Are you at that stage in your life where you’d like to down-size, move to a new location, or just have a vision of SIMPLIFYING your life? These 5 steps will help you to make intentional decisions when planning your next move. Whether you are planning a forever home, a dream home, or remodeling an existing home, you don’t want to make costly mistakes.
I’ve always dreamed of having an old white farmhouse with a large front porch decorated with a swing, rockers and baskets.
I was speaking with a young friend a few days ago and she is in the process of planning a new permanent home for her family. As we talked, I shared the 5 Steps to Plan A Forever Dream Home that my husband and I used as we were planning our farmhouse. With the experience of building and living in several different homes, we finally got everything we wanted in our home. Hopefully, these tips will be useful to you or someone you know who is planning a new home or a remodel.
What Are The 5 Steps To Plan A Dream Home?
Step 1 – Make a List of Must Have
When you decide you want to downsize, remodel or build a new dream home, there will always be some hard choices. The intention of our move was to be debt free and live a simple life style. In order to do this we had to be budget minded. You need to ask yourself, what can we live without and what are our priorities in our permanent home?
As we began our list, a large open kitchen was top of our must have list.
We love to entertain and in our previous home, everyone was always in the kitchen so we designed the house around the DIY Large Island. It allows guest and family to congregate without being on top of each other.
Planning your forever dream home involves taking an inventory of all the things about your current home that you love and would miss. Where do you spend your time and what are the things you could live without.
I mentioned many times that if we could just take out the middle of our house, the living room, dining and foyer, we’d have the perfect home. Therefore, removing underutilized spaces was a priority.
Make Two Lists (well actually 4 or more)
Everyone who lives in the house should have a list, obviously depending on age.
One is a MUST HAVE list and one is a WISH list. The wish list should include things that you are willing to compromise on. This is particularly important if you are on a budget.
One item on my wish list was a fireplace in our screened porch. However, at the time I determined that the $10,000 expense wasn’t a MUST HAVE.
I feel things always work out for the best because we are actually glad we didn’t add the fireplace. We enjoy this view so much and it would have been obscured with the intended fireplace.
Where Will Your Forever Dream Home Be Located? – Step 2
This is a question that should be given serious thought. It actually should be step one, now that I think about it!!! There really isn’t a need for 5 Steps to Plan Your Forever Dream Home, if you don’t know where it’s going to be.
If this is your forever home, you want to be sure you build in a location that you want to stay. I have seen many people move to their dream locations only to move back to their home towns within a few years.
We lived in town most of our married life. I grew up in the country and honestly never thought I’d want to return. After we began to restore the ponds, we choose to move a mobile home on the property and spend weekends there. When we didn’t want to go home at the end of the weekend, we began to realize “maybe we could make this our forever home”.
Ask These Questions!
- What is your dream location? Spend some time at the location if possible. I realize that everyone can’t do what we did, however you can do your research.
- What is your location like during different seasons?
- Will you be happy away from your family or friends?
- What activities will be available year round?
- Will your children be happy there?
- You may consider renting a home in a new location before you build or buy a permanent home.
Had we decided to make this move when our daughter was still in school, this would not have been a smooth transition, I’m sure.
Be sure to plan your forever home in a location that you are sure will truly be your dream location. Although we love our beach cottage and have been spending time at this location for 30 years, after spending a full summer there, I knew it was not where my forever home should be located.
What Style Is Your Forever Home?
You know by now that I love Old White Farmhouses. However, our property didn’t come with one! So I already had a pretty good idea of what I wanted my farmhouse home to look like. However, since this was my forever home, it was my last chance to get it right. So here’s what you should do to be sure yourself.
You should start a Pinterest idea board and scroll Instagram, saving favorite posts as you go. Grab a few magazines and start a folder of all the photos that your dream home would include.
This is a screen shot of my Pinterest Board when planning my Forever Home.
As you start to collect the images a common style will start to emerge. So what is your dream style? What style do you save over and over again? Is it cozy cottage, farmhouse, rustic, modern, loft, etc.??? Once you realize what you love, you can begin to search for a dream plan.
This was my favorite pin when I was planning my forever home. I quickly realized that I did want a farmhouse style, but with a modern industrial feel.
Can you see how I was influenced by my saved images.
How To Find A House Plan For Your Dream Home?
There are so many sources for finding plans online. However, you do want to refer back to the last 3 steps. First, make sure it includes all of your Must Have List. Next, does this style home work well with my location? And most importantly, is it truly my dream home? Will I be happy here forever?
I was personally unable to find exactly what I was looking for. Several factors contributed to this. One being the unusual entry to the property and two, finding the open plan I desired.
You Can Design Your Own Plan
Fear not, I designed my plan approximately 100 times on graph paper. Then armed with my favorite exterior pics and my final design, I hired a draftsman to draw the house plan according to required specifications. Things like will this wall support that ceiling become important and are beyond my amateur capabilities.
You can hire an architect to draw your dream home or if you find a plan that is close to your dream, have it reconfigured by the original architect.
You will need a professionally executed plan to receive building permits, etc.
Step 5 – Stick To Your Plan
Once you have your contractor or if you’re really adventurous and plan to build it yourself, that’s when the real fun begins.
You will want to refer back to step one over and over again. What are you willing to compromise on? If budget isn’t an issue, you can include everything on your must have and dream list. However, in the heat of the planning, you may forget some priorities, so keep your list handy.
In addition, it’s so much fun picking out everything until it’s not! LOL! I’m so not kidding! When you are tired, frustrated and don’t care anymore, the list you made is very important.
Remember that dream Pinterest Pin? That is the staircase I was told wasn’t possible. This is my compromise.
By following these 5 Steps to Plan Your Forever Dream Home, you will avoid having regrets at the end of your building process.
Remember these key elements….
- What is your style?
- What are your priorities? I’m a rule breaker from day one. Go with what you love. Don’t let other’s talk you out of your vision.
- If you don’t have a natural eye for design, ask for help. Find someone who likes what you like! Hiring a professional designer who loves a modern sleek design style when you love a vintage, eclectic look, may not be the best choice.
Best of luck on this exciting adventure! And many blessings during your process…….. I promise it’s worth it in the end.
Open Floor Plan View of our Forever Home
You can see more details about my home decor in Shop My Home.
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’ll share your thoughts on downsizing, building a forever home or remodeling your existing home.
Have a blessed day.