With house prices dropping, the property market is in serious decline. The slump is expected to continue further and this will lead to a shortfall in available homes to buy as people with negative equity will be loath to sell unless they absolutely have to. Renting isn't a great deal cheaper than buying either and the only property owners who can afford to keep renting out their properties are those that are wealthy enough already to ride out the storm.
With this in mind, people still need a roof over their heads and are seeking alternatives. Building your own home can work out cheaper than buying new with the added benefit that you get to decide on the specifications of the completed look rather than the compromise you have to make when buying someone else's house. You have a choice on size, location, layout and, to a degree, costs. With a 3D floor plan you can even see how the finished property will look and this is where you get chance to move walls and windows at no cost.
There is also a choice of finding somewhere a little rundown and renovating it although these properties are few and far between these days, you could buy a property at auction where you will get them a lot cheaper than the full market price (and given the amount of repossessions these days it's well worth looking into). Or you could find something that looks nothing like a home but, if you have vision, then it could turn into the home of your dreams.
Simon and his partner Jill had been looking for their dream home for about six months when they happened upon a run-down old barn in the middle of the Suffolk countryside. There wasn't much more to it than four walls but these walls were of beautiful, solid old local stone and standing n the broken door way of this barn the couple had true vision of just what could be.
They visited the site a couple of times before they made their minds up. They looked at what was around them and discovered some of the most beautiful scenery that this county had to offer. They worked out how much room they needed and in true womanly fashion, Jill worked out how she wanted the kitchen to overlook the fields at the back of the barn so that she could look out of the window and watch the sunset.
After a few months of speculation and checking out the local amenities and plans for surrounding area, they made an application to buy the barn. This went through relatively smoothly and soon they had installed a caravan on site so that they could oversee works on the house. Simon and Jill did the sensible thing and visited an architect to set down some plans in full colour glory so that they could show the council when they were seeking planning permission.
To make sure they had everything just the way they wanted, the couple opted for a 3D floor plan to double check their layout. This led to a much better understanding of where everything fitted together and it was just as well they did so. The 3D floor plan showed what rooms were where and it also showed a little of the surrounding land and light directions.
This led Jill to thinking that maybe she would rather have the kitchen at the front of the house and the lounge at the back so that when they were relaxing at the end of the day, they could enjoy the last of the sun.
The changes were made and an application for planning permission was made and granted a few months later. Had these changes been necessary after permission had been granted it would have cost a lot more money and they would have still been in their caravan at Christmas. As it was, thanks to the 3D floor plan, they were able to make the changes with barely any expense and moved into their new home at the end of November.
For this couple, adapting somewhere to their needs suited them much better than buying someone else's home, making it truly unique.
Property expert Catherine Harvey looks at the way a 3D floor plan can be invaluable when seeking planning permission.