Nutown Realty
Central Ohio New Home Specialists

Columbus Ohio's Builder Guide

What Is A Spec Home?

Article by Jim Maurer - Thursday March 28th, 2013

In simplest terms, a spec home is a home built ( or started ) without a specific buyer in mind. Spec home is short for speculation home. The builder constructs the home based on speculation that a future buyer will buy it.

In reality, homes that end up as spec homes are built for many reasons. During a seasonally slow time a builder may start a number of homes knowing they will be near completion when the market typically picks up. This keeps his crews busy and allows him to sell more homes during the busy season. Many builders build from a limited list of floor plans. The first time they build a new floor plan they may build it as a spec home to work out the final design. Some builders will start a home for you even if you have a home to sell. If these homes are near completion but the buyer has not yet sold his existing home, this home may be offered to other buyers as a spec home. Builders build 'model homes' so potential buyers can see what their finished product looks like. When the neighborhoods these models are built in fill up, the builder no longer needs a model in this location, so it is sold as a spec home.
Spec homes go by many names. Here are a few names some Central Ohio builders use:
  • Inventory Homes
  • Move In Ready Homes
  • Homes Ready Now
  • Featured Homes

Many times these homes are only finished to drywall. This allows the buyer to choose paint color, carpet color and other finishing options.

Why buy a spec home? The biggest advantage of buying a spec home is time. Building a home from scratch takes about six months. Many times you can move in a spec home in thirty to sixty days. Another advantage is seeing what you are purchasing. Some find it difficult to visualize their new home that has not been built yet. With a spec home you don't have to. Buying a spec home still gives you many of the advantages of building a new home:
  • From the woodwork, floors, and counter tops, to the furnace, water, heater and roof, everything is brand new and most items will come with a warrantee.
  • New homes are built from the ground up with energy efficiency in mind.
  • Builder arranged preferred financing
The biggest disadvantage of a spec home is choice, or rather your lack of choice. Things you will miss out on when purchasing a spec home:
  • Opportunity to tweak the floor plan to meet your specific needs
  • Depending on how far along the house is when you purchase it, you may miss out on choosing lighting, counter tops, cabinets etc.
  • Selection of lot. The lot choice has already been made.
Depending on your situation, buying a spec home might be right for you. Let us know, we'll check the builders' inventory to see if there is a spec home that meets your needs.
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