How to Find the Best Floor Plan for Your First Home
If you go into the home buying process without a solid plan, you’re likely to find yourself distracted by all of the beautiful options that builders have to offer. Your path to the right home for your family starts by determining which type of floor plan you need.
As you’ll quickly see, there’s a wide range of floor plan styles, and it can start to feel a bit overwhelming. Use our tips to narrow down your choices.
Make a List of Needs Based on Your Lifestyle
Different types of families need different types of floor plans. If you want some privacy when you head to your master suite, you’ll probably want it set far away from the secondary bedrooms. However, if you’re worried about not being able to hear a child crying in the middle of the night, you might choose a plan that has the secondary bedrooms close to the master suite. A few of the questions you might want to ask yourself are:
- How many bedrooms do we need?
Is an open-concept floor plan appealing to us?
- Do we want a mudroom?
- Where will we store food? Do we need a large pantry?
- Do we need extra rooms beyond bedrooms, bathrooms, a living room, and a kitchen?
- Is it important to have a second-floor laundry room? Sliding doors to the patio? Built-in shelving or a fireplace?
- What other details do we need in a home?
Stick to this list as you explore your floor plan options.
Select a Few Show Homes to Visit Based on Floor Plan Drawings
Be strategic about which homes you should visit. You can check out floor plans of every home model on our website. At this point, you don’t need to worry about things like square footage or the community where the show home is located. Most show homes can be built in any of our communities, and you can usually add square footage by finishing the basement.
Instead, compare the floor plans to your list of needs. If a home meets all of your needs, put it down on the list of homes to visit even if there’s something about it that doesn’t seem right on paper.
Visit Those Show Homes to Check Out the Feel
You can now start seeing what homes look like in person. Pay attention to how the home “feels” and how that matches up with what you saw in the floor plan drawing. For instance, all drawings are roughly the same size, but they make a note of the size of rooms. On paper, two bedrooms may look to be about the same size, but once you visit the show home, you can see that one is significantly bigger than the other. This makes a difference. Make some notes about which homes you liked and which ones you didn’t. Get specific about the things that you did and didn’t like because that could help you narrow down choices.
Revise Your List as Necessary
Visiting show homes may have given you a different perspective. For instance, you might not have realized how nice it would be to have a second-floor laundry room or a second living room. You may now want to add that to your list. On the other hand, things that may have seemed important — such as the location of the bedrooms — may no longer be as vital as you once thought. Don’t be afraid to take things off your list or move them down a priority level.
Think About the Future
You’re going to stay in your first home a long time, so you want to make sure that the home will meet your needs for as long as you’re there. What is your life going to look like in 10 years? Will there be kids in the home? The floor plan you choose should have elements that are going to suit you long-term. For instance, if you’re a busy couple with no hungry kids to feed, you may not need a large pantry. However, if you choose to have children, having that extra storage space will come in handy.
The right home for your family is out there, but you need to take your time looking at all the options. We recommend staying focused on your needs and ignoring all of the little extras when you’re choosing a basic floor plan. Once you move forward with the design, you can incorporate some other things you want.