Wondering whether you should build a custom home or buy a spec home in South Jersey? While custom homes are completely customized from start to finish, spec homes are pre-built homes. Spec homes are built based on the builder’s speculation about home buyers’ tastes and buying habits, as well as market trends.
Both types of homes give you the plus of being the first to call it home. However, each type comes with different benefits and drawbacks. The right fit for you will depend on your unique situation.
In this post, our real estate experts at Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Nancy Kowalik Group will discuss the pros and cons of custom and spec homes. We’ll also cover some of the factors you should consider when deciding between the two.
What to Consider About Custom Homes
Pros of Custom Homes
The main benefit of custom homes is that they allow for total creative freedom. You can choose your own floor plan and home design. You can also choose the materials, finishes, color schemes, appliances, and features you want in the home.
If you have a specific vision for your home and want a unique layout or special features, a custom home gives you the perfect opportunity to turn your dream into reality. You can choose to follow the latest design trends, use the highest-quality materials, install smart-home features, or make your home energy efficient.
You also have the freedom to choose the location of your home. With a custom home, all you need to do is purchase a plot of land. When you hire the builders, they’ll build on your lot.
Another benefit to custom homes is that they are built with all-new materials and appliances. This means you likely won’t have to encounter any repairs or maintenance issues after moving in. In addition, many home builders offer warranties to protect the quality of their craftsmanship.
However, it’s still important to get a home inspection before moving into the home. An inspector can catch any defects or structural issues that may have been overlooked during the construction process.
Custom homes also offer a flexible construction timeline, depending on the size and scope of the project. While they ultimately take longer to build, the flexibility in the process allows you to work with the builder to establish a construction timeline that aligns with your needs.
Cons of Custom Homes
Custom homes also come with several drawbacks. First, as mentioned above, the building process takes longer. Depending on the size of the home, the home builder will need time for sketching the home design before the construction process can even begin.
Smaller homes can be designed and constructed in a year. Larger homes, on the other hand, can take seven to eight months just to plan the design. After that, construction can take around a year or more.
This also doesn’t account for the potential delays that the builders could encounter due to weather, supply chain issues, or material shortages.
These types of situations mean that custom homes come with less certainty than spec homes. You won’t be able to predict if delays in the process are going to occur. As a result, you may have to be flexible with your move-in timeline.
Finding a location for your custom home can also be a drawback. Available lots tend to be farther away from city and town centers, meaning you may have a longer commute to your job, schools, grocery stores, and public transportation options.
Lastly, financing a new construction home can be a major drawback. Depending on the timeline, size of the home, quality of the building materials, and customization options, you could end up paying a significant amount more than a spec home would be.
What to Consider About Spec Homes
Pros of Spec Homes
The first benefit of buying a spec home in South Jersey is that they save you time. Because the homes are pre-built or already completed, you can move in much faster and make sure the move-in timeline aligns with your schedule.
In addition, since the homes are newly built, you’ll be getting the latest design trends, high-quality materials, modern appliances, and popular features. And just like with custom homes, home builders will also typically offer warranties for their spec homes. This allows you to be confident in its quality.
Another benefit to spec homes is the price. While they’re more expensive than resale homes, they’re often much cheaper than a completely customized home. In fact, because builders often build spec homes before they know the demand is there, they offer incentives to encourage people to move into them.
This can include discounts or the ability to lock in your price and avoid bidding wars with other buyers. You also have the option to negotiate on the price.
Spec homes are also beneficial if you find the decision-making process overwhelming and don’t want to deal with all the material and floorplan options. With a spec home, you’re still getting a newly-designed, modern house that’s catered to the taste of most buyers in the market.
Cons of Spec Homes
Just as limited customization can be a benefit, it’s also one of the biggest downsides of spec homes. You’ll have no control over the design or construction process. This means you won’t be able to choose the color scheme, features, or floorplan of the home. Instead, everything is designed by the builder.
This also includes the location of the home. Unlike a custom home, you won’t be able to choose the location of your spec home. The availability of spec homes is dependent on the builder’s inventory, which may be limited to certain locations or lot sizes. This could be an issue if your goal is to live in a specific neighborhood.
Another drawback is the price. A spec home in South Jersey tends to be much more expensive than resale homes since everything is brand new.
How to Decide Between Building a Custom Home or Buying a Spec Home in South Jersey?
If you’re deciding between a customized and spec home in South Jersey, you need to consider your situation. First, analyze your move-in timeline. Is there a certain date you need to move by, for example, for a new job? If so, then a spec home may be a better fit.
Otherwise, you’ll need to start planning your custom home potentially years in advance and include time for potential delays.
Next, think about your financial situation. If you want a custom home with the highest quality materials and the latest features, you’ll need to create a detailed budget. If you don’t have as much flexibility financially, then a spec home might be a better option.
Your life stage is another important factor. For example, if you’re simply looking for a larger home for your growing family, then spec homes may be worth looking into. On the other hand, if you’re an empty nester looking for creative control to build your dream home, then you could consider a custom home.
The amount of time you plan to stay in the home is an important consideration as well. If you want to move into a home you can spend the rest of your years in, then a custom home can be a good option. But if you plan to move in the future, then you may be better off with a spec home.
Find a Spec Home in South Jersey With Our Expert Team
If you’re looking for builders in South Jersey to help you with a custom or spec home, Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Nancy Kowalik Group can help. Our award-winning team of realtors has been serving home buyers in the area for years. During that time, we’ve developed a reputation network of home builders that we regularly partner with.
We can also represent you and advocate for your interests in the transaction. Home builders listen to us because they value the clients we bring to them. For this reason, we can make sure you receive the best possible deal on your home.
Home buyers also like working with us because of our unique buyer guarantees, like our Buyer Cancellation Guarantee. With this guarantee, you have the option of canceling your buyer agreement with our team at any time before making an offer on a home. You can cancel for any reason and face no consequences.
To learn more about our guarantees or what it’s like working with our team, call (856) 478-6562. You can also fill out the form on this page.