• "Nice to Have" Features to Consider When Building a New Home

One of the primary benefits of developing or building your own home is obtaining flexibility when it comes to how the structure will be designed and the features it will include.

When you purchase a resale home, you have to find the one with features most aligned with your needs and desires, but when you build, you get to customize the space with your new home wishes. Often, home builders have standard floor plans that serve as the starting point for building your home in a designated community or specified site. You can then choose various features and amenities to include before the construction process starts.

Choices for Customization

Certain features are non-negotiable for many prospective home buyers. You want to have adequate bedrooms, bathrooms, and storage space. Other common must-haves include:

1. Open floor plans

Open floor plans automatically give you more freedom when it comes to your interior design and configuring furniture and appliances. They also add to the illusion of extra space, augment the infiltration of natural light, and increase convenience for family members and visitors as they’re using the space for various activities.

2. A dedicated laundry room

Doing laundry is, by nature, loud and messy – and never-ending. Including a designated space, even a small one, to house your washer and dryer allows you to contain the noise, baskets of dirty laundry, and cleaning supplies. If you have a multi-functional laundry room, it can even double as a mudroom, storage area, gift-wrapping station, or other useful space.

3. Outdoor living spaces

There is always a reason to have at least some type of outdoor space, even if it’s just a deck or covered porch. Whether you want to use the space for growing herbs or flowers, sun-bathing, or enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning, it’s an essential part of your home. Depending on your lifestyle and family structure, you should consider including larger outdoor living spaces, including expansive yards, playsets for grandchildren, courtyards, gazebos, walkways, and other exterior landscapes and hardscapes.

4. Accessible storage

Families of all sizes have stuff, or items they only use periodically. And yet, a lot of these items are necessities when the time comes. Rather than letting boxes, crates or loose items clutter your living spaces, make sure your house contains enough storage space, especially accessible areas. Consider shelves and cabinets that can be reached without a stepladder, pullouts, and lazy Susans.

5. Energy efficient features

Environmentally friendly fixtures and technology are no longer optional if you want to increase your home’s value. Some energy efficient features to include are low-E windows, low-voltage lighting, high-efficiency furnaces and water heaters, to name a few.


Your new home wish list

Once you’ve taken care of the necessities, you can move on to the nice-to-have items and other features to consider when building a new home in Virginia. Here are several increasingly popular options to consider:

1. A fireplace – or two

You can choose to put a fireplace indoors, outdoors, or both places. Interior fireplaces not only have a useful function in providing warmth during the cold season, but they also enhance the elegance of a living or dining room. Outdoor fire pits are a great place for socializing and entertaining, whether your event is classy and sophisticated or casual and family friendly.  

2. Chef’s kitchen

In general, families are increasingly using their kitchen as a dining space as well, so your new home should accommodate both purposes. It’s especially nice to include a large kitchen island, which provides additional counter space, extra storage, and a place for guests to congregate while you are cooking for a dinner party or event. Other features of a chef’s kitchen to include are multiple ovens, a deep sink, warming drawers, a sub-zero refrigerator or freezer, and, of course, plenty of counter space.

3. Luxury bathrooms

A large master bath with a separate tub and shower could probably be considered a non-negotiable item, but your bathroom options are even broader. You may want to consider a big Jacuzzi tub, a shower with a bench, premium waterfall showerheads, shower massage jets, linen closets, and other spa features that increase the comfort and function of your bathroom.

4. Media room

A media, or home theater, room is also a nice addition to a new home. Outfitted with a large flat-screen television, quality 7.1 surround sound system, and comfortable seating, a media room is the perfect setting for casual move nights, viewing the Super Bowl with your friends, hosting a game night, or throwing other social events. 

5. Walk-in closets

Homeowners of all ages are particularly drawn to walk-in closets in the master bedroom, for both status and space. Walk-in closets allow you to keep your clothes, shoes, and personal items more organized, which decreases stress and ensures you keep better inventory of your possessions.


Designing the optimal home

Chances are, you won’t be able to include every nice-to-have feature on your wishlist when building your new home in the Virginia Beach or Chesapeake area. As you consider your choices, think objectively about your lifestyle, your future plans, and your family structure, and then prioritize the features and amenities on your list. During the pre-construction phase, our team at Kroll Residential can also help you review the available options, how much they will cost, and what sort of value they will add to you while you’re living in the home or later down the road if you intend to sell.




 “50 Must-Have Features for Today’s Home Buyers.” Professional Builder blog. Accessed online at https://www.probuilder.com/50-must-have-features-todays-home-buyers

“11 Features Home Buyers Will Pay Extra For.” USA Today. Accessed online at https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2013/04/28/24-7-home-features/2106203/