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  • Whitmore Homes


When it comes to home building and buying, it seems there are a multitude of options out there but not a lot of information about what sets them apart. As a custom home builder ourselves, Whitmore Custom Homes always wants to make it clear to our clients exactly what it is we do, and just what it is that makes a custom home, a custom home. So in case you’ve been wondering what sets a custom home apart and why it might be the best option for you, we’d like to explain it in a bit more detail. But before we get there, it will be helpful to first define the three most common ways that people go about building or buying a new home:


A “spec home” is a builder’s term that refers to “speculative home sale.” Basically, a spec home is a house a builder creates and designs to put up for purchase after it’s finished. These homes are built with no particular buyer in mind and, before they’re purchased, often serve as a sort of model home for new potential clients looking to work with that builder.

It is possible to find spec homes that are in the process of being built, at which point you may be able to make a few decisions on things like paint color, tile, and maybe even counter tops, but your actual input in the building process will be little to none. Most of the time, these homes are sold after they’re completely finished, which means you buy them the way they are, with very minor or no changes.


These are the types of homes you often see in larger developments and subdivisions where one builder is working on all the homes in that development. Though these houses offer a bit more customization than spec homes, the home designs within the development are essentially the same. Buyers have the opportunity to pick from two or three different floor plans, a limited amount of interior options, and one or two exterior colors. Because builders are often building a large volume of these homes at one time and using the same materials throughout the development, homeowners are able to get these homes for a lower cost, though they sacrifice the opportunity to create their own floor plan and make their own design decisions.


Finally, custom homes are the building option that offers homeowners the most freedom. When you opt to build a custom home, your relationship with your builder is more like a partnership than a transaction. You’ll work together with your builder to create a floor plan and design that best suits your family’s needs, and that fits your ultimate vision. So, what else makes a custom home, a custom home?


No matter the decision, you get the final say. If you’d like a four bedroom, three bath, with an open floor plan, that’s your call. You get to choose which flooring options you want and what the layout of the kitchen will be. All the way down to the doorknobs and cabinet handles, you’re calling the shots.

Many custom homebuilders help make these decisions easy by creating a budget allowance for things like appliances and hardware, so you make the choices you want, while still remaining within your budget.


Where a spec home is already built somewhere, and a tract home typically lives within a development, when you build your own custom home, you’re the one who gets to choose the location. So pick the lot that fits your budget and is perfect for you.


In any other home building situation, you’re the client. You hire a builder to essentially do the lion’s share of the work for you, but without a lot of your own personal input. When you opt to build a custom home, you’re entering into a partnership with your custom home builder where you have a say in everything that happens regarding the design of your home.

When you build a custom home, you’ll work closely with your builder to create the dream home you’ve always wanted, and while you won’t be nailing the boards together yourself, you’ll leave the process with the feeling of satisfaction that comes from knowing you’ve built something that’s completely and totally yours. Your style, your design, your creation. That’s what makes a custom home truly a custom home. It’s built for you.

If you’re interested in learning more about building a custom home, give Whitmore Custom Homes a call. We’ve been building custom homes in West Michigan for years now, and have the experience and design savvy to create the dream home you’ve been looking for. Call our office at 616-446-3482 or request more info online today!

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