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The prospect of building a new home is an exciting one. It can symbolize a fresh start, and many new homebuyers envision creating new memories with family and friends in a space that is uniquely their own. Buying a new home also reduces the likelihood of finding hidden problems down the line that may require expensive renovations, giving homeowners confidence that their most important investment will retain its value and provide a safe and comfortable place to live for years to come.
Weighing The Costs
Though the beginning of the building process is marked by excitement and optimism, these feelings can start to fade as home buyers spend six months to a year in a temporary residence waiting for their home to be completed — often leaving a previous long-term residence in favor of a rental that affords the flexibility of a month-to-month lease.
Finding flexible living arrangements is not the only challenge that buyers will face during a custom build, however. The buyer is also responsible for nearly all of the design choices for their new home, from layout to paint colors. And, of course, work and family obligations don’t disappear while you are in the process of building a home.
Though the ability to build the home of your dreams may more than make up for a few months of stress, many homebuyers can be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options present in a new build. Unless you have a background in home design or are able to spend a decent chunk of time researching the pros and cons of various upgrades and layouts, you may be opening yourself up to design flaws or unnecessary expenses that won’t add value to your home in the long run.
Taking Out The Guesswork
Speculatively built homes streamline the buying process while still offering the benefits of a new build. Spec homes are built without a specific buyer in mind — the builder designs the home and hopes that they will be approached by a buyer once the construction process is complete. The majority of these buyers are attracted by the option to move in immediately, which can help families and individuals avoid the inconvenience of finding a temporary residence and moving multiple times within a short period.
Buying a spec home also relieves you of the often-overwhelming responsibility that comes with designing your own home. Rather than stressing over which upgrades are worth the expense or whether there is a hidden flaw in your layout, you can be confident knowing that a professional builder has chosen a high-quality floor plan and filled the home with sensible upgrades that appeal to a wide range of buyers.
Drawing from experiences with past clients, the builder chooses balanced amenities that ensure a comfortable and modern living experience while preserving affordability. Some spec homes builders will even allow the buyer to add a few customizations as long as the materials have not already been decided on.
Spec homes are usually marketed by the builder from their model homes, so you can schedule a walkthrough and know exactly what your home will look like, rather than hoping that the final product lives up to your expectations. Spec homes also often come out onto the multiple listing service (MLS) and market similar to a resale home, so if you are working with a realtor, they can easily set up a showing for a spec home in your area.
Reaping The Benefits
Though many builders offer the option to warranty your newly built home, most spec homes come with the warranty included. According to the FTC, most warranties on new homes will cover siding, doors, trim and drywall for the first year and HVAC, plumbing and electrical for two years; some include 10-year coverage for “major structural defects.”
With a spec home, you can avoid much of the stress of a custom build, while being able to immediately move into a brand new home. Spec homes are built according to proven designs and warrantied to provide the homeowner peace of mind.
Buying a move-in-ready home ensures that inspections have already been completed and any issues resolved, eliminating the need for the buyer to negotiate repairs. Though a spec home does not offer much in terms of creative control, for many, the savings in terms of time, money and stress offer more than adequate compensation.