A custom built home is probably going to be one of the largest single investments you will ever make. Therefore, it is quite sensible to plan a design that will appeal to the general marketplace as well as fit your own particular tastes and lifestyle.

The most important step when you're planning to build is to consider your personal intentions. If you're planning to live in the house for ten years or more, the major focus should be on your personal lifestyle. In contrast, if your planned habitation is uncertain or less than ten years, the resale value of the home becomes a much larger priority.

Because every marketplace is different, we've found that the 5 D's approach works well when applied to custom home building, no matter where you plan to live. The 5 D's are:

  1. Distance (curb appeal) - Anything that makes a home attractive from a distance has a high rate of return. Landscaping as well as the condition of the paint, brick, or siding are the biggest factors when it comes to curb appeal. Landscaping should be kept low maintance, simple and above all neat. The front entrance to the home is another important element and should not be overlooked as well.
  2. Deficiencies - Compare your home to other local homes. If your home's size, rooms, garages, etc. are smaller or inferior to comparative homes in your area, then the home's value will suffer.
  3. Distinction - Most people buy based more on emotions rather than on logic. Therefore, emotional attachment always increases value. This means your home needs to be set apart by at least 2 to 3 distinct features. These features might include but are not limited to: a bidet in the master bath, a Jacuzzi or whirlpool bath, multiple fireplaces, a library, attractive landscaping, etc.
  4. Demand - Your custom home should include popular features that are in demand and will not detract from its value. Avoid out of character and any zany ideas that are out of touch in your neighborhood.
  5. Degree - It is just as important not to overdo anything as it is avoid shortcomings. Enhancing your home from a Distance, avoiding Deficiencies, and adding Distinction, will usually give a good rate of return up to a degree. Once you've reached that point though, the rate of return drops off significantly. Be careful when adding new or unique features to your home plans. Avoid overspending on any area of your home where the return will be considerably less than the investment.