Many homeowners face the reality of having a home that's too large for their needs. Maybe the kids have left or you've realized you're only using part of your home and want something a little cozier.
Regardless of the reasoning, downsizing is a popular option that can save money and reduce the time/effort that goes into maintaining unused space. Finding the best floor plan when downsizing takes some effort, but these tips will help you identify exactly what you need.
1. Create a Needs and Wants List
The first step to picking any floor plan, downsizing or otherwise, is to create a needs and wants list. Here is a handy home design checklist to help you narrow your focus. What do you absolutely need from your new home? For example, some people need an office space in order to work from home while others may opt for a large kitchen.
Wants are those 'love to have' aspects of a home you would like to see in a floor plan but aren't necessarily needed. This might include certain rooms or features that you can live without but would prefer not to.
By creating a needs and wants list, not only will it help you focus on your most pressing needs when speaking with your homebuilder and designing your floor plan; you'll also have an easier time setting a budget and seeing where you can splurge with your wants list.
2. Does it Fit Within Your Budget?
For most, determining a budget maybe their biggest consideration. Ideally, you’ll fit all your needs and wants into the new floor plan but if you've met with your financial advisor to discuss your current financial situation; you'll know exactly where you stand budget-wise and what your options are.
A quality home builder will try to accommodate to your budget and build the home of your dreams. If downsizing, the home builder should be able to include most of the items you've identified on your Needs and Wants List.
3. Match the Design With Your Lifestyle
Now's the time to design your home so that it includes all your preferences. Do you want a traditional floor plan that uses walls to separate each room, or do you prefer a modern, open concept floorplan? Many people prefer an open concept as it can make even a smaller space feel large and open.
Once you've decided on the general layout of the home and have a specific wants and needs list in hand, you can begin to envision what the home will look like to see if anything needs to be reconsidered.
4. Consider Space for Storage
Most people who are downsizing homes are also looking to downsize their belongings, including furniture and other heavy/bulky items. Others may have a lot of items and attempt to hang onto most/all of it. Regardless of the category you fall into, considering your storage needs is essential when choosing a floor plan.
It's a great idea to minimize your belongings and rid yourself of unneeded items before moving into a new home as it gives you a better sense of what your storage requirements are. When thinking of storage, areas to consider in your new home can include pantries and closets as well as larger spaces like under stair storage, the attic and/or basement. Don't underestimate your storage needs when downsizing as you have the opportunity to build in the storage options you want so you can keep your new home organized.
5. Don't Forget About the Windows!
One of the best ways to make a room feel large is through proper window placement. It allows you to see the outside world and have pleasant, natural light flood your home.
Most rooms should have two windows at opposing ends. This is especially true for larger rooms or common areas where you spend most of your time. High windows give you extra privacy along with the benefit of natural light, but you may want to have a window with a lower vantage point to see outside.
Having one window is perfectly fine for other rooms. Just make sure the window size allows for enough natural light in the space.
6. Is Your Backyard Space Important to You?
When preparing to downsize and thinking about what elements are most important to you, don’t forget about your outside space. A porch or deck may be an essential piece for the BBQ enthusiasts of the world or the summer loungers. A comfortable and pleasant place to enjoy the weather is important to many people, so look into the design options when considering these features for your new home.
Downsizing is a great way to save money and make sure your home feels cozy again. When you have a good sense of what your needs and wants are in a new home, it's much easier to work together with your home builder to find the perfect floor plan. That way, you'll end up with a beautiful and functional new home that exceeds your expectations!