Is your dream to own new construction? For many it is! Building that dream home can be a wonderful experience, but It can also be a stressful journey. (Can you tell what's going on with my deals this summer?) I have been through the process many times with clients and wanted to share some tips that may help you get to the finish line without too many bumps.

Spec Building


Spec builders are people who buy land then construct a home with the intent to sell it once it's finished, for profit. These properties typically get listed for sale early to mid way in the process. Sometimes a buyer will purchase the home before its move in ready and close on the property upon completion.



1. The builder carries the cost while the project is being built.

2. The timeline can be shorter since the plans/design and choices are already made.

3. The builder deals with the town/city departments on permitting etc.

4. There are less decisions to be made for the buyer.

5. Builders tend to know of land for sale more than consumers. In Metro West, contractors are in the know about older houses that can be torn down to make way for a new property.




1. You won't have a choice of builders, and will be forced to partner with whoever owns the land.

2. Your chances for customization and upgrades will most likely be limited. 

3. Since you didn't choose the builder, you will be beholden to their way of doing business and their communication styles etc. 

4. If there are delays in closing, for the most part it will be out of your control. 


Custom Building


In this scenario the owner of the land is the customer who in turn hires the builder to construct a house to the owner's specifications. Since the client is carrying the costs and owns the land, the builder doesn't have a say on choices, finishes and design. This is a true "create my dream home' scenario. Renovating your home falls into this category too.



1. You hire your choice of builder and architect. The land is yours!

2. All design choices come from you.

3. Custom builders tend to be more in tune with customer service and communicating with clients since they were hired for the job. Their job is to create what you want.

4. You can control costs with your choice of materials.

5. The final product is a clear representation of you! 




1. There are thousands of decisions to be made from doorknobs to tiles to floors to hinges when building a custom home! It can feel like a full time job building a house.

2. It is easier to upgrade and make changes so costs can escalate quickly.

3. It's on you and the builder to deal with the town bylaws and permits.

4. You are carrying the costs of the land, taxes and insurance during the project.

5. It can be very difficult to find the right piece of land!

There are steps to help ensure the project goes as smoothly as possible from the start!


1. Do the hard work up front!!

  • Write out a very detailed specification list. 
  • Make as many choices as you can even before you choose your builder. Having a good idea on square footage, the layout, systems and materials is essential. This way when you meet with two or three builders to bid on the job their quotes will be based off the same plans and you can compare pricing more easily. Apples to Apples!
  • If you are putting in an offer on a spec build and want any changes to the plans given to you, spell those out in detail with your offer so you aren't charged more if you make the decision later to change something.


2. Be realistic about the process. There is a reason some people swear they will never do another project on their homes! It's not for everyone and there is a lot that can happen that is out of your control. Labor shortages, supply chain issues, weather delays and permitting issues are common.


3.Do your homework and work with a contractor who has a good reputation and great references, not just the cheapest quote! 


4. Expect delays and budget for more than you think. Right now it seems builders are having a hard time finishing projects on time. The reasons are unclear, but ALL of my building projects have been delayed up to a month and in one case a year! 

I hope you find this blog helpful! The best part about renovating or building a home is that the end product reflects you and your family, and it's something to be proud of! 


The weekly numbers below are quite impressive! Buyers are still out there and want houses- check out the under agreement stats. 

I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.

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