Like most things in life, choosing the lot for our new home involved a little bit of luck and a big heaping of good timing.
We were starting to get serious about buying a house or starting the build process. We had pretty much settled on the builder and floor plan we wanted. It seemed like there were lots of available lots left according to the signs around the neighborhood.
We later discovered the “Sold” part of the signs is a magnet that goes over the “Available” label, and many of the already sold lots didn’t have a sold sign on them. I found out because I was checking out our builders Facebook page where they said there was less than ten lots the size we wanted left…and the post was already two months old. Yikes!
We connected with a realtor and headed over to the builder ASAP. It turns out, there was only ONE lot left in the size we wanted. Gulp! The good news; it was our “dream lot.” As we had walked around the neighborhood many, many times daydreaming about our future house, there was one area where we kept saying, “Wouldn’t it be great to live here?”
With perfect timing, we were able to put an offer in on the last lot. Our house will be the last house built on our street.
A Green Space Lot
One of the reasons we wanted that location, is it’s a green space lot. There are several green spaces (open grass areas) in our community, but we loved this one best. It has the cutest mix of houses. There’s a sidewalk wrapping around the green space, so our kids can do laps on scooters and bikes.
It’s also across the street from a larger green belt with an extra wide sidewalk leading to a neighborhood pond area—a great place to see cranes and egrets.
In our neighborhood, the association maintains the green spaces and front yard landscapes. Remember, our house is a “patio home” with a side yard instead of a back yard. We’re okay with the small 10-ft wide side yard because we’ll have a giant open field out our front door…a huge lawn we don’t have to maintain. We plan to spend our evenings sitting on the front porch, while the boys play on the green space out front.
Another benefit is our house is set back pretty far from the street. I think that will be advantageous with our (want-to-be guard) dogs because passersby will be walking on the sidewalk by the road, not the sidewalk by our front door.
Using an image of another home that’s under construction, I created this crude mockup of our house on the lot we chose. (You’ll just have to wait and see if these are the exterior colors we went with.)
The only downside for our lot was it had a significant premium because of the ideal location. Thankfully, since it was the last 45’ lot available, the builder was able to give us a discount on the lot premium. By selling that last 45’ lot, it allowed them to focus their marketing on the remaining larger lots. (By the way, the premium was much higher to move to a larger lot, and, if you recall, we don’t want a larger yard to maintain.)
A Modern Elevation
By the way, not only was this lot the last 45′ lot, but the only elevation we were allowed to choose for this lot was Modern. You can’t select the same elevation as your four neighbors in either direction, even across the street. Our immediate neighbor has the same floor plan in the Colonial Revival elevation, and down the road, there is a European Romantic elevation.
So, our only choice was Modern. Good thing that’s what we wanted.😉 We took it as another sign that this lot was meant to be ours.
An Eastern Exposure
We also lucked out on the orientation of our home. I’ve learned, the hard way, that a house with northern exposure, even in Texas, is not good. Our apartment, which only has North-facing windows on the first floor and in the master bedroom, has been so dark and dreary. It’s the only thing that’s made me miss our old home, where we had mostly East-facing windows.
Our new home will face South. Since it’s a patio-style home with a side yard, most of the windows in the house will face East. Bring on all the natural light!
When we went in to choose our structural options, I was like, “Give me all the extra windows and skylights, please.” I am 100% solar-powered. (And yes, I know that may mean higher air conditioning bills in the summer, but I think our one-level home will mitigate a lot of that.)
I have so much more to tell you about building and designing a house. But I want to know…What questions do you have? What part of the process do you want to hear more about?
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