We’ve had a lot of clients inquire as of late about types of builders out there, as well as the positives and negatives between custom vs. production homebuilders. We’ll attempt to clarify a few things here:
CUSTOM = FLEXIBILITY
The main advantage to going custom is flexibility. You’re able to build exactly the design you want and add unique selections like a heated driveway or concrete countertops; really, you’re only limited by budget and feasibility. Added bonus: building on your lot provides the freedom to build wherever you want, whether it’s in the middle of an older existing neighborhood, or on a huge 20-acre spread in the country.
The main disadvantage we’ve found is more skin in the game regarding time and money. Most buyers don’t have the time or inclination to design a home from scratch or spend days driving to lighting suppliers to choose among thousands of fixtures; nor do they want to apply for a construction loan and pay interest on a house they can’t live in yet. Buyers need to make a lot more decisions and most custom builders need more of a financial commitment up front…
PRODUCTION = STREAMLINED
The main advantage to going the production route is, it’s streamlined. Production builders have simplified the building and selections process, offering what the masses generally want. Instead of thousands of lighting fixtures to choose from, they’ll offer 5 different packages that most buyers will be happy with. This pre-defined selection process creates better efficiencies and results in homes completed within faster & more predictable timeframes. Plus, most accept a small earnest money deposit to get started and you’ll start paying for the home after closing, not before. In short, you’re not financing the construction…your builder is.
Contrary to the custom option, the main disadvantage to the production route is less flexibility. Buyers won’t get all the bells and whistles they’ve always wanted, but generally speaking the positives outweigh the negatives. Check out more details below:
Lou Bitove & Jeff Bortnick, owners of The New Home Experts®, have more than 30 years combined experience in real estate, much of that with builders like Pulte & Toll Brothers. They also provide market research for area builders, developers and national firms. If you’re considering a new home, remember: the builders rep represents the builder, not you. Work with the only local agents in Metro Detroit to specialize in new homes, and save money in the process – ask us how!