When Jake and I sit down to design a new home plan, we start with square footage. We put all of the features that we desire, then we get rid of as much dead space as possible.
When laying out the basement I try to place the window wells away from the porch and if possible none on the front of the home at all. This allows you to build up the grade around the front porch and have unobstructed flower beds.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, particularly when it comes to buying a home. The one feature of interest to every home buyer.