So you want to buy a brand new home, but should you build a custom home or buy a production home? There are pros and cons for each including differences in budget, timing, and individuality.
A production home is typically built by a homebuilder that works on volume. The builder buys land that will become a subdivision, and may have five or six different models that they plan to build.
There might be slight differences in each home, such as colors, whether the layout is flipped to the left or right, or interior finishes. Sticking to a handful of basic structures allows the builder to move at scale, because they don’t have to waste time designing a completely custom home each time.
A custom homebuilder spends more time designing and building a home that is fit for your individual needs. They may often be able to design the home for you, or allow you to bring your own architect. While the production homebuilder starts with a subdivision that they own, a custom homebuilder often works on land that you purchase.
Whether you pick a production home or a custom homebuilder will depend on a variety of factors including cost, flexibility, and timeframe.
Production homebuilders attempt to keep costs down by limiting options. Because they only have a handful of different models of homes, they save money by not needing to customize each home. Similarly, since they build many homes in the same subdivision, they benefit from some efficiencies of scale. Typically, a production home is going to be less expensive than a building a custom home, but at the expense of uniqueness and fit.
Custom homebuilders work hard to give you the home that fits your needs, wants, and budget. Because they are working with their clients individually to bring them something unique, they don’t benefit from the same efficiencies of scale that production homebuilders benefit from. Therefore, custom homes tend to cost more, but will more likely be closer to what you are looking for.
Because production homebuilders with an existing inventory of lots and home models, your options will be limited to what is available. Flexibility will be limited to the remaining lots and models in their inventory.
A custom homebuilder will most likely give you a lot more flexibility in creating the home you are looking for. They frequently will be able to work on a wide range of lots within the region they build in. The design of your home will not be limited to their pre-determined models. As long as you have the budget, they will be able to accommodate just about anything you can imagine.
If you are in a hurry to buy, a production builder might be your best option. Production homes are often built before a buyer is present. This allows you to tour the inventory of homes, pick out one you like, and start the contract process. In some cases, you could move into your new home within a few months.
Because a custom home is designed from scratch, the process can often take a year or more to complete. You will have to allow time to secure a lot and financing, design the structure, permit the property, and build before you can move in.
The Choice is Yours
Production homes are typically for people who are looking for a less expensive home on a quicker timeframe and who are willing to give up some flexibility in their lot location and home design.
Building a custom home is typically for people who want more control over the location and design of their home and are willing to pay a bit more and to wait a bit longer to move in.
Want to get a feel for the type of home that’s right for you in terms of size, rooms, amenities, and build time?
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