With all these advantages, the bigger question is why more architects don't build their own homes. Local architect Marc Rueter points out that the high costs of city lots makes the endeavor very expensive. Today, buying an existing house and changing it incrementally as time and money allow is usually a more viable alternative for young architects.
Even if one can pay for a city lot, they are hard to find. Both Metcalf and Osler built at what was then the edge of town, while Marzolf and Melchi were lucky to find side yards that were being separated into new lots. Serbay looked for years before he found his lot. Its unusual shape, which he used to his advantage, probably deterred others from buying it. Hopkins and Farrell built outside the city.
Another problem is that it's hard to design for oneself. "Being your own client, that's the toughest client you can come up with," says Serbay, who drew three plans before settling on the one he used. Some compare it to a doctor treating him- or herself. An out-of-town architect shudders at the thought. "If I wanted a house, I'd have one of my colleagues do it. If I tried, I would never stop fiddling with it," he explains.