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What Are the Differences Between Custom Homes and Spec Homes?

So you’re ready to have your new home? Congratulations! This is an exciting time!

But before you’re able to think about wall paper and lighting options, you’re probably first considering what kind of home you want.

Deciding between building a custom home and purchasing a spec home is a big decision for any homeowner. It can also be confusing to understand the differences between the two and the benefits for each one.

Keep reading for our full guide to learn everything you need to know about custom homes versus spec homes!

What is a Custom Home?

A custom home is pretty straight forward – it’s a home designed and built for you, the homeowner. This residence is built to suit the needs of one specific client and is based on the land that client owns.

The plans for a custom home are usually created by some kind of professional home designer, like an architect. This person will work closely with the individual or family to meet the needs of this client. Often, custom home builders or architects will have theoretical floor plans that the client can choose from so that they don’t need to start from a blank sheet.

The home builder will also work with the client on the interior design. This might include colors, countertops, flooring and more. Custom home builders also tend to have luxury features, like high ceilings, large rooms and big doors.

There are many decisions involved in building a custom home, which can be exciting for the client. For example, you might be able to include high tech additions, like moving walls or having smart features for lighting and appliances.

What are the Benefits of Building a Custom Home?

The personalization factor of a custom home is really the most obvious benefit. When building a custom home, you’re able to work with the contractor to control a lot of factors. You will get to decide things like the layout of the home and the overall design.

By building a custom home, the client also has control over the way it looks, including the colors and materials. This might be your chance to be creative and design a home that you’ve always been picturing, while customizing it to your family’s needs. If you’re a couple looking to build a home, you can consider children or grandparents when thinking about bedrooms or home attachments.

In this way, you’re also able to control cost. When working with the construction crew, you can sign off on every line item. You’ll also be able to leave out any features you don’t really want or need that might cut costs.

Building a custom home will usually require a secure construction loan before you’ll be able to begin. The construction of the home may also take a good deal of time which will mean interest on the loan.

What are Spec Homes?

Spec houses are short for speculative houses for sale, meaning the home builder is creating the home without tailoring it to a specific buyer. It’s important to get more information about spec homes before purchasing so you understand all the factors involved.

The name “spec home” comes from the concept that the builders are speculating what a buyer would be interested in and creating the home to completion. These builders are skilled in anticipating what people want in a home in a generic sense. They also base the designs off of certain marketable neighborhoods.

Spec homes are typically not as large as a custom home, but will usually be small or medium sized with custom styles. It’s possible a spec home could be a large, luxury home. The design and size of the spec home is also usually based on the neighborhood and area where the home is built.

What are the Benefits of Buying a Spec Home?

It’s as obvious as it seems – buying a spec home is more convenient for the client! Not every client or homeowner wants to be involved in the process of personalizing a home’s design.

This will also require less time because you can purchase a spec home when you’re ready to buy, rather than waiting for a custom home to be built. If you think you would be impatient with the process of a custom home, or overwhelmed by all the decisions that will need to be made, a spec home would remove those issues.

It’s also possible to find a spec home you want before the construction is complete, so you’re able to be involved in some final decisions, like the paint color. But in general, if you don’t have a specific design idea or preference for your home, you may not need customization.

Your family needs and goals might affect which home type is right for you. If the spec home has the right number of bedrooms, backyard size, etc. and you’re happy with the design, it could be the perfect home for you.

Deciding on a Custom Home vs. a Spec Home Depends on Your Needs

There are many factors to consider in the process of purchasing or building a home. It might also all come down to your personal and financial preferences.

If you would rather not be involved in making all the decisions for a custom home, and want the convenience of spec homes, the answer could be obvious. But if you’re intrigued by the idea of working closely with the home builder to get the house of your dreams, a custom home is a better choice for you.

Keep reading our blog for more information about all your real estate and home buying needs!