What is a custom home, spec home, and tract home and what is the difference between them? These are common terms every potential purchaser of a new home should take the time to consider exactly what is meant since there’s a big difference between the three.Below are the various definitions as well as the advantages and disadvantages related to each type.

modern farmhouse custom home, Baltimore County, Md
“What is a Custom Home?”


CUSTOM HOMES — The expression “custom” normally refers to a house that has been constructed especially for a single customer. In other words, the construction of the house aims a particular customer’s specifications. That usually includes the floor plan, great choice, selection of colors and materials, and all the fixtures included as part of the end product. While it’s true, some custom homes are more customized than others; these houses commonly fulfill a customer’s specific needs better than the other alternatives.

Custom home buyers often take part in the actual building procedure. No, they don’t get to drive the nails or complete the concrete; however, they see daily advancement. It may be a great deal of fun, although some find it a little frightening too. Done properly, custom buyers are active participants who achieve a level of satisfaction when building their homes that no other process could accomplish. They create many options such as colors and styles of tile, brick, carpet, wall-finishes, cabinets, lighting fixtures, countertops, and hardware. A number of these items are purchased within an allowable budget, meaning that the contract sets out a specific amount of money set aside for every class. It’s up to the purchaser to select what is bought within that funding.

Some view the custom home construction process as a partnership between the home buyer and their builder. It is imperative the custom home buyer has confidence in their builder. That means both sides have to be honest, honest, and worthy of their confidence required to achieve the mutual goals. There is an axiom in the business: “Know your builder.” That is pretty good advice.

Pros – The buyer controls the lot buy, so location is not out of their control. Also, they have input to the design, so the size and number of these rooms should meet the requirements of the customer. The final cost of the house is composed of the expenses of its various components, leading to better management of their bottom-line. Amenities significant to the buyer could be contained in the home while those not significant or not desired don’t add to the total cost of the house.

Disadvantages — Probably the greatest deterrent to creating a custom home is the uncertainty – a multifaceted issue. Customers question locating the “right” custom home builder, their ability to obtain the “ideal” floor plan, how much time it may take to construct a house, if they’ll be satisfied with the final product, whether (as some jokingly suggest) their union will endure, and much more. In other words, purchasing an existing home may not be exactly what they need, but they can see what they are getting the day they sign the contract. Building a custom home comes with a particular perceived threat that some individuals have more concern about than others. In my experience, if one is “non-visual,” this procedure can be quite overwhelming and stressful for the buyer and builder.

Spec Home
What is a Spec Home?


SPEC HOMES – The term “spec” is short for speculative home for sale. Builders, many custom home contractors occasionally build homes available with no specific buyer in your mind. These houses are completed fully, but it’s possible to find a spec home still under construction in Baltimore, MD.

Depending on how far along the construction procedure is, it is likely you can still make a few of the choices such as paint colors, tile, countertops, and much more. A spec home will have much of the design efforts already complete. The builder has made a lot of decisions concerning what is going to go into building the home.

It’s probably the builder’s decisions will be pretty conservative hoping to create a home that will appeal to the broadest market possible. There will usually be a few areas where the builder goes the extra mile, but generally speaking, the overall price of the home will be a major consideration. Based upon the price assortment of the home, builders will usually create their best effort to build what they think will sell easily. An experienced builder will know what people like and are willing to purchase.

Some builders specialize in spec homes. They prefer building houses with no complication of working with a customer’s involvement. Other builders enjoy the process of coping together with their customers and might favor building a custom house rather than a spec house. Still, others make little or no distinction between the two.

Pros — based on the builder, of course, spec homes are usually a reasonably safe investment. Typically, will be nicely done, balanced concerning amenities and upgrades, constructed in promising areas, and marketable. Every year, many beautiful spec homes are built. Experienced builders who specialize in the spec home market stake their reputations on their own decisions. Possibly the most appealing feature of a spec house is the consumer can see just what their money is buying.

Cons — The best deterrent to purchasing in the spec market is the fact that the homes are very much someone else’s idea of what your home needs to be. Most decisions are finalized depending on the phase of construction the dwelling is in at the time of purchase. All the special features that might be nice to contemplate putting in the home are there, or not. The perfect situation in purchasing a spec home is placing one under contract at the early period of construction to assure customization of your taste in colors, etc..

Tract Homes
What is a Tract Home?


TRACT HOMESWikipedia defines tract housing as:  “A home which has a similar style and Floor Plan to those of the rest of the houses in a growth. Contrast with Custom Builder. Example: Pleasant Acres is a Subdivision of tract houses. Each residence is a 3-bedroom ranch-style house using the exact same basic floor plan.”

Tract housing can usually be delivered to the market at a far lower price per square foot. Volume building makes it possible for the builder to purchase materials and contract for labor at a much lower rate than traditional home building procedures. The main reason is straightforward; the floor plans are among a couple of popular plans that the builder supplies for sale. They may be reversed or add different option packages, but they’re essentially the same homes built over and over, sometimes hundreds of times. Typically tract houses are located in smaller cities than Baltimore, MD. I thoroughly love how Baltimore and Maryland offer so many distinctive homes and architectural designs.

The cost is often the best selling point in track housing. How much savings might be at stake depends on which builder that the tract builder is being compared. There might be a substantial difference compared to a higher-quality custom house builder. The products are not intended to be exactly the same. One is built to be very inexpensive, while the other is intended to appeal to an entirely different sector.

Pros — The lower cost is the obvious leader in this category. There’s usually little doubt about what kind of house will be built next door, and the sub-division will likely build out fast.

Cons — These houses are made using price-point as a major concern, so the high quality v. investment is almost always given a high priority. Elements like cabinets, hardware, and appliances would be the more obvious areas where money may have been stored, often at the expense of quality. Other areas may include framing components, paint ranges, shingle weight, and carpet grade to mention a couple. These components are not obvious to the typical buyer, particularly someone not knowledgeable about building techniques and materials. Lastly, the resale worth is the best disadvantage of a tract home. There is enormous competition when buying a tract home. Cost is usually about the one thing that makes one more appealing than another identical house down the street.

Tract homes fulfill the needs a lot of buyers, especially first time home buyers. They may be relatively inexpensive and, while not always ideal for a short-term investment, the longer the buyer plans on living in the home, the better that this choice might be.