by Richard Arderne, after 19 years as an estate agency franchisee principal

Consider reducing the size of your proposed house a bit, and rather spend a bit more on design and finishes.

There are many houses built in St Francis with average designs but are possibly bigger than necessary.

Bedrooms and bathrooms need to be big enough but not vast.

Upstairs balconies are often seldom used, and many could be smaller.

Design to cater for an outside area in both of the two prevailing winds.

If you plan to spend winters here, ensure that your house faces as close to north as possible and that your house captures lots of sun.

If you are planning on spending more than ten times the current value of your plot, you could be over-capitalizing. We built a few years ago on the canals for three times what we paid for the plot.

It might be better to spend a bit more on a better plot, and then if necessary build your house in phases.

Money spent on landscaping is usually money well spent, ideally planting only waterwise indigenous trees and shrubs.