There are occasions where a client will talk about a "forever home". When a Seller brings up the topic, it is usually when they have built a home that they thought they were going to stay in for quite some time, but circumstances have changed. When a Buyer brings up the topic, it is usually looking into the future, "out there" somwhere and it represents an ideal. Either way there is a connotation that it is the "dream" home, where everything one has ever desired in a home exists and thus reflects a family or person's unique living style and design features.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the average American moves once every 7 years which equates to the possibility of 10 moves over most people's lifetimes. The definition of "forever" is: without ever ending; eternally; continually; always: Thus the concept of a "forever home" literally is an oxymoron; as it is a rare occurence. As a professional Realtor it is wise counsel to recommend that people always consider the future market when purchasing, building, and renovating.
Dominique Browning, the former editor-in-chief of the House & Garden magazise was interviewed in the June 2011 issue of the Realtor magazine where she shared some of the pitfalls of the "forever home". The link to the article entitled "The Next Chapter" by Barbara Ballinger: http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/last-word/article/2011/06/dominique-browning-next-chapter
A key strategy is to avoid being too trendy. An example that comes to mind is installing a bowl as a sink on a cabinet in the bathroom. This was a design feature that had a short life span. The bowl is difficult to keep clean and left very little counter space.
Second Browning recommends avoiding a floor plan and the creation of spaces that are too unique. By making the structure follow classic design principles, then one can update the decor more easily and at less cost by use of paint color, wall hangings, pillows, rugs, and the like.
Finally she says to plan for the every day and not for a once in awhile event or even those few times per year entertaining. Guest room space is expesive real estate when one can easily put up the occasional guest at a local hotel. Holiday entertaining for 20 probably happens only on special occasions. Most home owners don't have a daily need for 2 kitchen sinks and a formal dining room.
Karen Briscoe and Lizzy Conroy at HBC Group at Keller Williams are available to help people in transition with their real estate needs, whether selling or buying a home, or both! The group of active and experienced Realtors in Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland, and Washington, DC market place consider it an honor to improve and impact lives. Please contact via the means most convenient for you: www.HBCGroupKW.com, 703-734-0192, Homes@HBCGroupKW.com