Your home should reflect your lifestyle. How do you know how to put these things down on paper?
1. Answer these questions to help you determine what you need most in your home.
* Do you entertain? Are they big groups of people or small groups of people?
* Who are the people that are going to be in the home on a day to day basis?
* Do you have people coming to stay overnight often?
* Think about what you have to have, ( dishwasher, 4 bedrooms,2 or 3 bathrooms, lots of storage space.) The things that you can not be without.
* Think about the things that you do not want, ( on stairs to climb.)
* Think about the things that you like to have, but they would not be a deal breaker if they are not in the home.
* Somethings that you need to plain for now that can be done later, ( finish the basement, but put the plumbing in place for that future bathroom-no taking up the floor to do it latter.)
Now that you have that list. You know what your needs are, the things that you want and what you do not want. Now it is time for the hard question.
2. How much can I afford for this house?
* The best place to start is the bank, see how much they will lend to you. Get them to approve you first. This way you know how much you have to spend.
* How big the home will be, small, medium, large and extra large? Extra large will cost a lot more than a small home.
* How many corners does the house have. If it is only four, like the one to the right. The cost is less.
* This one is bigger and has more corners. It will have more cost to it as well.
* The cost of materials can make a big difference. If you are using granite counter tops and custom tiles work. It cost less for laminate counter tops and a hard wood floor. If you think outside the box you can come up with things that look great for less. Remnants and closeout sometimes work great and cost less.
3. Find a designer.
* Visit with more than one. Interview them, they are going to be working for you. Do the interview as an employer for any position . You will be working with them for sometime, so choose the best that you can. They need to listen to your wants and needs and also help you to stay on budget with the plans
* Once you have chosen the designer. They will want to know the budget and your list of wants and needs (the one that you made above.) Visit with them 2 or 3 times during the design process. Do not be afraid to voice your ideas. They will try to incorporate as many of your ideas into the plan as possible while being honest about what they will do to the budget.
4. Look to the future.
What stage of life are you in?
* Just starting out, are you by yourself or as a new couple with no children yet. Looking forward to having those children in the future.
* You have your children, they can range from toddlers to teens.
* Your children are grown. It is back to you as a couple or you by yourself.
* Your are retired.
A good way to look to the future would be, in 5 years will this place be to small. It has 1 bathroom and 2 bedrooms, with 3 children. In 5 years most of the children will be out of the house. In 5 years the house is to big for me or us by ourselves. In 5 years will I be able to get up and down the stairs.
Your house can be what you need it to be for a long time by doing a few thing to the house later.
If the house is to small, is there room to add on to the house so that it will meet your needs. If the house is to big for you as children are grown, can you rent out part of the house. If you are retired, is the master suite on the main floor so you do not have to go up and down stairs. You can stay in your home a lot longer this way.
5. Thing can be added in the future like:
* A Deck.
* A garage.
* Finish the basement.
* Add more rooms onto the house.
6. Give yourself the time that you need to get the planning done right the first time. It will save a lot of regrets later on. Do not rush the decisions on the plans, savor the process.
copyright 2009 Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"