Spec homes vs new builds: Which one is right for you?
So, you want your next home to be shiny and new, but should you go with a spec home or a new build?
Spec homes are brand-new properties that are completed (or nearly completed) before they’re sold. While new builds are more customisable, spec homes can greatly reduce the decision-making process and time until ownership. Take a look at the pros and cons of each option, to help you decide which one is right for you.
With a new build, you sit down with your architect or builder and design a home suited to your specific needs and preferences. Some builders have a library of base plans, so you don’t necessarily need to start from scratch.
You can generally choose the number and types of rooms you want, as well as the colors and finishes of walls, doors, floors, cabinets and appliances – even the placement of interior lights, switches and TV points.
Features that are important to you can be built into the property, and you don’t have to pay for the things you don’t need. Your home will be perfectly tailored to your style and budget.
When building a home, you can be faced with delays and uncertainty. From developing plans to finding a suitable site and waiting for council approval, your move-in date might be months away. During that time you may experience further delays and budget overruns due to weather or construction issues.
Then there are your finances to consider.
You might need to secure additional financing in the form of a bridge loan to pay for construction costs, while paying your existing mortgage. This situation may not appeal to some home buyers.
While you may not get to choose every detail of a spec home, this option can offer excellent value for money.
Instead of spending months doing the research yourself, or having to pay a design firm, professional designers will have already found the right combination of architecture, colors and finishes to create a beautiful result.
Some spec home builders use familiar blueprints and have greater purchasing power, they can pass these savings on to the buyer. Many high-end items you find in spec homes today – such as European appliances, stone bench tops and timber flooring – can be very expensive if purchased individually.
Then there’s the added benefit of simpler financing. Buying a spec home could mean avoiding complex lending structures and progress payments, as the majority are sold with settlement upon completion.
Knowing when you can move into your new home is another bonus, as it will either be completed or well under construction.
Depending on the phase of construction, many of the design decisions will already have been made for you, which is sometimes a big deal to a new home buyer. The price might also include features you don’t need.
Whether you go with a new build or spec home depends on your personal needs and preferences. If you’re the type of person who enjoys being involved every step of the way, a new build may be the way to go. But for buyers who want to avoid a lengthy construction process and prefer a fast close and move-in, spec homes can be an excellent option.
When looking to buy a new home, be sure to consult with an experienced builder who has a proven track record, is customer focused and financially secure.