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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Your house: expense or asset?



For most people their homes are an expense. It takes money to keep a house maintained with all utilities, taxes and fees paid up. You may or may not “make a profit” should you sell your house. However, if you figure out all the money was put into the place year after year, it's rare to actually make money overall. Of course, we all have to live somewhere.

How about turning your house into a real profit center? That can be hard to do. Many of us have home offices, but how many of those produce enough profit to pay for the house and to live on? Some folks mange to do it, mostly professionals like engineers. Usually they don't run into zoning problems as their house doesn't look any different than the neighbors.

Some folks have home businesses that require people to actually come to their house. Someone like a massage therapist might get away with it. Only a handful of people come and go each day. Forget about having a small retail operation that requires a lot of foot traffic. Few residential areas, if any, allow that sort of thing.

What about home workshops? That's a gray area. Much depends on local zoning, how discrete you are, or how well you get along with your neighbors. A guy can go into his home workshop and build a wooden chair and few would take offense. However, should he produce hundreds of chairs, running his saws day and night, he'll most likely get into trouble.

I know a few folks with money making home shops. One guy builds furniture, but they are expensive custom items so he doesn't build a lot of them at one time. Another guy quietly runs a pretty complete machine shop in his garage. He does small jobs the big shops don't want to bother with. My guess is that his location on a dead end road reduces his chances that someone will complain to the zoning board.

Nothing freaks out zoning boards like turning a suburban home into a mini working farm. Tear up the front yard to plant veggies and neighbors freak. Add some farm animals and they really go ballistic. Even something as simple as a permaculture garden will cause problems as it's not considered “normal.”

It's almost like we are not suppose to live free and independent. Who wants to bet that's by design?

-Sixbears

17 comments:

  1. Without zoning more homes would be a working asset to the owners.The system we live under is for tax revenue to the enforcers of zoning and tax collection. A good example was at the turn of the century widows often had home dinners and room rental.Goverment was out tax's her asset of home and skill supported her.Goverment solution make her sell the house live in poverty or pay huge taxes

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    1. It's those regulators making themselves a job -that's part of the problem. Some basic common sense things eventually grow into a big control operation.

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  2. The idea is to control people from the cradle to the grave and guess what, it's working...
    So what dear Sixbears and all your readers going to do about it I wonder... the time for talking is past, walking is what has to happen...
    We all have to take control and responsibility for our own lives, and we have to do that now...

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    1. Live where zoning isn't crazy. Avoid home owner associations. Get along with you neighbors so that no one reports violations. :)

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  3. In the last 40 years I have lived where nobody cared what you did. Guess I always picked the right places.

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  4. When I moved here (Texas) there was no zoning. You could see a million dollar home next to one that looked like a dump. Then came along those dang Home Owners' Associations. That is why I purchased a larger parcel of land that exempts me from them. Some are OK, but most get out of hand.

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  5. We have a couple of 'home-businesses' in our neighborhood. One a couple of doors down at the corner is a car mechanic - has about 3 - 4 extra cars along the curb, but other than that, pretty much matches the neighborhood. No lifts, mainly 'shady tree' work.

    Another behind us has a welding shop in his backyard. His traffic is less, people leaving off - delivering materials via the alley way. Retired guy, its mainly for fun and a little extra pocket money. Late at night, bright light from gas welding does make itself known, but not very noisy and the neighborhood dogs are already used to it.

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    1. Sounds like the neighbors are all pretty cool.

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  6. It all depends on how one views a home. Is it a place to live? an investment that will return revenues? I dunno, for us it is shelter, rent is as high as our mortgage. Not a ton of choices.

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    1. . . . so expensive shelter and that's all?

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    2. If rent is as high as what you can afford, what are you suggesting? Wouldn't it depend on location? Not everyone is planning on making a living on their property.

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    3. It would be nice to have the option to make money at home. I'm not going to tell someone how to live, only bring up ideas and potential options.

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  7. same old story; go fix up your mudhut and somebody wants a cut of your wealth under "official office" doing really nothing for you except pirating your wealth into their pockets

    cutting your government done to the bare bones be a good step towards restoring your personal wealth and sanity

    Wildflower

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