The home we live in is serving our needs very well right now. However, it is not our dream home; at least not yet. We have the opportunity to make this home our dream home or search for another home to fill that spot. Who knows? It may be a remodeled home, a home we build or one we walk into in and fall in love with. There are so many ways to get there.
The key thing is defining where “there” is or more specifically – defining your “dream home” and exactly what that means to you. Each of us have a different set of priorities and values so no two dream homes are going to be alike.
Home is more than a place, it is also a feeling. It’s more than just a place to shelter us. If you look at the money, time and effort we spend on homes, it is obvious they are important to us.
Like everything else we do that is important to us, figuring out what we want in our dream home takes some thought and some work. Its not hard work, just the kind of work that helps you examine your own priorities and values. Sometimes we are fortunate enough to know someone who is very good at helping us target this kind of information and help us pull it out of our head and heart. More often, though, it’s going through the process and fine tuning it as we think of additional points.
I’ve often found that when it comes to homes, a lot of us think first about the home’s physical attributes – where it is located, how big it is, how many rooms it has and how it looks. Thinking of the next layer of attributes can really help align our home with our dreams. This is the part where you think of your life and how your home plays a role in your life. How do you want your home to make you feel – emotionally and physically? I recently walked into a beautiful home which had a very strong smell, likely from some finish or paint. Unfortunately, it gave me an instant headache. For me, that beautiful home could not work since it physically affected me in a way not consistent with my priority of health and wellness.
Perhaps carefree, low maintenance living is important to you, so you don’t need to spend a lot of time and effort on your home. Once you’ve established that value is key to you, then you can dig in and determine what attributes of a home are important to make your home carefree and low maintenance. There are many options and working with a home professional who can navigate the many choices is a must. Working with a home professional who understands your priorities and how to link them to the attributes of a home can be a path to your dream home.
The promise of your home is the benefits it provides you and other who live in it. The top 3 benefits I want from my home are health, safety and comfort. After that – time, ease, money and convenience. I have found that most people align with these seven benefits expected from our homes. Interestingly enough, they match up to the benefits of a green home.
How do you get to your dream home?
The secret is connecting what you want in your home with the ways to get there. For example, a healthier home is important to you. Do you have a specific health issue to be addressed or just in general want a healthier home? Indoor air quality is a one of the best areas to address for a healthier home. For both an existing home being redecorated or remodeled or a newly built home, you can choose products that are less toxic, such as low or no VOC paints. You can choose hard floors, rather than carpet. You can choose mechanical or natural ventilation. There are lots of ways to create a healthier home once you’ve identified the goal.
As homeowners, residents and consumers, we frequently assume that houses are built to meet our needs and have our best interests at heart. We do this with products too. Yet often, these homes and the products in them do not met our needs and wants. It may just be the homes and products are too generic for our priorities. It is important to understand your priorities so that your home fits your needs.
You can work with a builder, even a builder that builds hundreds of homes, as long as you have a roadmap and understand what you want. If you haven’t set your own priorities, when you talk with a builder, you could end up just jumping into all of the decisions, selections and choices without understanding HOW they accomplish your goals and dreams. If this happens, your dreams may never get to a part of the plan. You end up following what is available, rather than leading with your priorities.
Plan your dream home and give the plans and priorities to your designer, remodeler or builder to work with you to translate your plan and priorities into actionable items. That action is what matters – the materials chosen and the practices followed. In reality, any size, type, shape and cost bracket of a home can be a green home. It simply comes down to choices – of design, systems, fixtures and finishes and the installation of each – all the choices that already need to be made in a home build or remodel. Choosing differently allows you to improve the home, easily. Yes, more attention to detail is needed and that means quality. In my book, quality rules and something I always want. A quality-built home with quality components adds up to a home which performs better, lasts longer and requires less maintenance. Who doesn’t want a more carefree life where taking care of our homes does not require as much time and work?
Once you have decided to build or remodel green, ask your builder or home pro to help you identify financial tools to help you get the home you dream of. Financial tools include energy-efficient loans, rebates and incentives on equipment, insulation, windows and more. To find rebates, incentives and programs available in your community and your state, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency® – dsireusa.org.
To learn more about how to get your own dream and green home, read more and listen to the podcast
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Get Marla’s award winning book Living Green Effortlessly: Simple Choices for a Better Home, now available on Kindle!
Thank you and have a blessed day.