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Custom Homes vs. Pre-Selected Homes

You may have seen the terms "pre-selected" and "custom" in reference to new homes. What is the difference? 

Pre-selected homes are offered by high volume builders, also called production builders. These builders construct many homes at once often in a new neighborhood. Buyers of pre-selected homes may have a few options such as paint color and cabinet style, but choices are limited as to what the builder has in stock. This type of home is great for the buyer who does not wish to be involved in a lot of the decision making during the building process.

Custom builders, on the other hand, usually build unique homes on a single lot in an established area. Buyers are able to tour showrooms to choose faucets, light fixtures, door knobs and other accessories in the home. In a custom build home, buyers have the opportunity to choose their floor plan or work with an architect to design a plan of their preferences. Custom builders will build on a lot you already own and will work with you on obtaining permits and fitting your plan on the topography of the land.

One of the advantages of using a production builder is that they can deliver the same size home for less money than a custom builder. How? They purchase materials in bulk including the land. Homes are built in a systemized fashion, with several of the same homes in the neighborhood, although the community developer makes sure there are a variety of colors and styles. These new home communities often have amenities such as a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a playground.

Personal preference is key when deciding which type of builder is right for you. Tour some production homes as well as custom homes and consider price as well. Custom homes sometimes end up costing more than planned with unexpected land related costs. Experts recommend sticking to a set budget when choosing materials.