First things first, when choosing a house plan you must first find the land that you will be building on. Not all designs will look right or even fit on certain lots, so in order to ensure that your dream home will be a good fit for your lot, you must first purchase the land on which you will be building.

When purchasing the lot, you have several things to consider.

Location – As the real estate agents say – “location, location, location”. Whenever you are dealing with Real Estate, location is a very important factor in deciding for or against a particular lot. You will of course want a lot that is within a reasonable distance from your place of business. If you have children or plan to, you will want to research the schools as well. Also, you will want to make sure that the land that you are investing in is going to rise in value. Investing in land in an area with upward growth potential is a great way to ensure the value of your property will rise.

Budget – Your lot must fit within the budget you have set for yourself. You must also take into consideration whether you are purchasing “raw land” or whether the lot has already been prepped for building. A piece of property can initially seem like a bargain until you later find out that a lot needs to be done before you can get a permit to build.

Community – You want to choose a community that has zoning laws that allow you to build the type of home you are planning on. Some communities have homeowners associations that may need to first approve any improvements you want to make on your land. If this bothers you, you may want to seek out a lot that is not under the jurisdiction of such associations.

Once you have purchased the land that you plan to build on, you are ready to select a house plan for your dream home. If you are looking to purchase a pre-made home plan, you may have to make some small compromises as your ideas may not fit into what is available. Another alternative is to purchase a pre-made house plan and later have it modified to suit your particular needs and tastes by an architect. Do know that this will not be without a rather sizable expense, however, it may still be more cost-effective than if you were to have a plan built from scratch.

When choosing a house plan, you will want to keep in mind several key points…

Your Families Needs – If you have children, you will have additional considerations than singes or retired people. You will need to know how many bedrooms and bathrooms your family requires. Do you need a playroom for your children? Do you or your partner need a home office room? Now is the time to think about the future and the upcoming needs of your family. When in doubt, build bigger. Nothing could be worse than building the home of your dreams only to find ten years later that it no longer is suitable for your growing family. Talk with your partner and decide now what your family needs may be and plan accordingly.

Building Code – As with anything, you can expect to face a significant amount of red tape as you plan to build your dream home. You need to talk with your contractor and make sure that the house plan that you choose will not conflict with your local zoning laws and homeowners association rules and regulations.

Budget – You should know by now how much house you can afford. Don’t sway from the initial budget that you have set for yourself. There is a wide selection of unique and architecturally stunning house plans within every size range.

Style – You probably already have in mind the style of home that you want. If not, browse through some pre-made house plans to get an idea of what type of style you and your partner like the best. Try to picture the different styles on your lot. Does it look like a good fit?

As you can see, choosing a house plan for your dream home is a fun, but serious matter. Try to plan ahead at all times and think about the future. It takes a lot of work before you even break ground, but in the end, it will all pay off when you are left with your own dream home.