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5 Steps to Plan Your Forever Dream Home

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 avoid mistakes Whether you are planning a forever home, a Dream home, or Remodeling an existing home.

5 Steps to Plan Your Forever Home
My dream was a White Farmhouse.  Here is our new old industrial farmhouse.
I’ve always dreamed of having an old white farmhouse. – View Welcome 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 this home. Hopefully,, these tips will be useful to you or someone you know who is planning a new home or a remodel. HERE ARE THE 5 STEPS WE USED TO PLAN OUR DREAM FARMHOUSE.

Step 1 – Make a List

When you decide you want to downsize, remodel or build a new dream home, there will always be some hard choices. We wanted 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?

5 Steps to Plan Your Forever Dream Home. One priority was an open kitchen.  Here is our DIY Island
A large open kitchen was top of our must have list. Click here to see how we made this island top to look like old barn wood. Similar Lighting.

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.

Make two Lists

We made two lists. One is our 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. Be sure to allow everyone that will live in the house to make a list.

Step 2 – Where will your Forever Dream home be Located?

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.

Making sure the property is located where you will want to build your forever home is important.  Here is our weekend home before we made a decision  to move there permanently.

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”.

What is your dream location? Spend some time there 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.

Step 3 – 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 Forever 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.

Pinterest Dream Board while we were building and planning our Forever Home.
This is a screen shot of my Pinterest Board when planning my Forever Home. Photo’s credit – Pinterest.

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, modern, loft, etc.??? Once you realize what you love, you can begin to search for a dream plan.

Pinterest Pin of my dream home when planning to build our forever home.
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.
Photo credit – Pinterest
Stair Case in our Forever Dream Home that was inspired by my Pinterest Boards.
Can you see how I was influenced by my saved images.

Step 4 – 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 being the open plan I desired.

You can draw your own plan

Fear not, I only drew my plan approx. 100 times on graph paper. Then armed with my favorite exterior pics, 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.

The results of the 5 Steps to Plan your Forever Dream Home.

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. 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.

Industrial Modern Farmhouse as a Result of the 5 Steps to Plan Your Forever Dream Home
Remember that dream Pinterest Pin? That is the staircase I was told wasn’t possible. This is my compromise.
Click here for Industrial DIY Side Table Tutorial

By following these 5 Steps to Plan Your Forever Dream Home, you will avoid having regrets at the end of your building process. 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 of My Forever Dream Home .  Planning using the 5 steps for building a Forever Home means you don't forget your priorities.
Open Floor Plan View of our Forever Home
Rug here. Low Back Bar Stools.

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.



Pin for Future Reference

Ann Heatherton

Tuesday 7th of July 2020

I was interested in your five steps. I won't be building a dream home from scratch as you did, but I will relocate to another city to live in my retirement home as soon as I get this condo in sellable condition. Your house turned out adorable. I love every bit of it. Whenever I have a creative idea and want to express it in my current place, I am reminded that the next owner may just tear it out or it may be way too farmhouse or industrial to appeal to a buyer. I have to be content to save those ideas for my retirement place, where I can do everything and have everything I ever wanted. Thanks for sharing your experiences and insight.

Tuesday 7th of July 2020

Ann, This is our forever home and my last chance to express myself creatively! Hang in there, you’ll get to use your creative ideas in the near future, I’m sure. Again thanks Rachel.


Sunday 31st of May 2020

Love this post!!! We have a similar story in that our vacation home became our full time home because we wanted the lake lifestyle.

Thursday 4th of June 2020

Kristin, Yes, if we had not been coming on weekends, I don't know if I'd have realized how much I missed the country life. thanks for sharing! Rachel


Monday 25th of May 2020

Love your post Rachel! I too, live in my forever home. Because our house is so old, there were many things we couldn't change, but we love the location and the charm, so we were willing to compromise. Your home is just stunning and I can't wait to see your completed greenhouse!

Tuesday 26th of May 2020

Kim, Thanks for stopping by. I love what you've done with your forever home. Rachel