 bedroom, with one converted to an office and the other a guest room.  I wish I had a "grandson" room instead of the guest room, since he's here more than guests ever are.  But, we have a nice queen bed that takes up most of the floor/play space.  One of those "if I knew then" things.  I'd do better with a trundle bed to have space to play and store toys.

  24. Ok… so I've been on the hunt for a gorgeous zebra print rug…where oh where can I find the one featured in the second image, and do you know if they are available in/ship to Canada!?! Thanks so much!Ashley from http://www.shopdropnroll.ca


  25. We've recently bought a house, and one of the main reasons I liked it was because it had an office!  It was originally a bedroom in the floor plan, but the first owner put in French doors & took out the closet when he had the house built.  So for me personally, the office was a big selling point!