Unused No More: Transform Your Basement into an Office Space

The surging growth of Utah’s tech sector has created many opportunities for startups and established businesses alike – and this has attracted plenty of talent. Young graduates of local universities and creatives moving from outside the state are seeking work – and a place to live.

Though the state is still considered affordable compared to the national average, the cost of housing is on the rise. Especially among millennials, the preference for rental arrangements is growing. If you are a homeowner with space in your basement, finishing that extra room and turning it into an office space or studio can be a great idea. You could turn it into a passive revenue stream in a climate where the demand for living space continues to grow, or you could use it yourself as a base of operations for your startup or telecommuting work.

A space for rent

The importance of passive revenue streams is often overlooked. People who work full time to make ends meet regularly don’t have the necessary resources. If you already own property, though, you may be in the fortunate position of having more space than you need. As of 2019, the average rental cost of an apartment in Salt Lake City would be $1,235. You’d be fronting the construction costs, but in the long term, this is income that doesn’t cost you any energy or that most valuable of commodities – time.

Renting out an unused part of your home can be a great way to earn passive income. However, many homeowners can be hesitant about letting strangers into their home. One good way to deal with that is to work within your community to find someone who needs the space, and someone you trust who can vouch for them. Don’t just post an online ad – play a more active role in identifying good tenants.

Reframing this as not just a means to make money, but an opportunity to serve your community, can develop meaningful connections and ensure that your relationship with your prospective tenant is built upon mutual trust.

A place for you to work

Naturally, after investing in the remodeling of your home space, it’s possible that you would feel more inclined to use it yourself. With the rise of telecommuting, it’s possible to do most of your work from the comforts of your home. A basement office can be a great way to maintain some separation between your work and home environment still.

And if you’re launching a small business, going home-based – at least to start – can be the best way to go. As with telecommuting, this saves you a lot of time and overhead costs. It also counts as a business expense, which in turn lets you claim a tax deduction.

Property value

living room in a home basement

The expense of converting your basement into a home office or studio will also add value to your property. It may not have the same value computation, per square foot of space, when compared to the main house. However, it still represents a significant net increase over the upfront costs that you have paid.

Already having the floor, walls, and access to your existing utilities, a finished basement represents a relatively inexpensive investment into your home, and one that can serve a functional purpose – either becoming your place of work, or a passive revenue stream, and a place to stay for a tenant you trust.

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