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7 Things to Look for in Your Next Home

May 4, 2020

After spending weeks at home, have you had a change of heart about where you live? Have you begun to consider finding a place that better fits your current lifestyle—as well as into the future? While you’re pondering this move, make a list of what to look for in your next home, so you can be sure this next investment is the right one.

#1. A flex room

Without a doubt, the most frequent “must-have” we’re hearing from homebuyers is a flex room. Some people have realized the critical importance of a dedicated home office. Trying to work in the midst of the main living area—like on the dining room table or sofa—just isn’t conducive to productivity. If you’re one of the many people who have discovered the value of working from home, you might see yourself doing this more often. Even if the kids have returned to school, you still need a workspace that can be uninterrupted, where you can shut the door and tune out the non-working world.

A flex room can also be used as a homework zone, a game room, hobby studio, exercise space, guest room, or other need you have identified. You will never regret choosing a floor plan with an extra room!

Norfolk Homes has designed a number of floor plans that offer flex space. The Briarhaven III, The Canterbury, The Chesterfield, The Hartland, The Kettering, The Nottingham, and The Yorkshire are just a few examples.

#2. A large pantry

At some point in recent weeks, you’ve probably stocked up on certain items as they were available. Do you have enough storage space for everything?

This mad dash for toilet paper, cleaning products, and non-perishables has put a storage strain on many households. The next home most definitely needs a bigger pantry! Picture a walk-in pantry where you have room for extras as well as the oversized bundles. You can feel fully prepared, organized, and relaxed that everything you need is easily within reach.

#3. Upgraded appliances

How much have you yearned for a new refrigerator or maybe a gas stovetop combined with a dual wall oven? Possibly, you’re looking for appliances that include the latest features—”smart” and otherwise—and are more energy-efficient. The technology advances have led to innovations you shouldn’t overlook. Did you know that French door look you love is available on a wall oven?

Think about how much you’re going to use your appliances and then decide what you should invest in the features you covet.

#4. Finished basement

A home with a finished basement offers more living space to do with as you please—and do it in comfort! You can convert it to a second family room or a game room, a place where you can send the noisy hordes and keep their trail of “stuff” away from the main living area. 

A finished basement can accommodate an additional bedroom. If it has a full bathroom, your basement can become an extra suite, the perfect living space for your teenager, college student, or guests.

In most finished basements, you still have plenty of storage in addition to the living space.

#5. Smart home technology

Your next home should be ready to handle the growing number of smart devices you’ll be bringing (and adding). That should start with structured wiring, which means your home is hard-wired with upgraded cabling (e.g., CAT-6, quad shield coaxial). You’ll end up with a stronger, more reliable network that supports multiple computer and mobile devices, video streaming and gaming throughout your home. Look for a home that is pre-wired this way and it will also enable you to easily add a wireless access point (WAP) to boost your signal strength even more.

Smart home automation in your next home could feature a smart security system, garage door opener, video doorbell, lights, thermostat, and the aforementioned appliances. If you’re thinking of bringing more technology to your home, be sure you choose one that is ready to accommodate it all.

#6. Large kitchen islands with breakfast bar

The kitchen is the hub of the home, so make sure your next one steps up and delivers all the features you’ll come to rely on. A center island adds more than just a valuable workspace to this functional area. When that kitchen island includes an overhang, you suddenly have a place for casual snacks and meals, an impromptu desk or homework station to use while you’re preparing a meal. It also becomes a serving area when you’re entertaining people in your open floor plan home (see #7).

Norfolk Homes incorporates a 12-inch overhang on our breakfast bars so you can comfortably sit there without banging your knees against the cabinet below.

#7. Open floor plan

The open concept in home designs seamlessly blends the kitchen, dining area, and living/family room into one big living space. This layout has been widely embraced by homebuyers because it literally breaks down the walls that separate a family’s activity. You can still be part of the action in the living room while making dinner. The open floor plan is a desirable design for anyone who likes to entertain because there’s more space for people to move around without leaving the room.

A home with an open floor plan appears more spacious and allows the natural light to flow through the entire area. You have the added benefit of flexible room design. Without walls creating dividers, you can use your furniture to define the functional spaces, like a reading nook in a corner.

Take careful inventory of what you want in your new home. It’s a big commitment so evaluate all of your options before buying a new home. As a local homebuilder in the Greater Ann Arbor region, Norfolk Homes welcomes the opportunity to be part of your plans. See the communities and floor plans we have, or talk to us about building a home on your land. We currently have a great selection of brand new, move-in ready homes and townhomes for sale, starting in the mid-$200,000s. Take a virtual tour of our homes or contact us to schedule a time to discuss your options.

It was great meeting with the two of you the other day. We had a blast picking out our options and are really excited to move forward on our home.

Byran & Rebecca