Many people have seen movies or television shows where someone runs a store, then lives above it in an apartment. This combination of commercial and residential property in one place is known as a work-live (or live-work) unit.
These are unique opportunities where a person can live side by side with their work. It’s important to note that there’s always some separation between the two. However, the living space is either above, below or side by side the business itself.
Choosing to get a work-live unit comes with several advantages. However, like most scenarios in life and real estate, there’s also several disadvantages. If you believe that a work-live unit could be of benefit to you, then read on. This article will examine both the good and bad aspects of a work-live unit and try to determine which professions may be best suited to making use of them.
Advantages of a Work-Live Unit
The first advantage should be obvious. It’s the time saved from that commute! Even for people with a manageable 20 minute drive to work, that’s 40 minutes saved daily, plus the cost of gas or other transport. This is even more useful when you consider locations that have very strong weather patterns. Avoiding traveling through a foot of snow is certainly a benefit.
Even if you don’t take advantage of the work portion of the space, it’s possible to still make a profit. That space can also be rented to business owners looking for some basic small office space. If you get the right deal, it could make your living space incredibly cheap to stay in.
Both living and work spaces should have their own entrances and exits. This helps distinguish the proper separation between work and life. This can also be important to make sure that the work space meets all the commercial or retail codes that could be necessary. It also makes the area more professional without residential comings and goings.
Disadvantages of a Work-Live Unit
There’s one big issue with a work-live unit. It can be very difficult to separate one from the other. Many people struggle with their work-life balance already as things are. Putting both activities so close together can make that even more difficult. It’s not uncommon for people to work 10 to 14 hour days consistently in this arrangement if they aren’t able to set a proper divide.
The work-live units can also have more regulations than similar ones. In some cases, you may not be allowed to rent out half of the unit, and have to both work and live there. It’s also possible that there can be restrictions on the number of outside hires allowed to work in the units or on the number of customers and deliveries that arrive each day.
The final downside is that work-live units aren’t the best for families. In many cases, there’s not much space for children to go outside and play. There are more work-live units in areas that are not typically as residential as others and may lack close schooling or some of the other requirements for kids.
Who Can Use Work-Live Units?
There’s actually many different professions which may make use of a work-live unit. One of the most successful is lawyers. Various attorneys and their practices have often set up work-live situations if they function as individual practitioners.
Almost any small business that needs a physical location can make use of a work-live unit. When people start their own small business, it’s probably they will need to work more than they would otherwise expect to. A work-live unit is perfect for this because it will allow the owner to otherwise save money, which can be put back into the business. Many businesses use a work-live unit, including computer repair stores, nail salons, juice bars and so many more!