14 September 2016 How to create the winning floor plan As a real estate agent, I’m always in other people’s homes – reviewing for listing and potential sale, selling and auctioning or just having a sticky-beak like we all do. What never ceases to surprise me is how some properties will sell for over and above their price range expectation, whilst others will sometimes struggle to sell at all –they simply don’t meet what buyers are looking for. As the heat of the property market cools down for Winter, it’s probably the right time to consider how you can future-proof your property purchase. I’m not talking about areas or streets, interior design or make-overs – something more fundamental than that. Did you realise that it’s selecting the right floor plan that can underpin your strongest opportunity to increase property value and buyer appeal in years to come? Styles, trends and fashions will come and go, however it’s getting the basic floor plan right that’s important, and this applies equally when you are renovating an existing property or selecting a property to purchase. Here are some important floor plan considerations which could keep your property up the top of the buyer wish list: 1. Good natural lighting A north-west aspect will ensure a nice, bright and sunny outlook and assist managing those winter chills. However, beware as too much glass can increase summer temperatures and energy costs. 2. Multiple bathrooms A three bedroom family home ideally commands two bathrooms – one may be an en-suite off the master bedroom. Many buyers will expect a large family bathroom and potentially, a separate water closet or powder room. 3. Multi zones Kids are staying at home longer and homes need to be flexible to provide areas for parents and kids to co-exist. These areas need to be flexible to adapt as the family changes and children become older. 4. Open plan living spaces Gone are the days of the formal dining room. Today, we come together over food and meal times so the kitchen becomes a place of social engagement and needs to integrate easily with open living spaces. 5. Kitchen design Functionality together with a mix of casual dining and ample storage, cooking and food preparation areas are all essential ingredients in a winning floor plan for a ‘well-thought out’ family home. 6. The Laundry It may not be the sexiest room in the home but together with the kitchen, it’s the ‘operational hub’ of the house and a well-designed laundry is essential. 7. Alfresco living We all appreciate access to an outdoor space, fresh air and a place to relax, socialise and enjoy a garden outlook therefore; having an outdoor dining space is a valuable addition to any floor plan. 8. Wardrobe and storage Ample and creative storage solutions which utilise wall cavities, ceilings or under floor will add immediate value to your property. 9. Off-street parking In many metropolitan areas, off street parking is becoming a premium. Multi-dwelling developments put extra parking pressure on our residential streets so car parking for one or two cars is a valuable feature. 10. Guest bedrooms The ability to accommodate visiting friends and family is always an added bonus, particularly for home owners from abroad. Incorporating as many of these features into your floor plan should help to ensure that your home appeals to the widest buyer group as possible, so that when it comes time to sell, you have a better chance of a successful sale.