Safe: can mobs get in? Can creepers blow this up?
Efficient: are there resources that can be easily obtained nearby? Is farming easy to do here?
I've created homes that makes it easy to fish during the night. I've made self-sufficient homes that hardly require you to leave the property.
Seeing as this is a Survival home, I will build in Survival mode (no creative).
I have the uncanny ability to build and gather quite quickly. I also have basic but deep knowledge in Redstone.
Please note that there is no real defence against spiders. They can climb walls if they see you or wander onto the property (unless you want an underground home, which is 100% mob proof).