Hi K W
As you might imagine the weather here predicates a lot of the decisions you will have to make.
I really suggest you come here and look at houses you like and talk to the owners. Most folks here are pretty nice and would enjoy bragging about their house.
To me there are two distinct types of dwellers - cliff dwellers and cave dwellers. Cliff dwellers like to look out over their domain and cave dwellers don't like for anyone to see into their castle.
Then there are the ones who like open range vs those who like fences and walls.
I think there should be a list of question that every designer would ask the potential home builder.
One thing I have learned to watch out for is the ability to fit furniture in. For instance in a bedroom is there a wall where you can put that great big dresser that you love? Can the bed fit between or under the windows. What direction does the breeze come from and how can you best capture it and not get soaked when it rains.
As I am building this house, which I designed but had to pay an architect to draw the "official" plans, I keep saying "The next house I build I will get it right from the get-go." Meaning - I've had to make a lot of allowances and changes but glad that I am on sight to make them.
Come on down and talk to us.
Take only pictures leave only bubbles