Building your dream home takes a lot of planning ahead, as many factors have to be considered — from location and accessibility to home design and architecture. Find out how to narrow down your options and choose the perfect home for yourself.
1. Know what you like
At the end of the day, it's your opinion that truly matters, especially if you're the one shelling out the money to purchase a home. As much as it's important to consider the needs of your family, you must also at least have a say in what you're looking for in a home – whether it'll be in a certain color, how many floors it will have, or what shape the pool will be.
To find inspiration, you can also curate a peg: follow homes and home design accounts on TikTok or Instagram, subscribe to YouTube channels that are dedicated to giving tips or advice on home purchasing, or just a simple breeze through in your subdivision to ignite inspiration and get you started on building your future home.
When considering the other members of your household, make sure that your adjustments are suitable for them. If you have children, glass tables and stairs should have the right modifications just in case the kids run around and hit themselves. If your partner has specific needs for everyday living, listen to them and try meeting in the middle – you might even come up with a much better idea than what you separately came up with.
2. Consider the accessibility of your home
Make sure that grocery stores, convenience stores, hospitals, and police stations, among other important locations, are accessible from your home. Don't compromise on safety and convenience just because the land you bought is cheap — if your location is prone to natural disasters or man-made ones like fires or robberies, then it's best to go for a location that's safer.
When you settle for an inexpensive but unsafe place, you pay with your peace of mind: you're constantly worried and you might even have anxiety if you hear of bad news spreading in town about the troubles in your neighborhood. Choose a location that gives you peace of mind, and don't compromise for you and your family's sake.
If you want to know how to properly safeguard your home, then check this article out. And if you'd like to learn more about what to do when moving into a new place, here's an article for that as well.
3. Watch out for trends
While most people would prefer a more classic and timeless layout for their homes, it's nice to take a look at some trends in home building and design too, like cantilever beams, vertical wood paneling like we often see in café walls, or some shou sugi ban timber for added texture.
Hopping on trends, especially those that you particularly want to have for a long time, is completely alright. But if you have a little more money to spare for future renovations or remodeling, then why not fully jump on the bandwagon? It's absolutely fine to take trends that you've only seen in print or on social media and watch them come to life in your dream home.
You can also try looking for homes that either bring together timeless designs with a sprinkle of the most popular types of architecture currently (or vice versa). You can even customize an already laid out home until it becomes your dream house — but make sure to get the right people for your plans to truly come into fruition.
4. Look for any damages
No home is perfect — even the brand new ones. Make sure to work with a trusted and credible real estate agent to deal with things like this, and ask the caretakers about the water pressure, if there are any pipe or drainage issues, or if the grease trap is cleaned, among similar things.
If you'd like to tweak your home for practicality or aesthetics (or both), then you must come up with a step-by-step plan to do so. If you're targeting specific areas of the home, then read up on our renovation series for the bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchen, and outdoor areas.
Damages are a hassle to deal with, especially if the your home is brand new — it can feel like you didn't get your money's worth, and it's as if your agent cheated you by selling you something advertised as brand new, but it ends up with a few cracks and leaks that you didn't expect for it to have. To prevent this, it's best to be hands-on when you're making a major property purchase.
5. Don't be afraid to ask about fees
When house hunting, it's important to ask about the fees involved: if you're renting a condo, ask if the rent will increase within the next few months. If you're part of a homeowners' association, ask whether or not the association dues are included in the price, and ask again if there are any additional fees that might have not been covered in your previous discussions — you can never go wrong with double-checking.
Keep in mind the tips stated above so that you avoid the unnecessary stress and hassles that come with acquiring a property, especially a brand new one. Selecting your forever home should be meticulously and carefully done — from start to finish, and from the inside out. Be involved and present during the selection process, because dealing with current concerns firsthand will spare you the possible frustrations later on.
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