Custom vs Spec Home: Which Is Right For You?

Posted on February 28, 2020

Builders in Arkansas and across the US often have many projects of different kinds going at once. This allows them to have diversity in their work in case one area of the market sours. In Arkansas, the most common types of home projects are custom homes, spec homes, and tract homes. In this blog we will discuss the two types that Parkinson Building Group typically builds.

Spec Homes

If you want to customize your home but aren’t prepared to take on a fully custom build, then a spec home may be perfect for you! Spec homes are built by home builders when market conditions are favorable so that they can resell them to individuals looking for a new home. 

Builders often build a few of these homes at the same time or with a short time in between so that they can save cost on materials. In turn, this allows them to set a competitive price on a brand new home. These are a great alternative if you want something that is yours but requires a little less planning!

Beautiful White Spec Home with chalky blue-grey shutters and three sets of rich wooden french doors (Same picture as above)
One of our recent spec homes

Spec Homes Can Be a Great Alternative to Custom

First and foremost, these homes are often purchased from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) through a realtor. This means that all costs are built in and do not need to be decided upon. The buyer does not have to think about a construction loan, they can use a traditional mortgage and the cost is done.

If a buyer purchases the home early enough, often times the builder will give them the option to choose the finishes to add a custom feel to their home. This can be anything from paint color, cabinetry, flooring, countertops, and more. However this can vary from builder to builder and home to home. Be sure to ask these questions before purchasing a spec home! 

In addition to the above, many builders have plans for these these homes and will allow you to pick your lot from a list of ones that they have purchased. While this means you will have to wait 6-9 months for your build to complete, it is the stepping stone to building a fully custom home. 

What To Prepare for With a Spec Home

Custom but not Completely Custom

This home is not 100% custom. The goal of these homes, for a builder, is to be able to build them efficiently to save cost so they can be resold. While you can always ask for a customization in these homes, the builder can refuse or charge you additional cost. 

In addition, builders often use the plans for these homes multiple times to save on planning and architecture costs. A good builder will try to space these homes out so that they are unique in the area, but some will build home after home with minor changes. This is where a spec home ventures into the realm of tract homes, also known as cookie cutter homes.

Not All Spec Homes are Equal

Since builders build and flip these homes sometimes quality can fall in favor of quantity. It is very important to choose a quality builder when looking at spec homes just as it is important to choose a quality builder when building a custom home. If a spec home is built too quickly and without care, they will lose their value quickly. Doing research on a home and builder before purchasing is essential.

Let’s Build Your Spec Home

Spec homes are a great option for people who want a new and custom home but don’t need full customization. It will give you a great in between where you can feel that satisfaction of building your home. 

If you are looking for a spec home Parkinson Building Group will be building a few in 2020, we would love to see if our homes are the right fit for you! If you would like to customize this home with your finishes, get in touch with us soon!

Custom Homes 

When we say custom, we mean custom. Top to bottom, this house is completely yours and completely picked by you. Because of all of the choices you make along the way, this home will fit you and your family perfectly, hopefully for years to come. 

What Isn’t There To Love?

What else is there to say? Building a completely custom home means you get to pick every aspect of your home. From the beautiful shower you’ve always dreamed of to the perfect library you imagined for you and your kids can be yours. There are so many upsides to a custom home because it's yours. 

Blue-grey library with comfy suede and leather furniture. The library has an old-world mixed with contemporary feel.

Building your own home is one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences. This is the place where you spend a large majority of your life and can be built to suit anything you want. Creating the most amazing pool for your family or the perfect home for entertaining are just some of the amazing things we see in custom builds. Need we say more?

J Brownlee designed pool overlooking lake Maumelle. The pool is an infinity pool with slate lining the outside. It is set in a sunset with rich yellows and deep blues

Things To Consider When Building a Custom Home

The satisfaction of building your own home is huge, however, creating your home takes determination. There are many things to consider before diving into your build.

Start Looking Early!

Often many people start by finding a lot. If you are building your dream home you want the perfect lot to put it on. Whether you are looking for acreage in the country, a lot overlooking a river, or a lot in a great family friendly neighborhood, finding these lots can take time and they SHOULD take time! We believe that the lot is just as important as the home that is built on it. We recommend starting to look for a lot as soon as you decide to go custom!

Your Builder is Your Friend

An incredible home requires the right builder. This is the person that will manage every aspect of your build. An unorganized builder can be a huge detriment to any project, but a great builder can make the process seem easy. This is your home, if you want it to be perfect you need to find the perfect builder to help you do that. 

Time To Start Searching Pinterest

As mentioned earlier, a custom home is custom from top to bottom. You pick everything from the type of light switches to the type of grass. Digging through Pinterest for hours to find the right chandelier is not unusual! Be prepared to make hundreds of decisions, even on things you never thought mattered. 

When you begin this process, start making not of everything you like to save you time and frustration down the line. If you get a chance to go to some open houses, do it! Having some ideas of things you like and don’t like can really help you make decisions in the future.

Your Custom Home Awaits

We highly encourage you to start the process of building a custom home. We have seen firsthand the happiness and satisfaction of our customers who have built their homes from top to bottom. We highly recommend this if you feel you are up to the task! When you are ready to start your custom home, give Parkinson Building Group a call, we have been building in Arkansas for 20 years. Check out our gallery to see some of our favorite homes!

Custom or Spec It’s Still Yours

Buying and building a home is a very personal experience. This is the place where you gather with family and friends, make sure that it feels like it is yours. Parkinson Building Group prides ourselves on our work and the value that we offer when building homes for people. If you are interested in building a new home, contact us today to determine what type of home is right for you!

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Office: (501) 954-8570 



18122 Cantrell Rd, Ste C
Little Rock, AR 72223
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