Spec Homes, House & Land Packages, Custom Builds – What’s The Difference?

If you’re planning on building or purchasing a brand new home in the near future, before making any firm decisions, it’s important to know what options are available and to fully understand what they entail. This article is going to be taking a closer look at spec homes, house and land packages, as well as custom built homes. Read on to discover what each option is all about so you can understand the differences between the three. This will help you to decide which is the right option for you moving forward. Buying a home is a major investment, so you’ll want to make the right choice.

What Are Spec Homes?

Spec homes are quite commonplace in Australia and essentially a spec home is when a home is built on speculation. What this means is that the builder has a house designed that includes certain features on the assumption that the design and features will appeal to a fairly broad spectrum of home buyers. Sometimes this works out well for the builder and sometimes it doesn’t.

Spec homes are sometimes purchased off the plan or while still in the construction phase. Far more commonly though, they’ll be purchased once building has been completed.

If spec homes are located in a hot zone or an area that is tipped to boom, they are appealing for the property investor. Real estate investors don’t plan to live in the homes they purchase. Therefore, the home’s features are not so vital. So long as the investor believes they’ll be able to rent the home out for the right price, they’ll be interested.

For home buyers who plan to live in the house they purchase, there’s nothing wrong with buying a spec home, so long as it fulfills most or all of your personal requirements. One advantage of a spec home is the purchaser can usually move in right away, rather than waiting for the home to be constructed first.

The greatest downside to purchasing a spec home is it likely won’t have all the design features you would prefer.

House & Land Packages

While a spec home is essentially sold as a house and land package, there are some distinct differences between a spec home and your classic house and land offer.

One of the main differences is that house and land packages are generally sold while still in the planning stages. This provides some flexibility for the prospective purchaser, as they’ll usually have a few set home designs to choose from, as well as being able to make minor requests, such as choosing the paint colours, the carpets, tap fittings, tiles and so on to suit their individual tastes. This adds a more personalised touch to the home and the homeowner feels like they’ve had some input into how the home is going to look once built.

A couple of downsides to house and land packages compared to spec homes is you first have to wait some time for the house to be built before you can move in. Also, because you’re only looking at plans and drawings, the prospective buyer really needs to use their imagination to visualise what the finished product is truly going to look like. Having said that, there might be a real-life example somewhere in the vicinity that you can at least take a look at from the outside.

A Closer Look At Custom Builds

Custom home builds are the way to go if you really want to get what you desire. With a home that’s custom built, it’s been specifically designed with the individual customer in mind. If you opt for a custom built home, the house will be designed by an architect to your specifications and the builder will then build the house exactly as you want it to be.

One of the biggest advantages of custom builds is that your home will be unique. Unlike spec homes and house and land packages, where many of the homes are built off the same or similar plan, a custom build is completely unique and won’t look like every other home in the neighbourhood. Not everyone wants to live in a stock standard home and not all home buyers are property investors seeking rental income. Custom builds offer the homeowner something special.

Of course, another massive advantage when it comes to custom built homes is you can have every single feature built into the home that you desire. This includes the size and design of the house itself, materials used, finishes, landscaping and more. Spec homes don’t offer you any real modifications and the modifications you can request when purchasing a house and land package are limited in comparison to a custom built home.

You also get to purchase your own land in the location you want and then have your custom built home constructed on that land.

If you decide to go with the custom build option, it’s important to hire a building contractor that comes highly recommended, is reliable and someone you can trust to perform the construction to your specifications and to the highest building standards. After all, the home is getting designed and built from scratch. You won’t be able to inspect the same house somewhere else and, unlike spec homes, there isn’t a display home you can wander through to see what it looks like and to check the build quality. The success of your dream custom built home hinges on choosing the right builder for your project.

The Takeaway

So, there are the three types of homes explained in further detail. Spec homes have their place and might be good for a first homebuyer or a property investor. House and land packages are a little better than a spec home, as you have some modification options and usually a variety of different plans to choose from. The best of the three though, if you really want to get what you want, is to have your home designed and custom built by a quality builder.