Choosing Between A Customized Or Pre-Planned Home

Choosing Between A Customized Or Pre-Planned Home

Find Or Build A Perfect Home

Looking for a new house right now? You will likely have to decide if you are opting for a customized house or a spec home. Before making your choice, read on to better understand what differentiates the two options, and how your choice will be swayed by considerations such as your budget, stage of life, and even personality. For a house that reflects your personality and style of living, build a Custom Home Toronto.  

Custom Homes 

Wondering what a custom home is? Simply put, a custom home is a home that is customized and built especially for you. A custom house aims to include your ideas at every step, with builders bringing your fantasy to life. Your inputs will be considered from basics like the floorplan all the way to the nitty-gritty details such as the color of the paint or even the height of your tabletops.

Spec Homes

A spec home, as its name suggests, is a home that has been built to pre-specified plans laid out by a builder or developer to cater to a specific type of target audience. This could range from double-income families with children, to old couples whose children have already left home. Though the features in a spec home may also appeal to a variety of audiences, buyers usually do not have much say with regards to the floorplan and details of the interior design such as colors and heights. 

When making the decision as to which type of home to get, your personal circumstances and goals ought to be considered. Do you need a new home urgently because a baby is on the way? If so, a spec home might be your only option. Looking for something to move into almost immediately due to job relocation? A spec home is what you need. On the other hand, if you can afford to wait for a little while as a retiree or if you are financially comfortable enough to rent elsewhere while waiting for your dream home to be completed, a custom home might be on the cards.

How involved do you want to be? 

Scott Frankel of Frankel Building Group in Houston defines a spec home as one that is paid for and owned by builders before a consumer buys it over. For custom homes, the potential homeowner is involved at every stage of the process, from the preliminary plans right up to the last drop of paint dries on the walls. It is especially essential that site visits happen throughout, but most importantly during the design phase. Here, builders will bring both the potential homeowner and the architects to the site to position the home in such a way that views of its surroundings are optimized, and natural light can enter the home. 

Architect Craig McMahon of San Antonio, Texas draws an analogy of creating a customized Apple Macbook. Building a custom home is a project where every decision adds to the uniqueness of the final product. 

Kraus Design Build’s Bob Kraus mentioned that the custom client is a person who wants to be creative in their lifestyle and wants their input considered in the final home, as compared to the spec homeowner who wants a home to solve the problem of living space. It is hence important to consider your own appetite for stress before deciding on a custom house, as there will be numerous decisions to be made, involving a multitude of calls, correspondences, and meetings. 

Why a Spec Home should or should not be your choice

Prior to house-hunting or looking for a builder or architect, couples ought to have a conversation on which type of house they will be choosing — custom or spec. Choosing a home is a huge decision that is influenced by many factors, amongst which the practicality of the home to marriage plays an important role. 

A spec or semi-custom home might be the ideal option if the couple’s priorities are their career or their children. As spec homes are often sold only when they are near completion, the trade-off lies in the limited options for details such as flooring finishes and color options for the house. However, this in turn makes spec hoes a good fit for couples who are tight on time, or who are unwilling to commit to a custom build. If the children need to be enrolled in school soon, or if the relocation is occurring due to a change in career requirements, a spec home is likely the way to go. 

The caveat is that many spec builders can be high-handed when it comes to sales, allowing buyers only a choice of flooring and at times, the appliances that come with the house. It is extremely unlikely that the floorplan can be changed, even if the home is a long way to go from completion. The plus point is, this often gives buyers room to negotiate with regards to the price of the home.

Why a Custom Home should or should not be your choice

Planning to live in the neighborhood for good? A custom house may give you a better quality of life than a spec home. On the contrary, if you are likely to move soon, a spec home might be better as it can quickly be sold to try and prevent any losses on price. A custom build is likely to be more expensive, especially as buyers customize every little aspect to their requirements. It could then take a much longer time for the home to be resold. 

For a rough gauge of how much a custom home is going to cost you, Frankel advises asking your builder for a range of how much past clients have spent. From there, you can then develop a budget for your own home. 

In addition to the building cost, spending on items such as furniture or add-ons such as a wine cellar ought to be considered and accounted for. Communication between the buyer and builder is key, with decisions made at the start of the project needing to be stuck to throughout. 

Finally made your decision? 

Having read this much, is your mind finally made up? Great! Now, your next step is to decide on the right builder. One way of doing so is by relying on recommendations from friends and family members. Find out how much their builder cost, along with how the costs were reached. 

It is important to interview a couple of builders and choose the one you are most comfortable with to build your home. Even if you opt for a spec builder, there is no harm in requesting regular meetings to see if customization on your house is possible at all. It is also recommended that you hire a homeowner’s representative— someone who can help you in getting your dream spec home by making the right choices. They will help you to look at plans, give you suggestions and do the site visits for you if customisations are made to your spec home.

What are you waiting for? Go out and get your dream home today!

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