When shopping for a new home, most buyers tend to think first about the location and maybe the size. But the layout of a home is one of the most significant parts of the homebuying process. From the shape and size of the home to the number of stairs and the distance between the living room and kitchen, the flow and layout of the home will impact your daily life. Choosing the perfect home layout requires careful consideration because you don't want to regret your choice or outgrow your living situation a few years down the road. To help determine which layout will work best for your family currently and in the future, here are some pro tips from our real estate agents.
- Lifestyle Needs
It may sound obvious but when shopping for a home, you need to envision your family actually living in the home. Some of the important things to consider include pet ownership, how many children you have and whether you'll have more in the future, whether an older family member may need to move in with you at some point in time, and general lifestyle needs. If you have kids, you may want to look into the number of bedrooms, a larger dining area, and kids' playroom. If you entertain often, you may require a gourmet kitchen, plenty of living and dining space, and a fantastic outdoor leisure area.
You need to assess how you will use every section of the house and how that will change over the years. Having a growing family and then a shrinking family is one important thing to keep in mind. When buying a home, you may not be too keen on the idea of downsizing when your children move out. Can you get a layout that allows you to make changes without requiring significant maintenance later on? For example, can you find a layout that has the living, dining, and cooking areas close together while providing space for children to play without interruptions? You want to make sure that it's possible to do this without any home additions.
- Special Accessibility
Whether you have kids who need wider hallways to run around or a live-in family member who needs extra space to move around, consider this factor when choosing a layout. Older homes tend to have narrower doorways and hallways, as well as shorter head height. But if you fall in love with a layout that will need changes, remember it's possible to renovate non-load bearing walls to accommodate your needs.
- Number of Stories
Consider what overall footprint would work best for you. If you prefer a single-story home that groups public rooms in the center and baths and bedrooms on the wings, a ranch style home is the most common architectural style you will find. A single-story home is also ideal for family members with mobility issues or empty-nesters looking to age in place. Multi-story homes have matching square footage on each floor and give each family member their own space and room. They also give the added benefit of views to the outside. But you must be willing to traffic stairs repeatedly, like when you forget your phone in the living room below.
- Open Concept vs. Traditional Floor Plan
You probably already know that open floor plans are at the peak of popularity and highly desired among homebuyers. Open-concept homes make keeping an eye on little ones easier and are also great for entertaining. If you want something modern with a spacious feel, you may want to consider an open floor plan. But if you prefer a bit of privacy, separate rooms meant for specific purposes, and wall space to hang photos or art, you may want to go with a traditional home plan.
Choosing a home layout is a complex decision that can be fun and frustrating at the same time. With time and research, however, finding your dream layout will be easier than you think. So make your wish list and contact us today to get started.