What’s The Difference Between a Custom and Personalized Home?

You may be in the process of deciding on a new home, and you're wondering if you should build or buy something already on the market. If that's the case, check out this helpful article that outlines the benefits of building. Once you've decided to build, your next big decision will be who to choose as your builder!

As you're narrowing down the list, it will help to understand the type of builder you're selecting. Some builders solely focus on custom homes. Other builders, like Buffington, offer a combination of personalized production homes and designer spec homes. There are distinct differences and benefits between these types of builders, so it's worth spending some time learning about the details of each before you make your final decision. 

Understanding Custom Homes

As the name implies, "custom" means you can customize pretty much anything and everything about your home. You're limited only by your budget, imagination, and local regulations. At the end of the build, you can have the exact home you had in mind. 

The one big downside to consider, though, is the cost. Custom homes tend to be more expensive to build compared to personalized homes. This is because a custom home builder cannot buy supplies in bulk, which makes the materials more expensive. Labor can also be more expensive. Since a custom home has never been built before, many details and problems will have to be worked out during construction. This requires more time, and the longer you have a crew on the job, the more expensive it becomes.

In most cases, you will also have to find and purchase your own land, and you'll need to hire an architect to design your home. These can be significant costs added to your overall budget.

Even after understanding the accommodations and costs required for a custom home, you may feel like the end product will be worth it. Many families go this route and end up in their forever homes that are customized to their exact style.

If, however, you want to keep costs in check or need something a little sooner than what a custom builder is able to deliver, then a personalized home or even a designer spec home could be what you need. And of course, we'd love to help!

What's a Personalized Home?

A personalized home is the sweet spot between a home that's already designed and built (like a spec home) and a completely custom home. With a personalized home, you have the flexibility to choose from a variety of floor plans and design options. Various price points are available, and the land is included, so it's more of a "package deal" than a custom home. 

Another perk of a personalized home is the location. Many times they're built within a community that has great amenities like pools, parks, sidewalks, and other fun community spaces. And, they're close to all of life's conveniences like great schools, shopping, dining, and workplaces. 

Honestly, the only trade-off with a personalized home comes from not being able to design every aspect. And for many, this is less of a disadvantage and more of a relief. Having too many options can feel overwhelming, and you may end up taking longer to decide or second-guessing your decisions as the home is being built. 

At Buffington, we have an exclusive in-house design studio that's staffed with professional designers. We help guide you through the process and give you just the right amount of choices so you feel like your home is truly yours without the stress of "information overload." Our selections are beautiful, timely, and always well-received by our homeowners. 

In addition to your community and floor plan, you get to choose things such as: 

  • Extras, like fireplaces, covered patios, and bump-outs
  • Exterior home colors, style, and roofing
  • Interior paint colors
  • Kitchen and bathroom cabinets and pulls
  • Flooring throughout the home
  • Lighting fixtures and faucets
  • Landscaping packages

One other thing to note is the amount of interaction you may have with a personalized home builder versus a custom home builder. There typically aren't as many one-on-one touchpoints with a personalized builder, as they're building multiple homes at the same time. With this in mind, and to help our homeowners stay informed every step of the way, we created a digital Milestone Tracker.

We identified over a dozen key milestones throughout our process, and as a home reaches each step, we send a personalized email to the homeowner. It includes timely information and tips to help make this a great experience!

The Bottom Line

When considering all aspects of a custom home versus a personalized home, the decision is personal and one only you can make. Take as much time as you need to study your options so you feel good about what's right for you.

As a great next step, we recommend visiting our models so you can see our homes in person. Go talk to our New Home Specialists so you can understand the type of design options available. And, if you happen to be more interested in a home that's already built, with lovely design decisions already made, we have several spec homes coming soon to Allen's Mill. These will be available to anyone on the Allen's Mill VIP list before being offered to the public, so ask about joining our list or the availability of these homes if you're interested. Ultimately, we want you to build a life you'll love, and we'd be honored to be part of that journey in any way!

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Buffington Homes of Arkansas
The first step in our process is to select a community and visit our model homes! To schedule a tour or ask questions, contact our Online Sales Counselor. You can always call or text us at (479) 269-3737.