Most homeowners do not consider the appropriate things as the major concerns. Most will think of the house size, the floor plan, the exterior, and their budget first and foremost. There are some things that are overlooked, but are very important and should be considered first. Think about the possibility of the size of the family changing, needs that may change, or even psychological needs changing.
Identify their needs. The first time any of the architects or designers of The House Designers has a meeting with a new client, that is the first issue they discuss. Knowing what the family needs will help to create a design that is as close to exactly what the client wants as possible. They help clients to develop a program that creates a framework within which to work.
When you are doing the developing yourself, make a list of what your needs are. Make the best effort at being honest and open about what you need in your new home, what you want, and what you expect from your new home. You should understand that these are your personal requirements for now and in the future. How much time do you expect to spend in what type of areas? What about changes in the future? Are you planning a family or is there a possibility of additions to the family?
What about your parents or other close loved ones? Many people welcome them to their home as they are getting older to help care for them. Is this a possibility for you? Do you need a home office in now or in the future? Will you be living in this home after retirement? Is there a possibility that a child will return home after college? Do you have the space to accommodate an elderly, ill or disabled person?
Do you plan on entertaining in your home? Some people like to have separate areas for adults and children. Are you at a point where you used to require those things, but no longer do now? How do you feel about a Great Room that opens the entertainment area to the cooking and dining rooms? Would you prefer a casual meal in a country style kitchen that combines the kitchen and dining area or do you consider your kitchen heavily used and prefer the dining area to be separate?
Whether you like to admit it or not, do you worry about impressing other people? If you do regular entertaining for business and it is important to you that your home is impressive to your guests, then consider this in your home's design.
If you are less concerned with the perceptions of others than you are with personal gratification, then let your instincts be the guide. You may need to search deeply to strike a balance between personal needs and making a statement.