Stapleton’s “Secret” Housing Inventory – What is a “Spec Home” and 4 Surprising Reasons Why You Might Want One!
A “Spec Home” (short for speculative home) is a home that a builder starts building without a specific buyer contracted for the property. Spec homes can be at almost any stage in the construction process – from excavation to framing to drywall to 100% complete, and any stage in between. (As a quick aside, the good news about this is that while some design choices may have already been made, often by a professional designer – so they look incredible already! – you may be able to select some finishes once you are under contract.) Since many Stapleton builders construct homes in groups or blocks, occasionally there will be a few homes in a block that were not contracted as quickly as its immediate neighbors. For example, in order to maximize efficiency, the builder may choose to begin construction on a home in a block even though it is not under contract, because the builder already has contractors on-site building other homes. Or maybe the builder wants to schedule building inspections at the same time, or wants to pull permits simultaneously. You get the idea. The builder is ultimately banking on the fact that a buyer will come along and purchase the home while it is being constructed, which is often well worth the risk, especially in today’s market.
So why would you want a spec home? There are pros and cons of course….
1. You don’t have to wait as long for a brand new home.
o It’s often possible to find spec homes that are available within 1-3 months, which is about the same time period as purchasing a resale home! But guess what? There’s no bidding war!
2. You know (or have a much better idea of) the “all-in” price.
o If a spec home is far enough along where all the design selections have been made, then the price you see is the price you get (since you can’t make any design changes). This is one of the issues most folks have with new builds. Unless you’re a new build real estate agent with solid new build options pricing knowledge (ahem, sorry for the shameless plug. You can roll your eyes 😉 ), it can be tough to know what your final price will look like. With a spec home – if the home is at a stage where some design choices can still be made, you will have the opportunity to purchase upgrades and custom features. You will see all the structural and lot premiums baked into the price but any remaining design selections would be priced separately.
3. You likely do not have to pick everything at the Design Center.
o This can be a pro and a con. Some buyers find the design center selection process overwhelming. There are SO many decisions to make, and you have to commit without seeing everything in context. What if the backsplash doesn’t look good, and clashes with the floors? Yikes! So it can be a BIG bonus when you only have to focus on a few big decisions, and the house is in front of you and you already have a great feel for what will look good. Also, the selections that the designers make for spec homes are usually the most popular options that they see, and they are well planned so that the colors and styles coordinate. So you’re kind of drawing a hat on the Mona Lisa – just adding your personal flair to a professionally designed house.
4. You get to see your home before you buy.
o With a spec home, you aren’t looking at a dirt lot. It may be just at foundation or frame or almost complete– but you will be able to see where your home sits, any views it might have, the size of the home and lot, etc. – without having to use your imagination or serious spatial reasoning skills. This can relieve quite a bit of stress for buyers who are more visual.
1. You may not get to make structural selections and/or design center selections.
o If you are looking for a home that is customized to your taste – this isn’t the route you want to take. Although you may be able to make some minor adjustments, spec homes will always be more constrained than building from scratch.
2. You pay for design features you might not care about – ugh!
o When you don’t get to choose structural/design options, you may end up paying for things you don’t value. For example – didn’t need or want an oversized garage? You may be paying $10,000-15,000 for it anyway. Didn’t care about soft-close cabinets? You may have to pony up regardless. It can be a good problem to have for sure, but maybe you would’ve taken your oversized garage money and applied that landscaping instead.
For those of you who have read my real estate updates (they’re all archived here on the Stapleton Scoop – check them out!) – you know that I love spec homes! I think they’re an excellent fit for someone who would love a new build in Stapleton, but doesn’t have 6-12 months to wait. I also love that the price is far more predictable. It’s a great balance for those who want the timing benefits of a resale AND a brand new home.
Finally, spec homes are (on average) LESS EXPENSIVE than resale! You get the new build “patience” discount without having the patience! What could be better than that?
So what’s available? As of the writing of this post, there are a number of excellent options in Beeler Park and Bluff Lake. See below for a quick taste of lovely Beeler Park homes that will be done in the next 2-5 months! This is in no way a complete list – we know of a number of “secret” inventory homes in Stapleton – so reach out any time!
(Sorted by completion date)
Wonderland Homes Hudson Craftsman
Move-in: August @ $544,218 (all options selected/included)
4bd/3.5ba, 2,234sqft (includes finished basement)
Chef’s kitchen, quartz countertops, oversized 2-car garage
Wonderland Homes Lawrence Four-Square
Move-in: August @ $565,538 (all options selected/included)
4bd/3.5ba, 2,352sqft (includes finished basement)
Chef’s kitchen, upgraded (gray) cabinets, quartz countertops, oversized 2-car garage, hardwood floors
CalAtlantic Adorn (B) Paired Home
Move-in: September @ $504,902 (price includes all design options, landscaping, deck and window coverings)
2bd/2.5 ba, 1,573sqft (plus unfinished basement)
Dual master suites, gourmet kitchen, hardwood throughout the main floor, fireplace. Deck, landscaping and window coverings all included.
Thrive Vita Plan 2
Move-in: Fall 2017 @ $619,929 (all options selected/included)
4bd+study/3.5ba, 2,566sqft (includes finished basement)
Mountain View! Gourmet kitchen, quartz countertops throughout home, hardwood floors on main level, study, mudroom, Zero Energy Ready
Wonderland Homes Welton Modern Farmhouse
Move-in: November/December @ $518,788 (most options selected)
3bd/2.5ba, 1,481sqft (plus unfinished basement)
Fireplace, chef’s kitchen, quartz countertops, oversized 2-car garage, main level maple hardwood floors
These are just a few of the fantastic quick turn-around opportunities you can find in Stapleton! We know of soon-to- be-ready townhomes in both neighborhoods for $405,000-420,000, all the way up to the incomparable, 4800sqft Thrive Panacea Sanctuary home for $1,135,421 and would love to get you into your perfect home!
As always… If you’re interested in learning more and having a local agent on your side through the new build process we’re happy to help. As a buyer of a new build you pay the same price whether or not you have an agent on your side. If we can help please let us know!