When meeting with a real estate agent to search through your new home options, it is easy to get a bit confused by the terms that are used by real estate agents. While agents are not trying to confuse their clients, the reality is that certain terms are so common in the industry that it is easy for an agent to forget that everyone might not be familiar with that term.

One such term that could potentially cause some confusion is "spec home." In the simplest of terms, a spec home is a home that a builder constructs with the belief that someone will eventually come along and want to purchase the home.

In other words, the builder constructs the home based on speculation of what a buyer would look for. As such, these homes have already been constructed with a number of options that are already included in the price.

There are numerous benefits to purchasing a spec home.  Some of these include:

  • These homes are usually at or near completion, which means the buyer can move into a newly constructed home in just 30 to 60 days rather than having to wait 6 months for the home to be built from scratch
  • Numerous options are already included in the priceÂ
  • Buyers can see exactly what they are buying before they make a purchase

Of course, there are some potential downsides to purchasing a spec home as well. For example, for those who are looking for specific options, purchasing a spec home may be a bad idea because the buyer does not have the option to choose his own options. Furthermore, purchasing a spec home generally is not the least costly option available for those who are interested in purchasing a newly constructed home.

When discussing new construction options with a real estate agent, he or she may use a number of other terms that mean the same as “spec home."  Some of these include:

  • Featured homes
  • Immediate delivery homes
  • Inventory homes
  • Move-in ready homesÂ

It's important to understand that the spec home market will differ from market to market, depending on how strong that real estate market is at the time. Just as in another Metro area like Austin's condo market will differ from Hawaii's, the spec home market in Austin will differ from Hawaii's.

That's why it's always important to contact a professional to find out what your specific sub-market is like. For those who are interested in purchasing a spec home, the best way to go about doing it is to contact a real estate agent in the area who specializes in new homes. By hiring an agent who is experienced with these types of transactions, you can be sure the agent will be knowledgeable about the different types of incentives that are available through the builders.

In addition, a real estate agent who specializes in new homes will be familiar with the new home communities that are available in your area.

About the Author: Eric Bramlett is the broker & co-owner of One Source Realty, a boutique real estate company in Austin, TX. Eric specializes in central & west Austin, and Steiner Ranch.