Finding a property that suits your needs is an important first step. The design that will take the best advantage of that property will consider some very important factors: Exposure, Privacy and Views.
Orienting your house to the south with a design to maximize the sunlight can make it feel better to live in as well as making it more energy efficient, providing the extra benefit of lower operating costs.
Privacy is often dependent on the lot. How big it is, if hedges or fences are existing or appropriate and the addition of decks, railings and gates will all be determined by your own needs and lifestyle. Putting on a second storey might be a consideration that will give you more private space. The more populated an area is, the more difficult it may be to obtain privacy but I believe that with the right property and thoughtful design it is possible to achieve the level of privacy you want.
It can be great to look at a lake or river, a field, pond, gardens, your entry, backyard, maybe all of them. Keeping in mind that a wall provides more insulation value than a window, it will be of prime importance to find the best balance between solar gain, energy efficiency and the best views from your house.
While it can be challenging to design a house that maximizes all these elements, all are of prime importance and are major considerations when building a home.