While Ventana is interested in selling property, what they are really interested in is custom home building. Over the past 15 years they have grown to be the largest home building in the country. They offer all the necessary design services, permitting etc. While we could go through design and construction on our own, trying that from 3000 miles away couldn't possibly work.
So, an email down to the Ventana offices (yes they now have direct access to email) connected us to Robert. Robert is the designer - he has a real feel for the space, the environment, the community. His note said the following ...
"In order to start with your home project and achieve the perfect design for you, we need you to supply us with basic information regarding your lifestyle and budget. Do you have a big family? Do you like to entertain? How large a house you are contemplating, how many rooms, how many floors? Do you need an office? Are you indoors or outdoors persons? Would you like a pool? Do you like gardening? Will you be there full time or part time and will you be renting out your house? The answer to these questions as well any other comments you may have will be helpful to start this process.
This information will assist in making your vision come alive. I will visit your property, review the lay of the land and determine how to adapt your needs to the site, taking advantage of the best views and prevalent breeze. "
How on earth are we going to tell him everything we have in our minds!!!??? Well let's just answer the questions and see where that takes us ...
Do you have a big family?
Just the 2 of us. The extended family is not large – an adult son, 2 siblings with 5 children. However, as you can imagine our group of friends is expanding given news of access to paradise.
Do you like to entertain?
Prefer smaller gatherings (up to 10) to large parties, and don’t expect this with be the centre of big social occasions
How large a house you are contemplating? How many rooms, how many floors?
1500 square feet.
2 bedrooms (one acting as study / office / guest room)
2 to 2 ½ bathrooms
Living / dining / kitchen
Outdoor living / dining space
We are leaning to a preference for multiple floors to maximize ventilation and views – but are open to finding the best solution for the site
Do you need an office?
Not likely a dedicated space for office work Need to discuss internet access and network within the house
Are you indoors or outdoors persons?
Like outdoor living Require appropriate shelter from sun
Would you like a pool?
Yes – not large – plunge pool is fine Would like it to feel like part of the living space
Do you like gardening?
Yes – prefer flowering shrubs and trees – not interested in lots of maintenance Would like to create a relatively natural tropical environment
Will you be there full time or part time and will you be renting out your house?
Expect to be in residence only part time for a number of years. We are certainly open to renting the house, or offering to friends and relatives, but it is not being built as a revenue property
Would like views to the ocean as well as the valley (distant) and nearby river valley Orientation of outdoor living space to southern (sun) exposure Covered parking for one vehicle (car port) Potential to build a small guest/pool house separate from main house (max 300 sq ft) – living / sleeping / dining / bar fridge / microwave / bar sink / 3 piece bath
Do those few questions really say everything about us - how we live and what we need from a home - I guess we will find out - - off the email went - April 6, 2008.
Three weeks later - Voila!