While many people feel that integrity and value are the best cases for opting for a new home, some are unsure whether a custom-built or “spec” home would best meet their needs.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between custom and spec homes, talking in brief about the pros and cons of each.
To begin with, let’s define our terms. While used commonly enough in the real estate industry, “spec” is not a term many of our homebuyers have heard before, so if you’re unsure what it means, you’re certainly not alone! A “spec” home is a home constructed by a homebuilder, who is speculating that a buyer will want the home that they have built. Also called “move-in ready” or “inventory” homes, spec homes are generally completed at or just prior to the time of purchase, meaning that buyers can move in as soon as their purchase process is complete.
Custom-built homes, on the other hand, are built with the extensive involvement of the home buyer, who will generally complete the home purchase, then have a wait of up to six months before they can move into their new home. Like a spec home, custom-built homes offered by builders in most developments are based upon a pool of pre-selected floor plans, fashioned to the style and physical dimensions of the community and its land lots. Unlike a spec home, construction on these homes is only begun once a buyer is in place.
Custom-built homes are ideal for buyers who have a strong sense of what they want, and aren’t afraid to invest both time and money (often in large amounts) to get a home built to their exact specifications. Working with a builder, custom buyers can often adapt floor plans to their specific needs (choosing to include optional bedrooms or special amenities such as lofts or fireplaces), and can make detailed choices about décor such as cabinetry, flooring, paint color and façade details. The amount of work, and often frustration, in building a custom home can be huge; and not being able to “see” a finalized product can make it difficult for some buyers to envision the end result, leaving many disappointed when they see the final home.
Spec homes, on the other hand, are optimal for many families, who often want the convenience of a readily-available home, along with the lower cost of builder-selected interior upgrades. The “pro” with a spec home is experience. Builders specializing in move-in ready homes know exactly what their customers want—most have been building for years if not decades—and sales over time have taught them clearly what upgrades and features customers are most drawn to. By constructing homes with these most popular features included, builders are able to pool costs to save buyers money, while still giving them the home of their dreams. And unlike custom homes, buyers of spec homes can see the actual home they will be buying, ensuring that they’re getting exactly what they want.
While both spec and custom-built homes are great options, LGI Homes is proud to offer an extensive inventory of move-in ready homes in communities across Texas. Our experience has shown that buyers want feature-rich, well-upgraded homes built with value and affordability in mind. We’ve stuck to that template, and it’s been a successful one, making thousands of home owners glad that they went with a move-in ready home. To see what’s available right now in LGI Homes communities, visit the LGI Homes website, where you’ll find move-in ready homes built to suit every family and household.