Building a home that lasts for generations
Friday, 22 March 2019
It's time to build your dream home. But you don't just want it to be your dream home.
You want to create a home your family will cherish for many decades. You want to build a family home that will stay in the family — a place your grandchildren and their grandchildren will call home.
But how do you build a house that will be beloved by your family for many generations?
Here are some tips, ideas, and recommendations for planning and building a house that will become the heart of your family today, and well into the future.
Location, location, location
There's nothing more important than location when it comes to real estate, and even more so when you're building a home that needs to be a desirable place to live for many years.
Even though resale isn't necessarily a concern, obviously you want to build in a neighborhood where home prices are consistently rising. A good school system should also be a factor, as should accessibility and convenience.
A new community would give you more options for selecting a choice piece of property. Buying into an established affluent neighborhood might require some patience, as lots are typically in short supply. In many mature neighborhoods, buyers are actually purchasing existing homes and tearing them down to build.
Regardless of whether you want old or new, urban or somewhat rural, purchasing the property will probably be a substantial investment. Enlisting the services of a seasoned local real estate agent can help you make the right location choice for your family's forever home.
Find an architect who wants to know your story
A true family home should be designed to reflect the personality and values of the family commissioning it. For example, if your mother grew roses or your great grandfather was an academic, a lovely rose garden or study lined with bookshelves will keep their legacy alive for years to come. A customized estate home should tell the family's story, and your architect should work closely with you to ensure your home does.
Consider classic architectural styles and avoid trends
Instead of following the latest architectural trend, think Tudor, Cape Cod, Colonial and Greek Revival. These classic styles have stood the test of time and will continue to do so, while many of the McMansions built in the 1990s look tired and dated now. Your architect can help you add custom features to transform one of these classic styles into your family's legacy estate.
Focus on details
For homes to retain their grandeur and value for multiple generations, they must be well built and feature superb craftsmanship. Beautiful woodwork and marble will still be stunning in 100 years. This doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your personal style, but a well-designed and impeccably built home will provide the perfect backdrop for each generation's choice of décor.
Be budget conscious, but don't skimp
Very few dream homes have ever come in under budget. And while it's important to keep an eye on costs, remember this is a home designed to last for many lifetimes. Investing in quality materials and special features will make the home a source of enjoyment and pride for decades and can be well worth the splurge.
Build for all stages of life
Over the years, family members of all ages could live in the home, from elderly parents to growing families. Your architect can offer suggestions for how the home can accommodate your family at different stages of their lives, such as having some bedrooms on the main level, making sure there's a step-free entrance to the home or even installing an elevator.
Make sure your estate plan reflects your wishes
You are building this home for your family, and you want the home to stay in the family. An estate planning attorney can help create a strategy to ensure this happens and also determine the most tax-advantaged way to pass your home on to your heirs.
Building an estate home for your family is a wonderful gift you can give your descendants. Careful planning, thoughtful design and attention to detail can help you create the house you have imagined— a home where your family will make treasured memories today and well into the future.
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