- Does It Fit? This is the first question to ask before falling in love with a home plan, or else you’re asking for heartache. Make sure you have a complete understanding of any and all site restrictions including setbacks, height or area coverage limitations. Keep in mind there may be setbacks established by local municipalities as well as your community. Also if you are building within a flood zone, there may be FEMA established minimum floor elevations. This could create issues where height restrictions are a factor.
- Does It Belong? I am always amazed when a client selects a house plan that is totally inappropriate for their particular site. You wouldn’t put a front entry garage plan in a TND (Traditional Neighborhood Design) community that requires a rear entry garage. Take in consideration views, topography and climate when selecting your perfect home plan.
- Will They Like It? Another important fact to consider if building in a deed restricted community is what architectural limitations may be placed on my new home. Many communities require minimum square footages, roof pitches and more. They also may require the exterior architecture to be of a particular style (i.e.: Mediterranean, Greek Revival, etc.). Specific exterior finishes may also be required as well. If your community has an architectural review committee, see if they would give a preliminary review of your desired plan to see if it is compatible.
- Can I Even Afford It? Getting a handle on building costs is always an elusive endeavor. Most consumers are accustomed to discussing costs on a per square foot basis, however such figures are highly speculative. Finding a prospective builder in your area that has experience building homes of similar style, size and finish of your desired home plan can be a big help in getting a handle on estimated building costs. I often talk to many a customer that thinks they are smarter than everybody else. They have a friend or Uncle who can get special pricing, or think they can do most of it themselves and therefore build it much cheaper than anyone else. This delusional mindset always leads to a path of frustration and disappointment. Establish a realistic budget before deciding on whether you can buy that particular house plan.
- Does It Look Good On Me, And My Family? Using common sense when selecting a home plan seems obvious, but many consumers get caught up in selecting a home plan that has all the “Bells and Whistles”. Making a realistic list of required rooms as well as setting a healthy square footage range is a great first step in selecting the right plan. For example, a home theater may seem like a really cool feature to have, but is it really practical when you need a four bedroom-2200 square foot plan? Also make sure the plan can adapt to your family as you grow and age. Understanding how you want to use your home is important in selecting the right plan. Do you like to entertain? Have family gatherings? Do you like to cook? All these and more are critical questions to ask.
- Is It Even Any Good? A thorough assessment of a plan’s value includes analyzing the plan’s layout efficiency and overall aesthetic appeal. Is there unnecessary wasted space? Do rooms flow well? Also look into the plan provider’s reputation. A reputable design firm gives added value to the homes they create.
- Could I Resell It? Resale value is always on the back of consumer’s minds when selecting a design. However don’t let it totally dominate your decision making process. Make sure the home plan is right for you and your family and not some theoretical future buyer of your home. Remember design trends always change.
- Am I Asking The Right Questions? Making informed decisions are only possible when you know the right questions to ask. Do thorough research in understanding your community, your climate, and your market. Expand knowledge of latest building technologies and products.
Building a home is undoubtedly the most important decision we make. Why not take the time to do it right?