Spec House vs. Pre-Sale Home

If you’ve explored the possibility of buying a new construction home, you may have heard the term spec house and thought to yourself “What is a spec house?” Spec homes differ from traditional custom new construction homes, as the builder chooses the features and finishes before the home is listed on the market.

Building a spec house is a great way to venture into new construction without waiting for the home to be built from the ground up. Though you won’t be able to pre-select your features and finishes, you still get to be the first resident of a top-notch new construction home! Keep reading to see if a spec house is the right type of new construction home for you.

In this article:

  • What is a spec house?
  • What is the difference between a spec house and a pre-sale home?
  • Is buying a spec home a good idea?

What is a spec house?

Spec homes are move-in ready new construction homes that the builder built according to a pre-planned layout with pre-selected features. The phrase “spec house“ originates from builders “speculating” that their homes would sell once finished. Therefore “spec” is short for “speculative.”


What is the difference between a spec house and a pre-sale home?

If you decide to purchase a new construction home, the builder likely offers two options: a spec house or a pre-sale home.

  • A pre-sale home is typically a true custom home, wherein the homebuyers select the floor plan, finishes, and other details inside and outside the home.
  • Spec homes lack the customized personalization of a new construction home, since the features, finishes, location, and floorplan are chosen by the homebuilder before the home is listed for sale.


Is buying a spec home a good idea?

Building a spec house is a great idea, especially for those who want to move quickly into a new construction home. However, spec homes aren’t for everyone. To see if a spec house is the right choice for you, keep reading to evaluate the pros and cons.

Pros of spec homes

  • Faster move-in
    A spec house is attractive for those who want to move in fast. Compared to a traditional, custom new construction home, with a longer construction timeline, building a spec house will have you moved in quicker.
  • More affordable
    Spec homes tend to be more affordable than pre-sale homes because pre-planned construction details allow the builder to build more efficiency.
  • High-quality new construction
    Even with more affordable price tags, you’re still getting a brand-new, high quality new construction home when you buy a spec house. Built with new appliances and the latest building practices, building a spec house means you get to enjoy a home that no one else has lived in!

Cons of spec homes

  • Lack of control
    The most significant con when building a spec house is that you cannot select many of the features, finishes, and design details. Since the builder constructs the home based on pre-selected design plans, the final product may not be the exact design you want. Similar to buying a resale home, you may want to change aspects of the house after you purchase it.
  • Inability to choose location
    By the time a spec house hits the market, construction has already begun. Therefore, you’re unable to choose your lot or location. Home builders often select desirable and attractive neighborhoods to build in, but spec homes don’t offer the ability to choose your preferred lot off the main street or on a cul-de-sac.
  • Competitive market
    If you’re considering a spec house, moving fast is in your best interest. Since these homes are ready for move-in and already listed on the market, many other potential buyers may be looking at the same home. Those building a spec house should be serious about making a decision quickly.

If you’re in a pinch and want a new construction home without the wait, a spec house might be the perfect arrangement for you! Take a look at our available move-in ready spec homes without sacrificing style or quality. Get in touch with our team in your favorite neighborhood to come take a look!