Creating Your Perfect Retirement Haven: Tips for Designing Your Dream Home

Congratulations! You’re officially retired. Are you ready to sell your current home and move somewhere else? Have you considered the option of building your next home to age in place? Designing your dream home from scratch is an exciting accomplishment. Before diving right in, there are a few things to think about first, such as determining your budget, finding a desirable location, selecting a floor plan, choosing the style of home, and lastly, picking out the features you’ve dreamed of having. To make your dream retirement home a reality, follow these helpful tips and tricks below.

Determine Your Budget

The first step to building a home is to take a look at your financial standing. Be sure to talk with your financial advisor for guidance. They’ll help you navigate different options and walk through everything you need to know when it comes to balancing your finances. You’ll need to determine how much mortgage you can afford before jumping right into designing your floor plan. This will allow you to be smart and not invest all of your retirement savings into the construction. Once you have a budget in place to comfortably put towards building your home, the next step is to find the location best suited for you and your partner.

Find a Location

One of the many benefits of retiring is you can move anywhere you wish. Are you a snowbird? If you plan to escape the cold winter months, start searching for properties for sale down south. Have you dreamed about living near a mountain like Mount St. Helens with breathtaking views and historic attractions? Then Vancouver may be the place for you. No matter where you decide, start narrowing down your options based on location to and from grocery stores, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other shopping centers you plan to visit often. Although it may not be a big concern if you have a long drive to these places now, someday it might be more of a priority for you and your partner. Do you wish to live in a neighborhood? If so, utilize an online real estate resource to help you find the perfect place to build your retirement home. Once you have the location and put down an offer, it’s time to select a floor plan that you can enjoy your retirement in. 

Select a Floor Plan

If this is going to be your forever home, there are a few things you need to think about for aging in place. First, when looking for the perfect floor plan, you need to make sure there’s plenty of open space. Having small and cluttered rooms will make it harder for you to move around someday. You should also throw away any two-story floor plan ideas as well. Avoiding stairs as much as possible is crucial. You should also consider a no-step entrance. A front porch may be aesthetically pleasing, but you don’t want to have to worry about installing a chair lift or wheelchair ramp down the road. You never know what may happen, and if you or your partner end up needing a wheelchair to get around, it will be a headache having to worry about entering and exiting your home. Because of this, you should think about widening the hallways and doorways. Doorways should be at least 32 inches wide. 

To ensure your home is built professionally, you’ll want to find a reliable, quality, and dedicated company that offers a wide range of custom floor plans. Having a dedicated team that will work with you to find the right floor plan that suits your needs and builds the home correctly is crucial. 

Choose Your Style

Once you have a floor plan, it’s time to choose your home’s style. Start by finding interior design inspiration to spark ideas. Search the internet, and magazines, or watch the latest flips on HGTV. List things you like and take notes to help you stay organized. The best way to figure out what kind of style you want the interior of your new home to be is by assessing your current home. Do you like the feel of it? Do you see your new home looking the same? If the answer is no, you have some work to do. Start simple if you’re not set on picking a specific interior design style. What color paint do you like? Are you looking for a cozy space or a more modern vibe? The best part about building a home is you can customize it just the way you want. You’re starting from scratch so make sure you take time when choosing the right style.

Pick Out Your Dream Features

Choosing the features you want to add is one of the most exciting parts of building a custom home. Because this will be your forever home, don’t stray away from getting exactly what you want, such as a walk-in closet, an aesthetic laundry room, a 2-car garage, or automatic door openers. Since you’re planning on aging in place, there are a few crucial features you should add to your home. First, you’ll want to install a walk-in shower with grab bars available just in case. Don’t underestimate lighting. Put as much recess lighting as possible, so the home is well-lit. This will prevent any accidents and ensure the environment is safe. In the kitchen, consider having lower cabinets and countertops that are easy to access. If you or your partner need a wheelchair-accessible space in the possible future, these will come in handy. Lastly, the flooring is one of the most important features to choose from. A few non-slip flooring options that can help minimize the risk of falling are low-pile carpet, slip-resistant vinyl, or ceramic tile. You may not need these features now, but it’s important to think about the future and have these options just in case. 

If you’re looking for help with building a custom home, call Urban Northwest Homes at (360) 823-2680 or email to get in touch today. It’s our goal to help make your dream retirement home a reality.