Like picking a university or falling in love and deciding to marry, choosing to build a new home can be one of life’s most rewarding and stressful experiences. The house plan – your dream on paper – becomes the manuscript which weaves together the various people (developer, builder, sub-contractors, lender, etc.) and products that will bring your vision to reality.
One of the joys of the design phase is discovering new amenities that will make the home “just right.” Rather than fitting into someone else’s personality/lifestyle, being able to harmonize new design thought with innovative product solutions means your new home reflects you and your priorities. Here is our recommendations when it comes to home design:
Establish a realistic budget for your new home. For most of us, price is a constraint. Talk to a mortgage officer to see how much home you can afford and compare that with what you are comfortable paying. Visit builders’ homes for sale. Get a feel for what’s possible within your budget and don’t base it on the cheapest builder. If you don’t already have your homesite, research neighborhoods and land for sale to have an accurate budget number.
Embrace how you want your home to “live.” Our research identified that homebuyers primarily use four ‘lenses’ when evaluating a home’s suitability: areas for entertaining, de-stressing, storing (storage & organization), and flexible living.
Rank your priorities. A common method identifies three categories: needs (things you must have), wants (important, but not must-haves), and desires (amenities you would love to have if the design and budget allows). Then, when you are looking at home plans and/or working with a home design professional, you can ensure important design and product amenities have not been overlooked.
Consider the bigger picture. How long do you see yourself living in the new home? Life happens! What will likely change? Kids moving out, kids moving back in, aging-in-place, etc.? Design with flexibility in mind as the ability to make changes is the key to long-term happiness with your new home.
Collect. Photos…literature…articles…all of these help identify and communicate elements of your new home that you like. Houzz and Pinterest are great resources and can help identify your style. You’ll be thankful you did your homework and so will your designer and builder!
Study your present home. What works, what doesn’t? Often what you’re dissatisfied with is driving your decision to move, so those aspects should appear on your needs-wants-desires list.
Do the research. Touring builders’ model and “for sale” homes is a great way to help you recognize design aspects you like as well as identify those you don’t. When searching plans online, search filters such as type of home, square footage, etc., help rule out plans that won’t work. Our plans feature the four Livability at a Glance® lenses (see Tip #2) which can be tremendously helpful in identifying plans that fit your lifestyle and priorities.
Mentally and emotionally move in. Take a floor plan you are interested in and place an “X” in key locations, such as the front entry, at the kitchen sink, looking into the bathrooms, etc. Then visualize standing in those areas. What do you see? How does it make you feel? Everywhere you look in your home you should like what you see!
Evaluate “stock” plans vs. custom. Most builders and home design companies offer a library of readily available “stock” home plans. The advantages are good design, low price, and quick delivery. Like buying a suit off the rack, a stock plan may be a very good fit. As with alterations to a suit, modifying a stock plan could make it “perfect” for you. Still, there are many instances where a custom home plan is the only option that makes sense. Our designers are able to customize all of our home designs, giving you exactly what you want and need in a home.
Work with a professional. Family and friends may give you advice, but it’s often conflicting, causing indecision. Your designer should be your “go-to” advisor on trends, functionality, and aesthetics. Your design professional should also have considerable construction knowledge. During Heritage Homes’ 20+ years designing and building new homes, our team has perfected the homebuilding process to make it a fun and enjoyable journey to your new home!
Contemplating building a new home? Odds are your future looks bright! It all begins with a plan, and where you get your home plan matters! Connect with our Sales Team to learn more about selecting and building a home plan that fits your life.