Whether your new home search is in the late night Pinterest scrolling stage or you’ve advanced to the weekend open house tours, the next step is always a little intimidating.
But, it should be exciting too!
A new house is a new beginning and this is the chance to get one you are really in love with. This is also a good chance to think about what really matters to you and your family in terms of space, safety and location as you move into another stage of your lives.
What does a house need to be?
The first step in house hunting is to really think about what you want from your house or what you want it to be for you. The location and the specific features will fall in place, but this is really the core goal of your search.
A few questions to get the conversation started:
- Are you the entertainer who likes to host parties for holidays and events throughout the year?
- Are you looking for a space that can grow with you as your family expands?
- Will you finally be running your dream business out of the flex room instead of the kitchen table you’re used to in your current space?
- Do you have space to explore your hobbies in the yard, in the basement or in a loft?
- What safety features does your family need for the region?
Once you have this list, you can start looking at practical ways to implement them into your new home.
Planning for now and the future
Consider this an “inventory” stage.
You need to think about what priorities went into choosing your current space and whether or not those needs are being met. (The list above might come in handy.) If they are, then great! If not, this is a chance to get more closely aligned to those goals this time around.
A house isn’t necessarily forever, but if you can find one that you really like it can save you pain – physical and financial – moving forward.
The second part of this step is maybe more important. Now you need to think about what you’re missing in your current space. It may be a corner you cut because everything else worked, but now you’re really seeing the importance of a dishwasher. Or you’ve realized that the cute, vintage kitchen really isn’t big enough to cook dinner without frustration.
The pros and cons of your current space should hold a lot of weight in your upcoming decision and will hopefully add some practicality to your process too.
What are the most popular floor plans?
Now we get to the fun part, fitting all your favorite things into your new dream home and choosing the right house plans.
The first three statistics you will see on every home listing is the number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms and a square footage. These are a great starting point, but there’s so much more that defines a home.
So what are we seeing lately? Check out the home plans above from DSLD Homes.
A few of of the biggest home plan trends we’ve seen from both our designers and our buyers are defined open floor plans, flex rooms and breakfast nooks. Basically, you guys want your house to grow with you and we do too!
The phrase open floor plan refers to a home plan with two or more of the traditional-use spaces (living room, kitchen, dining room, etc.) joined to form a larger space. This trend first gained traction in the 1990’s but is going strong nearly 30 years later.
If you identified yourself as an “entertainer” in our first activity or simply need the extra space for unpredictable dining in your busy schedule, this may work well for you.
Flex rooms, also often called bonus rooms, are the perfect way to really personalize your home. If we go back to the first activity, this is how we find the space for all your passion projects like an office for you to expand your entrepreneurial dreams to more than a side hustle or enjoy your favorite crafts as a way to wind down on the nights and weekends.
And, as the name suggests, you can always change your mind later!
Imagine the lifetime of this room:
- A playroom where your daughter takes her first steps and speaks her first words.
- A homework room as you see her grow and learn.
- A sitting area or TV room to welcome her home for a visit from college and hear all about her new friends and favorite classes.
Another fun trend we’re seeing is a return to breakfast nooks. A quiet and convenient place to start your day with a coffee or quick breakfast. Or, to finish that last bit of homework someone didn’t get done the night before.
Where do we start looking?
If you really enjoy the thrill of the hunt, you can start looking for an existing home that fits your new criteria. This is still how the majority of homeowners find their new house. They may hire a realtor to help cut through the weeds or may spend a little more time on the market looking for the perfect fit.
Regardless of your choice between a new home or an existing one, there are a few more factors to keep in mind.
The first is location. What part of town is convenient for you? Think about the unchanging aspects of your life like your commute and ease of access to highways or thoroughfares to get to the office every day. Think about your family and friends. Are you close enough to call when you need them or simply want an afternoon visit?
Then think about the neighborhood or community as an extension of your family. Is it a place where you feel safe and supported? This is where location and community amenities can really boost the value of a home.
If you’re having trouble finding an existing development you like or a home that fits all your needs, then there is another option.
Some home builders will come to you and build on your own lot. This gives you the freedom to design your custom home and place it exactly where you want it. (Assuming the space meets all the requirements.) This makes the search a little challenging, but a good home builder will assist you in the process.
This service can range from inspecting land you own, looking for land to buy and making sure your dream home is tailored to the property you purchase.
In conclusion, we really like to look at a house as more than just a structure, but an opportunity to build and support a new life for you and the important people (or pets) in your life.
You can read about trends all day and search for homes for months, but there’s a certain intuition that tends to arise in situations like this that will tell you when you find the right one. The house plan will look like more than funny shapes on paper and it will feel a little different walking through the door.