While choosing a new home plan can be exciting, there are many factors to consider. For example; how long do you plan to live in your home? How much older will you and other family members be by then? Who will still be living there? How much can you afford right now? How much more will you be able to afford later? Now that I’ve got you thinking and creating your own list of questions, it’s easy to see how it can become a bit overwhelming. To add to the anxiety there are literally hundreds of thousands of options in plan books, magazines, and on the internet. The opportunities are endless, so here is a short list of answers to narrow your search.
How much can I afford?
Certain homes are more economical than others. Home style affordability typically starts with the basic split foyer, next comes the 2 story box, then the Cape Cod. Ramblers are typically more expensive. Steep or hip roofs, high or vaulted ceiling, and other architectural aspects will add to your costs but if it’s something you like it’s best to go ahead and incorporate them now. Other things can be added later when finances are more readily available like, Decks, and Patios, finished basements, bonus rooms, and sunrooms. You can also hold off on paved driveways, landscaping, and certain interior appointments. It’s okay if “the works” isn’t in the budget. You can build the necessities now and add on as you go.
What style of house do I like?
Curb appeal certainly say’s something about you and it gives you a sense of home as you pull into the driveway each day. Now, suppose that you prefer a more modern plan and your wife really likes a quaint looking cottage style home. You can always incorporate the best of both worlds. For example, you can build a more modern style rambler or Cape Cod and add stone, tapered porch columns, and some stained wood like you might see on a cottage home. You can often remove interior walls from a more conventional home plan to create a more open concept, and you can always put more modern fixtures in any plan.
How will it fit with the neighborhood?
There’s often a fine line between fitting in and standing out. I’m sure you’ve been in that neighborhood that only has a few home plans built over and over again. I have a friend who lives in one of those neighborhoods and, I swear, if his truck isn’t in the driveway I don’t know which one is his. On the other hand I know of a subdivision filled with small ramblers and split foyers along with one massive two story that’s at least twice the size of any other. Not only does it look out of place but its value must be diminished as well. A smaller home would go better in its spot and that house would go perfectly somewhere else. In choosing a home that’s uniquely yours, it’s important to find balance between the homes size and style in relation to its surroundings.
How many bedrooms do I need?
Of course this depends on the size of your family now and in the future. If you plan to live in your new home for a long time many life changes may occur. Maybe, you’ll want a bedroom on the first floor. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the master bedroom. Or, you may just want to have a room on the first floor that can be converted into a bedroom later. A formal living or dining room will sometimes fit the bill. I’ve had customers who incorporated apartments in their walkout basements, and I’ve added bedroom additions.
What about resale? When it comes to fitting in or standing out, fitting in is the key to resale, and appealing to the tastes of the majority. I once built a rambler for a couple who combined two bedrooms to create one large room for their only daughter. It was perfect for their needs, but maybe not so much for the next buyer, so we designed it so it would be easy and inexpensive to add the other bedroom later.
How do I find plans?
There are so many options and every plan can be customized. I recently took a traditional colonial style home and removed most of the main level walls to create an open concept. I have a plan that I added a study/ bedroom to the main level. I have plans with optional bonus rooms, and I often add gables, porches, and other appointments to achieve the perfect look for you. I have several plans that you can choose from or you can Google “home plans”. There are about 4 million home plan websites. Most sites will allow you to narrow your search by entering your desired home style, number of bedrooms, and square footage. Once you find a few plans that fit some of your basic needs, bring them to me and together we’ll customize them to fit your every need.