When you’re in the market for a house and you want to go with new construction, you’re likely to see two specific terms tossed around a lot: spec home and custom home.
Both terms refer to new houses that are built with your needs in mind, but beyond that, they actually have quite different meanings. As a prospective buyer, it’s important for you to know the distinction between the two so you can decide which route is best for you and your family.
- A spec home is financed, designed, and planned by a builder and then sold when construction is finished (or close to finished). Often, a spec home builder will incorporate certain design features that they think will appeal to the type of buyer they have in mind (e.g. newlyweds who plan to grow their family).
- A custom home is financed, designed, and planned by the home-buyer in conjunction with the builder. The buyer and builder have an official contract and set a budget outline for the project before construction begins. The buyer chooses the lot and has final say on all creative and design-related decisions, and the home belongs to them from the outset.
You should opt for a spec home if…
- You’re on a short timeline, since construction will already be nearly finished when you purchase.
- You’re on a rigid budget. Spec homes are less expensive, and they offer more wiggle room to negotiate costs since they weren’t customized for a specific buyer.
- You’re busy with work and family obligations, and you don’t have extra time to devote to frequent site visits, design questions, and financial decisions (which are very common occurrences with custom homes).
On the other hand, a custom home may be a better fit if…
- You’re not in a huge rush to move in. Custom homes take a long time to design and build, so they’re better suited for older couples nearing retirement or couples without children.
- You have a flexible budget, given the inevitable unforeseen expenses and hiccups your construction will run into along the way.
- You have the capacity for hands-on planning. Custom homes require your detailed input; since you’re in charge of the budget and stylistic choices, your builder will be calling and emailing you very frequently with questions.
At John Falvella Construction Services, our specialty happens to be custom home building. Why? Because we love forming a close relationship with our clients and collaborating with them to come up with unique floor plans and interior designs. There’s nothing wrong with building spec homes, but being able to give a family the custom house of their dreams is a true blessing.
Reach out today if you’d like to learn more about our custom home design services!