Thinking About a New Construction Home? Read This Guide First


If you’ve been house hunting for a while, you might be starting to wonder if the perfect home is really out there after all! Resale homes are easy to move into, but they’re not always easy to make your own. New construction homes are a great choice for homebuyers who know exactly what they want and can wait at least a few months to get it. If you’re dreaming of a brand-new home that’s just your style, read on to get acquainted with the different types of homes you can build and what you should know before you break ground.

When to Buy a Custom Home

Custom homes are an excellent option for homebuyers who are ready to invest time—often a year or more—and money into building their dream home. While the phrase evokes larger estates, “custom” simply reflects the level of control you have over your home’s design. Empty nesters looking to downsize without sacrificing style might choose to build a smaller home with exactly the appliances and finishes they’ve always wanted, and big families looking for space can build a comfortable home with bonus rooms like a nursery, a gym, or a library.

The prospect of managing your home’s construction is exciting, but it can be a daunting process and requires a lot of expert help and decision-making. Not all buyers want to work with an architect, especially those who wish to have a quicker move-in timeline or are building in rural areas with few design offices. Such buyers typically choose from an assortment of luxury house plans available online, which can be brought to custom builders. Premade plans are available for a wide variety of architecture, and many of the most upmarket options include true premium features like wine cellars and porte-cochères.

What To Do When You Need To Move Soon

If your timeline can’t accommodate a custom build, your best option is either a production builder or a spec builder, since both have move-in ready options available. Production-built homes are also known as tract homes because the builders purchase several home lots at a time in large tracts of land. These homes come in a limited range of floor plans and finishes; you’ll have a few options, but production homes are generally more semi-custom than custom.

Although they have a reputation for being cost-conscious choices, production builds are available at all price ranges, from starter home to luxury construction. Even high-end production homes with fine finishes are less expensive and easier to move into than other options.

“Spec” is short for speculative; spec homes get their name from the home builder’s speculation that if they build a home, they’ll find a buyer. They’re similar to production homes in many ways but are usually built by smaller companies buying individual plots. The customizations available depend on where the builder is in the construction process. If construction is finished, there are no choices left to be made, but if you start the purchase process during construction, the builder may be able to accommodate some of your choices. Like production homes, spec homes are a great choice for buyers who need to relocate quickly but still prefer new construction, as well as those who are too busy to oversee a lengthy construction process.

What to Consider Before You Build

Whether you choose a custom, spec, or production home, some considerations are common to all new construction. Researching your builder is a crucial part of the process; read reviews, look for pictures of homes they’ve built, and, if possible, get in touch with previous clients to hear about the process. Particularly for custom homes, your relationship with the builder can last months to years, so you’ll want to know everything you can before you commit. If you’re purchasing your own lot, be sure to ask the broker about zoning and utilities, as you may be responsible for the cost of bringing services like water and electricity to the lot if they aren’t already present.

Home Buying can be a long process, but custom or semi-custom builders can help you make sure that the house you move into is the house you really wanted.