Should You Buy a Spec Home Or Build A Custom Home in Pickerington Ohio? (Pros & Cons)

Congratulations! You’re in a position to obtain your dream home: whether you build a custom home in Pickerington Ohio or choose to purchase what is known as a “spec home”. 

As you do research and plan on your vision home, you might have come across these two terms: custom home and spec home. Each option has nice benefits that you’ll like. The option that’s best for you ultimately comes down to what your exact dream and needs are for your Pickerington, Ohio home.

Today, we’ll be explaining the differences between the two home building project types so you know what’s best for your vision and the needs of your family. 

What is a Spec Home?

A spec, or speculative home, is a property that the builder pre-designed to have built on a plot of land. The term “spec” in this case means that the builder is working on a home project designed with speculation that it’ll appeal to potential buyers. 

The property could be sold in the middle of the build, allowing the buyer to add their input for the remainder of the project. The property could also be completed and move-in ready. Buyers won’t have much involvement in the home design, but they can move into the home quickly… and know it’ll be a high-quality, tested-and-true design that has been shown to work for many families. 


  • Spec homes are move in ready homes, which is convenient for those who need to relocate for a job or their children’s school enrollment, or who don’t have the time or patience for custom builds.
  • Despite the lack of involvement in the design, you’re getting a nicely designed home at a good price.  (and this design has been tried and tested by many families just like yours.)
  • Compared to custom homes, the price is noticeably cheaper.
  • You can check out the home before you buy in case you don’t like what you see.


  • Because the home was built with the home builder’s design blueprints, you won’t have as much –if any– say in the overall design of the home.
  • There could be a good list of potential buyers beyond just you. Whoever makes the best deal will get the home.
  • You might not be fond of the location
  • The paint and amenities may not be to your liking. After moving in, you’ll have to spend additional money to make those changes.

What is a Custom Home?

A custom home is just as it sounds: your home is customized to be exactly the way you want it to be. The buyer has full control of the design, not the builder. The builder will work with you, readily available with an expert team to make your home vision a reality. 

This kind of home generally won’t have an intent to sell in the future. You may want to design the home for you to age in place


  • Not only is the home built to your design, but so are the components of the home as well. That means the color, appliances, light fixtures, cabinets, and other features.
  • Unlike spec homes, you have control of the location. You don’t have to be next to or part of a development of other homes. You can be completely secluded if you desire.
  • Because it’s designed your way, you can –and should– design it to be livable for decades to come.


  • The costs associated with building a custom home are much higher.
  • It’ll take more time before the home is move-in ready. It takes time for the home to look the way you want it. Additionally, you risk delays during construction.
  • Finding the ideal location may take some time and consideration. The price could be higher if you choose a prime location. 

Determine What Your Wants and Needs are Before Choosing

If you’re not certain which option is best for you, ask yourself these questions.

“How Long Do I Want to Live Here?”

Do you intend to live in this home for several years? If so, you need to ensure that the home is designed with the future in mind. The ability to age in place is crucial for long-term living.

It also helps its overall value. Custom homes are the option for you if you don’t intend to sell for a while. Just ensure to incorporate universal design in your project.

Are you just looking for a place to move in fast? Will you sell the home after a few years have passed? A spec home will be the best choice.

While you don’t have any creative say in its construction, you won’t have to wait to move in. It’s a great choice if you want to flip the home for a return on investment.

“How Much Creative Control Do I Need?”

No matter which option you choose, it’ll feel great to own your home; it’s yours to do whatever you want to it. It all comes down to how badly you want your input on the overall design.

Buying a spec home means you’ll need to pay additional money to make any home design additions or changes. You can avoid that with a custom home. All of your design preferences will be part of the project plan. 

"What Can I Afford?"

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the price of a spec home is often noticeably less than a custom home. Those of you aiming to keep costs lower will want to choose this option. However, some factors that could raise costs include prime location, other home buyers, or the real estate market in general. 

Now, if you have a larger budget, custom homes will be fine. You can keep the overall costs reasonable by being mindful of the cost per square foot, custom features you want to add, or choosing a less popular location. 

Still Unsure? Let Our Experts Help You Decide!

We understand that even with the information provided, it still may be hard to make a choice. After all, it’s a home, not something you can just return. The team of experts here at Heitmeyer Building and Design is ready to help you determine your next project. Get in touch with us today so we can make your vision a reality. 

Heitmeyer Building & Design is a Construction company with over 100 years of experience in commercial construction and residential construction located in Pickerington, Ohio. 

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© 2021 Heitmeyer Building & Design, All Rights Reserved.

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