As the real estate market gets increasingly competitive, the hot topic is the choice between custom versus a completed estate.
With a growing number of builders buying up properties and building houses on spec, the debate is heating up: What are the pros and cons of buying a spec house, and is it worth it? Al Giaquinto of Plum Builders (43 Pantigo Road, East Hampton, 631-329-1300) in East Hampton has been building and selling spec houses since 1982. While he acknowledges that a spec house has its drawbacks, his clients know what they’re getting into. “You see the home in its completed state,” he says. “You know the cost up front. You know all the finishes.”
Matt McGrath of McGrath Builders (631-537-7411) was born into the business, but he and his dad have never done a spec house—it’s always custom. “A spec house is for the person looking for the ease factor,” says McGrath. “They don’t have to go through the year or two of construction or deal with permits.”
Martha Gundersen, a licensed broker with Brown Harris Stevens (27 Main St., East Hampton, 631-875-6974), adds that spec buyers are getting more than just ease. “You can take advantage of an experienced team of people who study the market and watch their margins,” she says, “so they can provide value in a competitive marketplace.” Giaquinto believes that in designs like his Modern Barn, a term he’s trademarked, spec houses don’t have to feel cookie cutter. “We update our designs constantly, and no two are alike,” he insists. The main difference is in the conception: Whose vision is it, anyway? “A lot of our clients want exactly what they want,” explains McGrath. “A custom house is exactly what you’ve always dreamed of. A spec house is more the designer’s dream.”
Builders and architects get ready for the ribbon-cutting on a better Hamptons home with these services.
ZAPPOLA CONSTRUCTION Creating the perfect dream home is only a phone call away to this construction group specializing in custom builds. 98 Newtown Ln., East Hampton, 631-527-5505
APD ARCHITECTS With tailored designs, this firm ensures that even the largest of projects reflects an intimate feeling of home. 44 Quogue St., Quogue, 631-653-1481
MCGRATH BUILDERS This father-and-son team specializes in custom homes and managing all aspects of any construction job. 631-537-7411
64 BIRCHWOOD LANE, BRIDGEHAMPTON
This Mecox Barn, represented by Douglas Elliman’s Raphael Avigdor, is a masterpiece of elegantly rustic design and luxury living. The 4,216-square-foot Bridgehampton home boasts an open, inviting design with vaulted ceilings, and the chef’s kitchen features custom cabinetry, stone countertops, and Wolf, Sub-Zero, and Miele appliances. Amenities at this $3.295 million property include concierge service from Chaloners of the Hamptons. 70 Jobs Ln., Southampton, 631-204-2740