Urban Home – June/July 2011


Article - Custom Home Advice

Where do I start?

By Karen Matuszewski, By Design – Custom Home Consulting


Welcome to the newest editorial addition to Urban Home magazine! Custom Home Advice is a place where you can get answers on how to approach, organize and enjoy the process of building a custom home. In each upcoming issue of Urban Home, we will take an aspect of the custom home process and break it into bite-size pieces – as the saying goes, we will eat the elephant one bite at a time!

We all know that owning a home is the “Great American Dream.” So where is the best place start? It might seem like a scary question, but once it’s answered, it will make the rest of the process much easier.

Once we know our “total project investment” and how much of that investment we should allocate to spend on a home site, the next “bite” we need to take is “where do I want to live?” It may seem simple, but a lot goes into deciding where your new home will be located. Making a list of what is important to you and your family can help determine the best location for your new home. Here are some things to consider:

1. Do you have any geographic considerations such as close proximity to work, schools, airport access, shopping, doctors, hospitals, church and family members?

2. Do you prefer a community that is gated or not?

3. Do you prefer a new or established community?

4. What amenities are important to you? Community pool, golf, tennis, health club, social center, play areas, trails or lake

5. What does the property surrounding your dream home look like:

a. Front yard (close to street or long winding drive)

b. Size of lot: Country Home (1+ acres), Large lot (.75 to 1 Acre), Average lot (.25 to .33 acres), Small lot (less than .25 acre)

c. What type of view do you prefer? Waterfront, golf course, woods, or not important

6. What type of outdoor living areas will you want? Single or multiple, summer kitchen, outdoor media, pool, garden, play area or pet area



We will spend our next issue together discussing “lot cost vs. lot price”.How much do I want to invest in my new home? Knowing the answer to this question will help determine how much to spend on a home site. Knowing ALL the costs associated with a particular home site is crucial to the success of the project. There is much more to knowing what the “cost” of building on a particular home site will be, other than the asking price.

Until next time, this should get you started on “where to start” if you are thinking of building a custom home. Have a specific question you would like me to address? Send your questions to me at karen_matuszewski@yahoo.com. I’m looking forward to taking the custom home journey right along with you so “building your dream home doesn’t turn into a nightmare!”