As a homebuyer who intends to work from home, you want to find the perfect place to start or expand your at-home business. But there’s a lot more to consider besides finding the right space to do your work, including how your at-home business may affect your neighbors. While telecommuting is unlikely to bother anyone, other businesses may not be so innocuous. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Business zoning. Many communities have zoning ordinances that place limitations on businesses operated from homes not zoned for commerce. Some enterprises increase traffic, signage, parking problems, and noise which could diminish home values in a residential setting. Contact your city and find out if there are any restrictions for the type of business you want to run.
Homeowner’s Restrictions – Homes under homeowner’s association management may also have rules about at-home businesses because they’re also concerned with protecting property values. Obtain a copy of the HOA’s CC&Rs (governing documents) to learn what is permitted or not permitted. This is to prevent commercial traffic, chemical smells and loud sounds that could disrupt the community.
Taxing Authorities – Your CPA or tax attorney can explain homestead rules to you, and how much of your home you can use for business. IRS.gov provides rules for home business deductions, but if you have questions, contact your professional advisors.