Want to get an idea what today's office-away-from-the-office looks like? Walk into Starbucks.
These days, a home office consists of a multiple-choice combination of wireless laptops, smartphones, PDAs and touch-screen tablets. And that worker bee might be toiling anywhere from a home patio or a favorite restaurant to a park bench.
The standard home office renovation, meanwhile -- complete with plenty of built-in storage and high-tech wiring -- is this year's biggest loser in the resale value sweepstakes. Nationally, homeowners spent an average of $28,888 and can expect to recoup about 45.8 percent at resale, according to the report.
Return on investment doesn't reflect your enjoyment of the space, Alfano says.
He offers two tips for home-office remodelers when they sell. First, opt for something that can be easily converted back into a bedroom or den for (or by) the next buyer.
Second, when you're selling, call it a study, den or hobby room. "There's lots of call for multipurpose space. Don't lock yourself into that one use," Alfano says. Don't use words that invoke images of actual work. Or the office.