Here are the main differences between custom builders and tract builders.

What’s the difference between a custom builder and a tract builder? 

A custom builder is exactly what it sounds like—a builder who can customize your home plan so that it functions perfectly for your family. They may offer thousands of plans to choose from. They can even combine plans for your home to make sure it’s perfect. They’ll normally build in one or two subdivisions at a time, or on a vacant lot for an individual builder. Most custom builders build less than 50 houses per year.  

A tract (or production) builder, on the other hand, buys large tracts of land and divides them into smaller lots for individual home sales. They’ll have a handful of home plans available for each subdivision. Tract builders can be local or national, and some of the larger national builders can build thousands of homes per year. 

“For both types of builders, the average build time is between six and 12 months.”

The biggest difference between these two builders is their number of available lots. If you work with a tract builder, you’ll have hundreds of choices within a single subdivision. That same builder may also have upwards of 10 other subdivisions in the same area you can choose from. As stated above, custom builders would only be building in one or two communities, and you can also have the build on an individual lot you’ve purchased outside of a subdivision.  

The second biggest difference lies in the number of available floor plans. Working with a tract builder means only having about five to 10 home plans to choose from in each subdivision. This can be a good thing, though, because it means you’re less likely to blow your budget in the design center and/or be overwhelmed by all the choices since the home isn’t truly personalized. 

The last main difference between each builder is their build time. If you build with a custom builder, your build will last about two months longer than it would with a tract builder because you’re actually designing the house. Designing the plan and getting the plan approved permit-wise is about a two-month process. For both types of builders, the average build time is between six and 12 months. 

If you have questions about this or any other real estate topic, don’t hesitate to call or email me. Have a great day!