Rent? Own? Or … Home?

Take a look at the article “Saying ‘Good Buy’ To Office Rentals” by Meg Tebo, from ABA Journal’s eReport – available here for some time without subscription. Mary Commander, a Norfolk VA solo, bought her office building back in 2003 when she realized she could own it for the same cost as her then-current rental. She arranged financing through the seller (thus avoiding the hassle of a conventional mortgage) and now brings her cat Bradley to work.

The benefits are obvious – pet visits being just one among many – but there are also downsides for solos, Tebo points out. Might I suggest the third option (or, as Chuck Newton would say, the “third wave” option)? Two words: Home. Office.

I get the best of all possible worlds. True, meeting clients requires some finesse and creativity, but I’ve turned that into a marketing advantage (“no stuffy lawyer’s office – I’ll meet you in a comfortable setting and we’ll have coffee while we chat”…). I truly have experienced no blowback from not having a separate office as a solo. In fact, most lawyers who hear of my set-up get this rather envious look in their eyes.

Are there downsides to a home office? Yes, but I prefer to think of them as “issues to be addressed” which drives home the point that it’s only an obstacle if you let it be – that is, if you don’t do anything about it!  More on making the home office angle work for you next post.

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