Understanding Custom, Spec, and Tract Homebuilding

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If you are in the market for a new house in the Carolinas, you’ve probably been looking into all of the options available to you. Undoubtedly, you’ve learned about the three primary types of new home-builders as you’ve researched. These are known as custom home-builders, spec home-builders, and tract home-builders. In this guide, you will discover basic information about all three types of new residences. It’s important to understand the differences between these three sorts of construction projects so you can figure out which one is the best choice for you. 

Custom homes

Custom homes are the most personalized of all three new home construction categories. The homeowner has full control over the floor plan, interior finishes, and exterior design. If you go this route, you will be able to make any and all decisions regarding your new Carolina house. If for, example, you want to use reclaimed wood flooring throughout your residence, you’ll be able to obtain it from your desired source without restriction. 

Even special features like upgraded siding and roofing materials or solar panel arrays are fair game in a custom home build. It is important to note that custom homes are generally the most expensive type of residential construction project. There are a number of reasons for this, but one of the main factors is that people often choose more expensive materials when they can select anything they want. 

Spec homes

Spec home-builders get their name from the fact that they “speculatively” purchase land, working under the assumption that they can sell it to a prospective homeowner looking to build a house at a later date. In some cases, spec builders even erect a couple of homes and put them on the market at a relatively affordable price.

If you choose to purchase a spec house, the odds are good that you’ll get to make some design decisions, even though the bulk of the layout will probably be done before you close. Spec homes are a good option for those who want some of the freedom that comes with building a fully custom home without the overall cost. 

Tract homes

Tract homes are often referred to as “subdivision homes” or “cookie-cutter homes.” As a general rule, when homeowners purchase plots in new subdivisions, they are usually able to choose from three to five tract home layouts. While homeowners may be able to make a few key design decisions, such as countertop colors and hardwood versus carpeted flooring, finishes are likely to be builder grade and, therefore, of medium quality in most cases.

The main perk of tract homes is their affordability. Tract home builders generally sell dozens, or even hundreds, of houses at a time, so they are able to charge less money per square foot than custom builders, who may only have one or two jobs going at any given time.

Hopefully, this information has helped you understand the differences among custom, spec, and tract home construction categories. When you are ready to have your next North Carolina or South Carolina home built, it is important to find a reputable home builder whose construction processes and pricing structure suit your situation.

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