What is a spec home?
Updated March 2, 2022
A spec home is a property that’s been built not to the specific demands of the buyer—there is no individual buyer in mind—but designed by a builder or developer to be sold to whoever puts in an offer once it is completed.
They have not always had the best reputation, as they’re often sold en-masse and, as a result, considered cheap or unappealing compared with a custom-designed new build, or the option to buy land and build your own home with your chosen architect and interior designer.
But spec homes have had something of a revival over the past few years as people seek more convenient, investment properties in areas that are often dominated by luxury developers with little land left over for bespoke builds.
A spec home is a property that’s been built not to the specific demands of the buyer—there is no individual buyer in mind—but designed by a builder or developer to be sold to whoever puts in an offer once it is completed. Credit: Tierra Mallorca / Unsplash
Spec homes are simple, quick and often good value, and a growing number also sport very high-end interiors and amenities, selling for multimillion dollars.
With the rise of the global luxury property market, and property prices, developers are more confident that they can sell homes built on spec and are no longer concerned about spending a lot of money on top end features without having secured a buyer first.
No longer designed to appeal to as many people as possible, many spec homes are created for the buyer who wants something unique but without having to wait for a long time, or put in the effort required to have their own home built from scratch.
Many spec homes work as turnkeys, too, designed to be move-in ready, right down to furniture and cutlery in drawers, in some cases even supercars in the garage and clothes in the wardrobes, and are frequently built in areas of the world, including ski resorts or beach side districts, that attract investment buyers and holiday-home owners.
The turnkey property, the type of home that is ready to move into, as well as lock up and leave, appeals to international buyers who have several properties spread across the world, and are looking for a hassle-free investment.
Buying a spec home is less time consuming than commissioning a custom home that could take several years to build, time that those who are looking for a holiday home do not want to waste.
Another major appeal of the spec home is the land on which they are built. In some of the most desirable parts of the country or city, land is in high demand, or there is little available and your only option is to buy something ready made by a developer.
Many buyers like the ability to walk round and examine a spec home once it has been built, to assess how it might feel to live there, rather than having to work it out from plans. Sometimes you may still be able to customize a spec home with your preferred fixtures and fittings.
When assessing whether a spec home is good value, consider how much it may cost to buy the land, and hire designers and builders to create your own custom home; factor in the cost of your time, and scarcity of land, too.