Kathryn Dennis Reveals Plans to Build New, Custom Home, but Says Custody Battle 'Is Costing Me'

"I haven't had a home in a really long time. I'm ready for my home," she tells PEOPLE

Kathryn Dennis has left behind her pink Charleston townhouse, but she already has plans to build a new, custom home for herself and her kids.

The Southern Charm star opened up to PEOPLE about where she sees herself settling down and the money troubles that are currently holding up her dream.

Dennis recently moved out of her five-story, 2,800-square-foot downtown rental that was costing her $6,600 per month, and into a more reasonably priced home with a yard.

“I’m just trying to be more responsible on the whole with my finances. That’s part of the reason why I moved out of the other house you’ll see this season; because it was too large of an amount of money to be spending when I need to be building savings,” she told PEOPLE in May during a photo shoot at her new place.

Kathryn Dennis with kids Saint and Kensie
Allison Michael Orenstein

“The custody case is costing me a lot financially, so I’m having to adult officially in every way,” she explained, referring to her ongoing legal battle with ex Thomas Ravenel, with whom she shares children St. Julien “Saint” Rembert, 3, and Kensington “Kensie” Calhoun, 5. Dennis currently shares 50/50 custody with Ravenel, but is asking for full custody as he awaits trial on an assault charge, which he denies.

And while she loves her family’s new “manageable” home, which she says has “a nice backyard and a basement apartment where my mom can stay,” the children’s furniture designer has much grander plans for herself when it comes to real estate.

“A big part of my future will be building my own house,” she told PEOPLE. “I’m pretty excited, because I’ve literally moved to like, five different states, ten different houses, since I had kids. I’ve been in the market for a house for a really long time.”

Kathryn Dennis
Kathryn Dennis and her children. Allison Michael Orenstein

And she’s going to build it from the ground up to make sure the home feels like a fresh start, “instead of buying one of these houses that’s already old and rotting away with bad memories probably in all of them,” she says. “I’m looking at land right now. I’m going to be building with my business partner, Donna Steele. Her husband actually does the construction. She does the design. They’re going to work with me and we’re going to build a house.”

As for the location, she says, “I really want it to be in the downtown area or Mount Pleasant. It depends on what school my children go to.” Dennis also has her late grandfather’s home in Mount Pleasant.

Southern Charm Kathryn Dennis Thomas Ravenel
Rodolfo Martinez/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty (2)

But her construction plan is on hold until her financial situation is more stable, she says. “Currently, I’m renting because the custody thing, I don’t want to spend a large amount of money on anything yet. I’m now meeting with an accountant, I’m working towards building my credit.”

When the timing is right, she’s “really excited” to get started. “I haven’t had a home in a really long time. I’m ready for my home.”

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