Custom Home vs. Spec Home

When choosing between a custom home and a spec home, it’s important to take into account the differences between them, as well as your budget and life stage. 

Custom vs. Spec

Put simply, a custom home is one that is one-of-a-kind and designed for an individual client. The builder works with the client on the floorplan and fixtures such as paint colors, countertops, and siding. On the other hand, a spec home is one that is built based on a plan that is determined by the builder. It’s usually built with a wide audience in mind, and buyers don’t usually have much say in the floor plan or design.

Timing & Involvement

Your own circumstances tend to affect which choice is better for you. For example, if you’re needing to move fairly quickly, a custom home might take too long for you. But if you’re ready to invest time and money, creating the custom home you’ve always dreamed about could be your best option.

With custom builds, you get to be involved from the ground up. From site visits to design meetings, custom clients generally want to be involved and have creative input on the home. For the spec buyer, the “problem solving” mindset takes time constraints into consideration. It’s helpful to be realistic about how much involvement you can handle before jumping into a custom home.

Choosing a Custom Home

If you’re planning on living in a home for a long time and want to improve your quality of life, choose a custom home. Custom builders and their clients develop a great relationship in the months of planning and building. They have the opportunity to teach clients all about how a house is made and all that goes into the process. It’s vital for the client and builder to communicate and stick to the initial plan. 

There are 3 general variables to consider during the planning process: size, budget, and specifications. The cost/value equation is very important to keep in mind, as a more expensive spec house with great features may be a better value than a less expensive one without them. The biggest difference between a custom and spec home is that there is no home in existence when the builder and clients first meet. 

Whatever your decision is, find a great builder that you feel comfortable with and whose work you can trust. Buying a home is an important process, so choose wisely and take all of these considerations with you when you’re making a decision.