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Six Steps To A Second Home

In a lot of ways, having a second home is like having your own vacation waiting for you whenever you have the time to go. It could be your very own cabin or cottage or beach house! Instead of organizing a major trip that requires you to take time off of work, get the kids out of school, and find a flight and hotel package; you could simply go away for the weekend to your second home!

Everyone needs a special place to get away to sometimes. It may only be a few miles out of town or it could be several hours depending on what you are running away from. Sometimes it is absolutely necessary to escape the bustle of a busy city, rush-hour traffic, or the pressures of everyday life. Other times we just need that special time side aside to disappear to our own personal sanctuary where serenity can be found and our thoughts can be heard.

A second home can be a vacation to a place where stars dance on the lake, sunsets fade over mountains, or the smell of fresh air grabs hold of your lungs through fields of trees and endless water. Whatever your ideal getaway is, a second home can make it apart of your life for whenever you need an escape. However, there are several things that need to be considered before you have your dream home at hand.

Step 1) Do your homework

  • Research your options. It’s a good idea to start searching through magazine photos that inspire you.
  • Try to incorporate all of your ideas and needs into a functional, comfortable home.
  • Ask yourself question related to the site and your lifestyle. For example, is their a particular view you would like to take advantage of? Do you want an outdoor tub or an indoor fireplace? Will children be accompanying you to this house?
  • Take current trends into consideration. It’s a safe bet to stick with basic colors and building materials. You want your house to stay in style.
  • What type of floor plan suits your needs best? An open floor plan or a more intimate one? Maybe you are interested in a master suite, large kitchens or fun extras like saunas and built in beverage bars.

Step 2) Be Your Own Builder

It’s a great idea for you to help out during the construction of your second home. Not only with you get a sense of pride, but it will also save you some money. You will appreciate your new home even more when your own sweat went into building it. However, it is recommended that you know what you are doing if you do plan to help out. Taking on tasks that you aren't familiar with may end up costing you more money if you need to have someone come in and fix it. For this reason, it is wise to leave the stuff that you are unfamiliar with to the professionals.

Step 3) Location

What sounds better to you? A dream house located on a beautiful oceanfront, or a dream house built in the middle of a swamp? I think I know the answer to that question and that brings me to my next step which requires you to carefully choose the location of your second home. A home is only as wonderful as the grounds on which it is built. In order to take full advantage of your getaway spot, the floor plan that you choose should complement where the house is going to be built. Take the time to carefully select the best location, taking full advantage of the views and surroundings. Furthermore, take into account how far away from your first home you would like your second home to be.

Step 4) Downsize

Some of us dream bigger than others. Some of us want a second home just a large, if not larger, than our first home. But honestly, how does that make any sense? Unless you plan to spend just as much time at your second home that you spend at your first home, it wouldn’t make sense to invest so much money into a vacation home. Think about all the maintenance that a big home requires. Not to mention all the household items, such as a lawnmower, that you would need duplicates of. Wouldn’t it make more sense to modify your dream design and downsize according to your budget. This way you could put any savings from downsizing the design into upgrading finishes or incorporating walls of windows to capture breathtaking views.

Step 5) “Future-Proof”

Like any new construction, it’s always a good idea to “future-proof.” Keep some flexibility available for design changes through the years. For example, you may want to turn an unfinished room into a guest suite down the road. Guest rooms are great for when your children bring their spouses and children over to stay. Another idea would be to position the home on the lot that would allow for a later addition if the budget is tight now. Which ever way in which you plan for the future, the idea is to simply keep this vacation house enjoyable and suitable for years to come. If that means preparing for more people than so be it!

Step 6) Love your Design

If you have gone so far as to pick out the perfect location for your home and saved up enough money to cover the building costs then the least you could do is make sure the design warrants the effort. Design is everything when it comes to the enjoyment of the internal settings of your dream home. You need to keep in mind that an ugly home will only get uglier with age. It just wouldn’t make sense for you to disregard the design of your dream house when its whole intention it to draw you to it weekend after weekend. Take into account the people that will be staying there, what you will be doing while you’re there and what the most desired atmosphere is. Lastly, be sure to incorporate the outside settings into your design for the ultimate experience.

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