| Buyer Intel

With software like Quicken, Google Drive, Evernote and Kindle, the amount of paper we keep in our homes is decreasing. We no longer need a dedicated home office in which to store our important documents and family photos, we’ve migrated to the online Oz of Google. When we show homes, we see once dedicated office space awkwardly staged as reading rooms only without the books. Nobody believes this, by the way.

Most of our clients don’t own a desktop computer, so working from home is no longer relegated to that room across the foyer from that big formal dining room we couldn’t live without a decade ago either. That was before our kids took jobs in other states and now can’t afford the time off to travel home. So, we fly out to see them and the big dining room table for family dinners that we planned to have, collects dust. As least this is the way it is in our house.

We should begin to be very thoughtful about other practical uses for these once-loved, but now dusty rooms. The way we live has changed. Most people do not use their offices anymore. They’re in the kitchen on the laptop. Plus, we learned a lot from the housing bubble. Buyers aren’t willing to pay for rooms they aren’t going to use, the furnishings required, and a housekeeper to dust it. We’re smarter now, we want more functional space.

We show a lot of homes. There are laptops and tablets in every home but various rooms. We see strangely staged home offices, obvious that the sellers no longer use the space.

We’re calling it. Dedicated home offices are on their way out.

It’s time to figure out what to do with that room. I’m working on some practical ideas for our staging clients, and one idea that I love is using the old office space for an inspirational playroom. Log on to Pinterest and take a look at my Gorgeous Playrooms board. These are ideas worthy of first-floor space. It might be time to let the kids out of the basement.

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