Greencastle Inc.

3 Major Distinctions Between Good & Great Home Design

From Professional Builder by Todd Hallett, TK Design & Assoc., Inc. (

In my travels working with builders all over the country, I have the opportunity to see a lot of home designs. I see good, bad, fair, and occasionally great plans and elevations. I am able to walk a lot of models each year and see in the flesh what is working and what is not. I have come to realize that there are three major distinctions between good and great design.

1. Good Design will make you feel comfortable. When you walk into a well-designed home there is a feeling of place. The spaces are proportionate and well thought-out. The circulation makes sense, and the auxiliary spaces are well placed. Great Design will “wow” you from the minute you walk in the door. The plan leads you to vistas and long views with focal points as you move through the home. Not only are the circulation patterns and spaces well planned, but they also create surprises for you as you circulate the home.

2. Good Design has nice curb appeal. The massing is proportionate with the fenestration. The elements are architecturally correct and in concert with one another; the shutters look like they actually could close over the windows, and materials are appropriate. Great Design is a show stopper. When prospects drive by the house they will be tempted to “slam on the brakes”. Like Frosty’s top hat, great design has a bit of magic in it. Much more than being architecturally correct or “nice”, the home will have an immediate emotional draw that pulls at the heart strings of prospective customers.

3. Good Design takes into consideration construction costs and techniques. Great Design utilizes Lean design techniques to focus on the elimination of waste driving costs down and increasing builder margin. Creating details that are easy to construct and repeatable, and eliminating of waste in floor joists and mechanical systems. A good design can never be a great design if it is not affordable to the market it serves.

It is never too costly or time consuming to produce a great design over a good design. A great design will increase profits, be easier to build, and create more sales. The time and money spent upstream creating such a design is nothing compared to the vast benefits it will ultimately bestow the company that holds the magic of a superior plan.

Wing Home in Malibu California

Looking for a truly unique home design idea….well here you go for some inspiration!  This design firm in California, David Hertz Architects in Venice California, was working with a client who was interested in a unique approach to home design elements.  Check out the link to this architect’s website for photos and videos of the exterior and interior of this very creative and unique home. 


HOUZZ Impressive Bath Remodel

Check out this impressive bathroom remodel form the website HOUZZ (  If you’ve never visited HOUZZ, you will find all kinds of unique homes design ideas, as well as remodeling, decorating, interior design, exterior/landscape ideas and more!–A-Chopped-Up-Bathroom-Goes-Streamlined-and-Swank

Build a Unique Home

Are you as tired as I am with the same old same old home designs here in SW Florida.  Sure, there are many different variations of the “Mediterranean” style homes, but if you look at what most builders are building, they all look pretty much the same.  There are builders interested and willing to step out of the box.  We have relationships with several of those builders, and would encourage you to contact us to discuss your home building ideas and goals.  We’re all about building a home that fits your uniques tastes, design and needs. We have many different resources to help you design and end up with your own unique design, ranging from 1300 sq ft homes to over 10,000 sq ft homes.  And we work with only the top builders in this area, including the top “Green Features” builder in SW Florida.

Lee County Housing Market Data



(Fort Myers, FL – Summer 2018) Lee County continues to be a very hot market!

Homes are selling for more money, and they continue to sell quickly.

According to the latest numbers just released by Florida Realtors®, there were more closed sales of Single Family Homes in recent months than the same time in last year. The median sale price for a Single Family home has also risen moderately.

Condos and Townhomes are also doing well on the market. Closed sales were up and the median sale price was also up.

The numbers reported by the Realtor® Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach represent all sales by members of Florida Realtors® in Lee County, FL. Statistics released each month may be revised in the future as new data is released.

The numbers reported by the REALTOR® Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach represent all sales by members of Florida Realtors® in Lee County, FL. Statistics released each month may be revised in the future as new data is released.


**For more specific details, contact Scott Morrison at / Ask for “Current Market Statistics-Lee County”

Quote of the Week

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected” – Steve Jobs

Home Pricing Trends

There seems to be a trend with homeowners (and Realtors) of overpricing homes recently.  I cannot say whether it is being driven by the homeowners or Realtors being overly optimistic about rising property values. The normal pricing strategy for Realtors is to look at comparable, recent (60-120 days) closed sales in the same area for similar properties.  I know of several cases recently where that sound pricing strategy is not being used.  I’ve seen homes priced at $50,000 – $100,000 over what comparable homes in the same neighborhood have sold for in the previous 60-90 days (in the $400k to $500k price range)!  That’s rather optimistic appreciation in such a short time.  In fact, it makes no sense at all.  If a homeowner truly wants to sell their home, it needs to be priced based on what has sold and closed within a recent timeframe, or expect the home to have very few if any showings, and certainly no offers.   Realtors are doing their clients no favors by overpricing their home – it just means the house will sit on the market with little or no activity for an extended period of time, until the market slowly increase to a higher level, or until the list price of the home is reduced to a realistic price point.

Monthly Specials


Get a FREE Outdoor Kitchen!

*Buy a new construction home in July, August or September receive up to a $2,000 credit towards your outdoor kitchen!

*Talk to your Premier Tropical Realty salesperson for specific details.  

New Homes vs Existing Homes?

There’s still good buys on vacant land, and developers in planned communities have great inventory to build your new home just the way you want it. The pro of buying a vacant lot outside many planned communities (not all), is that you can custom design your own home and floor plan exactly like you want it. Most planned community builders have range of specific floor plans in varying square footage you have to chose from, providing only options on upgrades cabinetry, pool, floorings, fixtures, finishes, etc. It just depends on whether a developer home has floor plans and options that meet your needs, or whether you want to start with a “clean sheet of paper”, and customize your home to your specific needs and desires. in some cases, the cost to do either option can be reasonably close, depending on the price of the lot you purchase. Developers have “lot premiums” for the most desirable lots in their development, so the cost of a lot can go up significantly even in a development depending on what lot you choose. We have researched many of these variables, and can be a valuable resource for you as you consider the various options. One final consideration, is that planned/gated communities generally have many amenities included in the development and lush common areas that need ongoing maintenance. Expect to pay significant monthly fees to cover the cost of the shared clubhouses, pools, landscaping, guards/gates, etc., versus stand-a-lone lots located outside of specific communities where there are minimal if any annual fees.