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  • Writer's pictureThe Nitan Soni Group

Five “Must Have” Features in Your New Home Design

You have been ending your long day scrolling and swiping through hundreds of properties and see nothing out there that piques your interest. You troll around on weekends touring through open houses and visiting model homes, and there’s still nothing that makes you feel at home.

If this sounds familiar, then you may want to consider building a custom home. I am the first to acknowledge that making every decision about every detail is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you have specific vision in mind, this may be your best option.

My wife and I spent three years as renters, as we were not sure where we wanted to be or what kind of home would best fit our family. After lots of discussion and soul searching, we decided we wanted to be in a downtown location, so we focused our search in one of our favorite beach towns, Milton. 

We worked with the very talented draftsman at LANE builders in Lewes to design a 2,700 sq. ft. home with all the conveniences that we wanted. We learned a lot about how we use our home as a family and what spaces would be important in supporting the way we live. 

Being in the real estate profession, I naturally felt it was also important that the home design was a good balance between meeting our personal needs while still maintaining an appeal for future resale. I have worked with hundreds of buyers in my time as a REALTOR and have built a strong sense of the most common features that buyers are looking for in homes. I thought I’d share them with you.

Here is my list of the most in-demand features when building a custom home at the Delaware shore:

1: First-floor Master Bedroom

The average age of folks moving into Sussex County is 55. With that in mind, we felt it important to factor in the need for easy access to bedrooms and bathrooms that do not require a climb up a staircase. We added a large master bedroom, bathroom and walk-in closet to complete the “Master Suite” area all on the first floor. 

2: Flex Room

A Flex Room is a room that can be used for multiple functions – hobbies and crafts, office or storage, recreational or family. No matter what the need, this is a highly requested space. We purposely designed a room that would be primarily used as an office/loft space but included the structural requisites to become a fourth bedroom if needed. 

3: Outdoor Space

People love enjoying outdoor areas for grilling, relaxing or using as an additional eating space. We incorporated an outdoor “courtyard” that would provide both year-round and seasonal use. 

4: Two-car Attached Garage

The average household has 2.4 cars. It is not uncommon for each driver in a household to have their own vehicle, so having an attached garage is an absolute must. 

We have always had a home with a garage, so we never have to worry about scraping snow or slipping on ice on the way to the front door. We gave the garage a little extra room so it can double-up as additional storage if we need it.

5: Vaulted/Cathedral-style Ceilings

We all want the sense of open space but we also don’t want to pay an arm and a leg to heat it! Energy use is a significant portion of our monthly bills so we knew we had to be careful about not going overboard with the openness. 

We chose a compromise of 9-foot ceilings throughout the first floor combined with 8-foot tall entryways to give the impression of height. We did add the feature of vaulted ceilings in select rooms to provide some depth and volume. 

With all these features in mind, we believe we had designed a home that simply wasn’t available on the market – a home that works well for our family and the cycle of life that we are in now.

Since the future is always an unknown, we feel that we’ve also incorporated functionality that will appeal to others in the event we need to move. If you are looking at building a custom home, I strongly encourage you to give serious thought to the considerations that we made to leave yourself with some options down the road.

Nitan Soni

The Nitan Soni Group


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