How Will Your New Home Live?

Sunday January 15, 2012

If you are looking to build or buy a brand new home, you should consider many things and not focus solely on your “dream” home.

Among things to consider is whether you are building for the next buyer. If so, having kids share a larger bedroom with a good closet is usually better than each of your kids having a private cubbyhole bedroom. Keep in mind that a small 9 x 10 bedroom holds a single bed and small dresser and not much else. If children are expected to use their bedroom for study then space for a desk and chair is required. Be realistic with yourself – do the kids HAVE to be separated?

Decide how many bathrooms are needed to service the bedrooms: toddlers may have trouble waiting for potty availability and many teenagers are notorious for extended showers and hairstyling sessions. Bathrooms are not cheap, so cost vs. comfort must be taken into consideration. Also consider how long each bedroom will actually be used – allow for each kid’s age to see what is likely to be wanted at move-in time and then add another five years to see what may be needed in the near future.

Ashburn Floor Plan - Opt. Bonus Room

Keep in mind that toddlers who happily share now may not be as easily accommodated when they become adolescents; teenagers go to college or jobs away from home; someone who can easily trot up and down steps now may need to have accommo-dation made later on; eldercare may be an issue (if not for your parents then for yourselves as time goes on). No house is going to be perfect at all times and in all situations, but some can be adapted more easily than others.

A Great Room’s shape is mostly a matter of size and personal preference and is greatly affected by which rooms are located near it. Do you like space used as a hallway along walls to permit access to rooms on either side of the Great Room? On the other hand, that open walking space makes a room ‘feel’ larger. So look at how often your family will use the floor space to just go from point A to point B. Your preference in furniture should also be considered: large-sized furniture (whether it’s big for big people or over-stuffed for comfort) quite literally requires more floor space.

Do you like a single grouping or do you prefer more than one seating area so that conversation is separate from multimedia? Will the Great Room be used almost solely for group gatherings and/or formal entertainment, or will it do multiple-duty as a family room for kids to play while others watch TV, study, read, do crafts, or balance the checkbook? You may decide it’s better to opt for that bonus room upstairs.

A formal living room can transform itself time and again. It can be a home office, a private den for adult TV watching or reading, and it can even double as a guest room in a pinch if you have a sofabed or daybed. Some young families have let it become a temporary play room so the little ones can keep their toys in there and feel close to all family activity. Again, remember that no room is going to be perfect at all times for all ages; decide what you want, what is likely to be most comfortable for your family, and what you can afford.

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