Find a Lot to Build Orton Homes

By Scott Van ZeeApril 25, 2019Blog

Choosing a lot is one of the most important steps in building a new home, right up there with picking your neighborhood and selecting your floor plan. If you’re getting ready to build a house with Orton Homes, this article will prepare you for how to choose the right lot in the Des Moines area and what to consider as you make your decision.

Why We Work with Orton Homes

Orton Homes specializes in building custom homes in central Iowa and beyond. We work with Orton Homes because they’ve mapped out a home building process that’s centered on creative collaboration, helping you take your vision for your new home from daydream to reality.

When you work with Orton Homes, you can choose from a selection of several dozen pre-existing floor plans and make custom modifications until you’re 100 percent satisfied. Their in-house designer works alongside customers every step of the way to make sure your finished home embodies the exact look and feel you’ve imagined.

If you need design inspiration, Orton Homes has a showroom displaying a vast range of options for everything from appliances and fixtures to windows, flooring and doors. It makes a world of difference to be able to see, touch and feel design elements firsthand when planning your dream home.

Finally, Orton recognizes that the home building process can be stressful. To make the transition as smooth as possible, they have a dedicated rental team to help find you the perfect temporary housing while your new home is being built.

What to Look for in a Good Lot for Your Orton Home

Orton Homes can build anywhere, but one of their specialties lies in helping you find the location that’s tailor-made for your family. When looking for the right lot, consider the following: what’s the vibe you get from the neighborhood? Do the residents skew younger or older? Is the style modern or traditional? Is it a place you can envision your dream house fitting in and your family feeling at home?

Consider also your preferences for proximity to neighboring homes and amenities. If you’re seeking close neighborly relationships, for example, a smaller lot in a more densely populated community might be great for you. If you’re looking for a little more breathing room, you might opt for a neighborhood that’s farther away from some urban conveniences like shopping centers in exchange for larger square footage in your lot.

How to Find a Lot

Orton Homes regularly builds in more than a dozen Des Moines area developments. Your builder will consult with you directly to make some suggestions on which communities might be a good fit for you.

Orton has its own development arm, Orton Development, that customers can work with to buy and sell lots directly. This is a convenient option for home buyers wishing to streamline the lot buying process.

You can also find and purchase a lot independently, either through a realtor or directly from a seller. A quick online search for ‘lots in [your intended neighborhood]’ will turn up a number of available listings. A realtor can access the MLS, or multiple listing service, for your area, which sometimes contains available lots that aren’t listed publicly for sale.

Coverage Area

Your lot’s coverage area is the amount of ground that’s physically allowed to be covered by your home’s structure. Coverage area is expressed as a percentage and governed by local zoning laws.

An example to illustrate: if your community’s zoning allows for 60% coverage area, then a 3,000 square foot in that neighborhood lot can be covered by 1,800 square feet of building. You can see why this is an important factor to consider when selecting a lot for your Orton Home.

Lot Prices

Another major factor in the lot you choose will be its price. Depending on the size and location you’re looking for, this may make up a considerable line item on your list of home building expenses.  

According to the latest data from the National Association of Home Builders, single-family lot prices reached an all-time high in 2017, with a median lot price of $47,400. Despite slowing numbers for new home builds, the limited quantity of available lots has contributed to the steady price increase.

Take a Look at Orton’s Work

The Aspen

Contemporary style meets timeless design in this three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath model. The Aspen offers ample space for your family to spread out and relax. The 3,382 square foot home includes an office, playroom/theatre and loft space in addition to the home’s three bedrooms, with garage space to easily accommodate a trio of vehicles.

A custom fireplace serves as a stunning centerpiece for the window-lined great room, with high ceilings above. Both the great room and attached dining room open onto a large covered patio where guests will enjoy sipping beverages while catching the passing breeze.

The Rochester Craftsman

With two bedrooms and two baths, the Rochester Craftsman is the ideal floor plan for newlyweds making their first home or retirees looking to downsize.

A comfortable master bedroom has a walk-in closet and ensuite bath with Jack-and-Jill sinks. The second bedroom is situated across the open-layout kitchen from the master with its own attached bath, offering privacy for visiting family and friends. At 1,500 square feet, The Rochester Craftsman is also a great choice for more compact lots.

The Buckingham

There’s a reason this palatial floor plan is named ‘The Buckingham.’ Large families will feel right at home in this spacious five-bedroom, four-bath model covering 3,459 square feet.

The master suite is your own private oasis, with vaulted ceilings, a luxurious soaking tub, stand-up shower, linen closet and walk-in closet. At mealtime, take your pick between an informal gathering in the breakfast nook overlooking the backyard, or welcome guests in the formal dining room.

The Buckingham was made for folks who appreciate four-seasons living; the expansive patio has plenty of space to add an outdoor kitchen, fire pit or pool, while the hearth room off the main kitchen makes for a cozy spot to curl up with a book in the colder months.

Please send me pricing information on

I am interested in reserving a lot in