Looking for Property to Build Your Custom Home? — Studio MM Architect

First day of SPRING was just a few days ago and already it’s inspiring everyone to get outdoors! I love it! In the past 2 weeks I’ve been on 3 potential property visits, 2 job sites, and walked about 50 acres… it’s exhilarating to say the least!

As a residential architect, in every day conversations the topic often turns to people’s homes. I hear the comment quite a lot that someone had considered building a custom home, but the time and headaches they assumed were involved scared them away. Well, this is a great reason to work with an architect!

The next question is usually “Where do we start?”

In the past clients have come to me for architectural services after they have already found their property. But recently — perhaps due to our work in the Hudson Valley — we’ve had 3 people contact us who know they need an architect but have yet to locate their land. Either way works for us — we’re thrilled to be brought in as part of the team as early as possible!

One of my clients recently said to me, “When you see a blank piece of paper you see a beautiful design, when I look at a blank sheet of paper I see a spreadsheet.” This resonated with me and got me to thinking how to work better with this particular client, and it gave me a great perspective on how to present this idea to other possible clients as well.

I believe the risk of so many unknowns is why many people balk at building their dream home and settle on an existing house that “has the most items from their must-have list.”

What To Consider When Looking for Property To Build Your Home

So many questions, so many options… How do you know how to select the perfect property?

There are a lot of considerations that go into finding the right piece of land on which to build your home. When you’ve never done it before it can be quite daunting, especially in an area that is not completely familiar. Many of our clients are looking for property in the Hudson Valley — whether to build their primary residence or a second home in the country — and most do not reside in the immediate area.

We are working with one client who would like to build a home in the Hudson Valley and has hired us to help search for the perfect site. One of the first questions was, “When we do find a great property how do you know the best location for our home?” Great question. Going back to the blank piece of paper, it’s not like I walk around and see houses here and there in the middle of the woods. What I look for on a given property is sun orientation; topography; what kinds of trees are on the site and how large (or small) they are (a clue to the type of soil or rock beneath the surface); access and visibility from the road; privacy; ground conditions such as wet or dry, rocky or muddy, flat or terraced… My goal when looking at properties is to narrow the options down to a few great ones that we and our clients are excited about, and then get an engineer on board before we make any major decisions. All of these steps are just part of the process — it’s actually a lot of fun to get out there and look — working with someone who has experience by your side guiding you through those steps makes the idea a lot less scary! This is a service that we offer to our clients to help take the hesitation out of deciding to build a custom home.

Trekking across acres of beautiful land as the weather is getting warmer and the trees are beginning to bloom for Spring?…yep, we’re HAPPY to help!

Originally published at maricamckeel.com on March 24, 2016.