Good examples of a growing trend in flex space, and how people are handling their live-work needs:
Self-employment rates are higher for older Americans than for younger workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and new homes targeting mature buyers reflect this trend.
At Chelsea Heights, a development in Silver Spring, Md., developer EYA built townhouses with a flex space on the ground floor, which many owners use as an office.
In 2015, Michael Shulman and Jackie Judd paid $950,000—more than they planned—for a 2,600-square-foot townhouse in Chelsea Heights. It has three bedrooms, along with flex space.
“The flexibility of the floorplan was very important to us,” says Mr. Shulman, a 60-year-old investment adviser who runs an online service called “Options Income Blueprint” from his townhome’s first-floor flex space. Ms. Judd, a freelance journalist, works on the townhome’s third floor, far away from her husband’s frequent webinars.
“We don’t get into each other’s way during the day,” says Mr. Shulman. “You know that old saying: I married you for better or for worse, but not for lunch.”
Lisa Phillips Visca, a writer and script consultant in Los Angeles, works out of her three-bedroom, 2,200-square-foot condominium at Playa Vista, a planned community on the Westside of the city. At least once a day, she leaves to get air, grab coffee or lunch or shop for groceries.
With her husband, Dennis Visca, a garment-industry executive, she moved from a larger house in Pacific Palisades in January. The couple was drawn to the vibe and walkability of the neighborhood, which locals call Silicon Beach for its lively technology scene, with startups and offices of tech titans such Google and YouTube.
The Viscas, both empty nesters in their 50s, paid $2.1 million for their condo, located in a modern brick building designed by KTGY. Mr. Visca took the unit’s flex space as his home office, while his wife uses one of the bedrooms for her work, which includes directing and producing films, plays and television shows. Ms. Phillips Visca starts the day as early as 3 a.m. with coffee in her office, conveniently located on the far end of the space, away from master bedroom and living room.
“There is perfect privacy,” she says. For a creative person working from home, she says, “the floorplan was a huge bonus.”