Spec Home or Custom Build?

In a market where there are a lot of new homes being built, let’s clarify what you are really getting when you buy a new build.

There is some confusion when you are looking at purchasing a newly built, or soon to be built, home (pre-sale). Most people assume as it hasn’t been built yet, you have options or input into the building of the home.

That’s not exactly the case. It all depends on if it is a spec home or a custom-built home. Unless you have specifically contracted a custom builder or architect, you are probably looking at a spec home.


Spec Home

Designed by builders to appeal to the mass market.

The builder has already chosen the layout, floor plan and finishing quality.

Everything is already designed and chosen, BUT there may be the possibility to select from 2 pre-selected options for:

  • Interior design choices: paint color, flooring, countertops.
  • Exterior color or siding option.

There may be upgrades available: Natural gas, fireplace, higher end finishings or appliances but these may come at an additional cost.

You work through your realtor to finalize any options upgrades.

Usually, the price is for the land and home with builder selected finishings, PLUS GST, PLUS any paid upgrades (if applicable).

Faster possession time because plans are usually submitted to the municipality and work is either scheduled to begin or has already started.


Custom Home

You work with a custom design team to determine every aspect of the home: design; layout; materials; and features.

The home is designed specifically for you, your style and your wish list.

You work closely together with the builder/design team and have control over the build.

You end up with a one-of-a-kind home specifically for you but usually the cost will be significantly more than a spec home.

Generally, you purchase the land then hire your builder or design team to work directly with them on all aspects of the build including the budget.

Price is usually land PLUS GST. You determine the budget with your builder or design team. Any changes once plans are in to the municipality will be a change order that will have an associated cost.

Longer possession time due to design process, permitting time with the municipality and builder availability.

. . . .

Custom home by Somenos Construction.

MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.