Paul and I built our first NDI in 2003. We loved that home for so many reasons but we also longed for a more “metropolitan” lifestyle. We were young. We liked to be out and about. We didn’t have kids. Enough said right?
We actually started thinking about moving in 2006. And we seriously considered downtown DC. Which, when I look back, is fairly comical. Because at the time, both of us worked 30 miles outside of DC. Don’t worry – that didn’t last long. We quickly realized our easy 23 mile, 25 minute commute would be no longer.
So we reigned it in a bit. And started to think about Falls Church City. It was inside the beltway but not “too” far inside. It was growing and it was walk-able. Given the right location, we could walk out our front door and be somewhere.
So in the fall of 2006, we listed our first NDI home. We narrowed down the area we would consider living (I think it was 2 square blocks). And we crossed every finger. And every toe.
In February of 2007, we got an offer on our home. A great offer. From a great family. And the next week, a “lot” came on the market on one of our targeted street.
Things happen for a reason.
We sold the house, got the lot and found a rental in a matter of weeks. And as we pressed on to build in our dream location, I soon realized, this move was much more than just location.
It was about realizing what we really wanted in a home.
I can’t say this with big enough kid-gloves – I’ve yet to talk to anyone (including builders who have built their own homes) who say there isn’t something they wished they had done differently in their home. If they could “only do it again,” they would.
This may be a nauseating thought if you’re in the middle of building a new home but it should also be comforting in a way. We work with clients all. the. time. who are unsure of their decisions and at times, paralyzed by them. I get it. But on the flip-side, if a builder can’t get every decision 100%, how can anyone?
There are 3 things I wish I had in my first NDI home that ended up being on the non-negotiable list for the 2nd.
1. Large Butler’s Pantry
We love to entertain and having the extra space for serving and storing is essential. I also just love how it looks.
2. Enclosed commode in master bath.
It felt a little weird showing a picture of this (so I’m not!) but we love the privacy of the enclose commode. We didn’t have this in our first house – a must have in my opinion!
3. Large kitchen island.
Use the space you have and make the kitchen island as big as you can. This is the place — the place — everyone will hang out. Even if you put the food in another room, they will still congregate here. This is the island at our old house…
A fine sized island. Until you get six or eight people hanging around. And then try and prepare food while everyone is standing around the island. Not easy.
So when we designed our current home, we decided to go bigger.
Do you see all of the space around the island? Very intentional. But the island only had seating for two people. So six years after we moved in, we decided to do a little remodeling.
And I love love love my kitchen now.
So am I saying everyone just needs to be build two homes and they’ll be good? That would be fun (HA!) but no, that isn’t why I’m telling you all of this. I’m telling you this because I hate to see a client agonize over their decisions. Decisions that while important, will almost always yield the right result.
So don’t stress! Your home is going to awesome! But also takes notes, you never know when you might be inclined to do it again.
Dream big. Build Smart.