Selecting a lot is an incredibly important step, and one of the first steps you’ll take in the process of building your custom home. Different lots are suitable for different designs and may come with rules and regulations that limit your options. Collaborating with an expert builder during this phase can help guide you through these hoops and explain the design possibilities so that you can easily choose the perfect lot for your dream home.

While searching for your lot, here are a some key features to consider and some helpful tips to help you along the way.

blueprints for custom home

1. Location – One of the most amazing parts about building a custom home is the ability to have your dream home in your dream location. It’s often the easiest decision to make since it stems from the lifestyle you want to live – do you prefer the country, suburbs or city? Choose a lot in the location that has the view you’ll enjoy most when you walk out your door and look out your window every day.

2. Commute – Once you know your ideal location, consider the ease and distance of your commute to places you visit frequently – work, the grocery store, shopping malls, school, church, healthcare, etc. If you are selecting a location you’re not familiar with, take a drive during the times you’d make your commutes to experience the traffic and time it takes to get to and from your destination.

3. Size, Shape, & Slope – The type of lot you choose within your desired area will have an impact on the overall design of your home. The lot size should be big enough for the home square footage you desire, in addition to yard space. Also think about the setback of the home, especially if it’s off of a busier street. It’s also important to consider the level of slope. Both flat and steep slope lots come with challenges. It’s beneficial to include your builder in the site selection process to understand what is possible.

wood house frame

4. Cost – As always, it’s important to consider the cost of your ideal lot. In addition to the initial cost of the lot, you need to factor in the cost of building the house as well as long-term costs such as property tax.

5. Landscape & Position – A lush view is often a priority for people investing in a custom home and may be the deciding factor in choosing a lot. When visiting lots, take a good look around you and consider the topography: the arrangement of the natural elements of the space. Also think about the direction of your house in relation to the sun. A house facing south will get sun most of the day and therefore a lot of natural light, while a house facing north will be darker and stay cool.

6. Building Essentials – Wherever you decide to build your home, take the time to learn about the area. There are numerous permits and regulations that come with building your dream home, but working with experts makes the process seamless!


Westlake Development Group has over 25 years of experience placing and constructing homes in the most structurally sound and cost-effective way, while also gaining all of the benefits the home site has to offer. By coming on board with clients as early as lot selection, Westlake can provide expert advice that can help in the decision-making process.

Westlake works closely with our architectural and engineering partners in the preparation and design of your dream home, from groundbreaking to completion.

Take a look at our available lots, including the a lot in Lake Oswego for the 2015 Street of Dreams!