Home design considerations

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8 things you should look for in a new home

In the excitement of buying a new home, it’s important to put some time aside to really think through the type of living you want for you and your family. Are a you a big entertainer? Do you want seamless flows to the garden? Or will there be the patter of little feet around the house? Knowing your needs and desires can help you narrow down the home design that’s perfect for you.

Here’s the top 8 considerations for the modern home buyer:

  1. Plot size.
    While Kiwis love an outdoor/indoor lifestyle, not everyone is so keen on maintaining big gardens. Do you want a back lawn for kids to play? Or would you prefer a small patio with space for a barbecue? You might even decide apartment living and a balcony with views is best for you.

  2. Single or double level.
    One of the big decisions for a home buyer is whether to go with a single or double-storey home. Double-storey homes don’t just give you more space, there’s more privacy, too. You can easily separate private spaces - keeping bedrooms upstairs and living and entertaining downstairs. Of course, a double-storey house means stairs and there are safety considerations for young children and knee considerations for older adults! A single level home is easier to maintain and clean, but sometimes it might mean sacrificing garden space to get a decent footprint.
  3. Number of bedrooms.
    New Zealand homes, especially in the larger cities, have been getting smaller. Down from an average of 200 sq metres in 2010 to 156 sq metres in 2019. Better use of space and clever design has meant homes still feel spacious and it’s still possible to find 4 bedrooms in these smaller homes. The most popular choice is 3 bedrooms and according to the 2018 census, 39% of homes in the Auckland region had 3 bedrooms compared to 24.2% with 4 bedrooms. These days the master bedroom is expected to have an ensuite and fitted wardrobes are standard for all bedrooms. One of the benefits of buying new is that these design expectations have been considered and you’re more likely to get an ensuite and fitted wardrobe.

  4. Open plan.
    Our indoor/outdoor lifestyle means Kiwis want to have a great flow through their home. Sightlines from the kitchen to the garden and lounge are important – especially when you’ve young children to keep an eye on. Bringing the outdoors in, feeling in touch with nature and enjoying expansive living is what many families look for in a new home. Having quiet areas is also important, a snug or peaceful reading area is great for time out and relaxed living.
  5. Smart homes.
    Our homes are getting smarter by the day. Being able to control things from your mobile or by voice. Many homes are now pre-wired to make smart connections easier avoiding unsightly wires for speakers, television cables and security cameras. Things are evolving so fast in this area, so it’s equally smart to plan for the future.
  6. Heating.
    Modern homes are far warmer and drier than older houses. They are fully insulated, have double glazing and are designed to make the most of natural light and the sun’s warmth. It’s an important factor to consider when purchasing your home.
  7. Kitchens.
    The kitchen is still the favourite place to gather and having that wide benchtop for friends and family to sit around is important for many kiwi families. The trend is towards a more seamless look with clean lines and no handles. Hidden appliances, like dish drawers, also help achieve a clutter-free look. Marble and wood finishes are becoming increasingly popular, adding a pop of colour is easily achievable.

  8. Exteriors.
    The exterior cladding of your home is the first thing people see, so picking an option or a mix of options that are attractive and long-lasting is important. Think about maintenance – New Zealand’s climate is harsh, particularly the sun.  So, while some black-stained timber may look good – they can fade quite rapidly and need re-staining in a few years.  Fletcher Living homes are backed by a 10-year builder’s warranty – so you know our exteriors will look good for many years to come.

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