Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors Philadelphia realtors real estate homes for sale

Janis Peterson, GRI, Realtor®

Philadelphia Main Line Homes and Real Estate

Tel:  (610) 642-3744

Fax: (610) 658-0267


Subject: How to Identify a Good Floor Plan for Your Family

What makes a floor plan good? Ideally, it should reflect a family's lifestyle by allowing residents easy and livable routes into, around and out of the house. A floor plan also takes in the arrangement of rooms and how they relate to each other as well as public versus private space. What may be livable to one family may drive another to sell.

To help you identify a good floor plan for your family, list the rooms you're currently using and imagine how your family might evolve over time. Think through a typical day's activities with children at all stages-from infancy (crying at night) to teenagers (loud music). Consider your preference for a first floor master bedroom or for one that's located upstairs with the other bedrooms. Also, think about how often you would use a living room. Formal living rooms are not as popular as they once were. Today's informal entertaining has made large family rooms the focal point of many newly built homes. If you anticipate caring for an elderly parent or retiring in the house yourself, a single story, rather than a multi-story, home may be the best choice. Finally, review your needs regarding a basement, attic, garage, and outdoor living.

Now you're ready to house hunt. To see if a home you're viewing has a floor plan that measures up, ask yourself:

1. In general, does the home meet or come close to our ideal floor plan?

2. Does the main entrance open directly onto living space or does a foyer provide some privacy as well as a coat closet. A foyer will also act as a weather buffer-keeping the cold, rain, and wind where it belongs, outside.

3. Is the front door easily accessed from the kitchen? Trips between the kitchen and the front door can be frequent.

4. Does the family entrance, usually a side or back door, lead directly into the kitchen? Ideally, the kitchen will be near the garage to "minimize the haul length of groceries," as one architect put it. And the pathway between the vehicle being unloaded and the kitchen should be sheltered from the weather. A "mud room" or a laundry room between the family entrance and the kitchen helps segregate the dirt and muck, transported on shoes and boots, from the living space.

5. Does the route to the living room terminate with an enclosed room or does it continue as a "hallway" through and out to more rooms? Dead-end living rooms protect from interruptions when entertaining or relaxing with a book.

6. How are the rooms arranged? Is any room, aside from the dining room, accessible only through another room? For instance, is a bedroom accessible only from a bathroom? For obvious reasons, this arrangement can be inconvenient.

7. Are the outside living areas, such as a patio, terrace or deck, easily accessed from the house? Family and guests should be able to travel with ease between indoor and outdoor areas.

By taking the time to assess your family's current and anticipated lifestyle and to determine the most efficient floor plan improves the likelihood of ending up with a home you can enjoy for a lifetime.

"Real Service in Real Estate." For a personal consultation on buying or selling real estate, Janis Peterson, GRI, Realtor® can be reached at (610) 642-3744, e-mail: Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors® is an independently owned and operated member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.

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