Choosing the Right Home for Your Family

Making the decision between a Custom, Semi-Custom, or Quick Move-in home

Previously, we discussed the different kinds of homes available on today’s market. Today, we are excited to guide you through the next step – we’ll dive deep into how to select a home that complements your future plans and aligns with your dreams and lifestyle.

Understanding Your Unique Priorities

Every family is as unique as a fingerprint. At Generation Homes NW, we believe that your home, whether or not it’s your first, second, or twelfth home, should reflect this uniqueness. That’s why understanding the ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ for your new home will help shape your decision.

New Home PrioritiesCustomSemi-CustomQuick Move-inOn Your Lot
Move within 90 days✓✓✓✓
Personalized design features✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓
Custom floor plan✓✓✓✓✓✓✓
Large lot (acreage)✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓
Control over location✓✓✓✓✓✓
Control over the HOA✓✓✓✓✓
Personal involvement✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓

Taking a Closer Look at Your Lifestyle and Future Plans

Let’s look at your current lifestyle and future plans. Is your family expanding? Are you currently or considering working from home? These questions ( and more!) will guide you on your home-choosing journey. As an example, if you’re planning to live together with your grandparents or older children, a multigenerational home could be just what you need.

Exploring Your Options: Custom, Semi-Custom, and Quick Move-In Homes

Being a home builder, Generation Homes NW celebrates uniqueness. That’s why we offer a variety of options – custom homes, semi-custom homes, and Quick Move-in Homes (also referred to as spec homes). We’ll briefly talk about each of these, but if you want to dive in deeper, we suggest our previous article for more detail.

Custom Homes: Personalized Elegance at a Price

Custom homes offer an exciting opportunity to bring your dream to life in a very hands-on manner. You have the freedom to determine and decide every aspect of your home, including the precise layout, the size of each room, and the intricate details of the interior. Ever picture having granite countertops in your kitchen, a clawfoot bathtub in your primary suite, or artisanal tiles in your bathroom? A custom home allows you to make these dreams a reality!


  • Full control over home design: You decide where each room goes and its size.
  • Option to select premium materials: You can choose high-end, recycled, or other materials for countertops, cabinets, tiles, and more.
  • A sense of personal connection to the home: Since you’re involved in every decision, your home truly reflects your personality and style.


  • Longer time to move in: Custom homes take more time to complete than pre-built homes.
  • Requires a higher investment: Customization can be more costly due to the price of individual materials and labor.
  • Can be overwhelming due to the number of decisions: From the floor plan to doorknobs, the choice is all yours.

For example, let’s consider the Johnson family. They’ve always had specific desires for their new home: a music studio for Mom, who is a professional musician, a chef’s kitchen for Dad, who loves to experiment with gourmet recipes, and a treehouse for their two kids. They’re also anticipating Grandma moving in within the next few years, so an in-law suite is a must. They’re willing to invest more time and money to ensure their new home fits their unique needs and anticipates their future.

Semi-Custom Homes: Striking the Perfect Balance

Semi-custom homes offer a perfect middle ground between fully custom and quick move-in homes. You have the advantage of using a base floor plan designed by industry professionals and adding your own touch. You can modify various elements of the design, such as the kitchen layout or the number of bedrooms, to better suit your family’s lifestyle. Want a larger living room for family gatherings or an open concept kitchen and dining area? With semi-custom homes, you have the flexibility to make these changes, all while saving time and resources by using a pre-existing design.


  • Option to modify builder-created floor plans: This provides the perfect balance between a personalized layout and professional design.
  • More affordable than fully custom homes: Semi-custom homes are often less expensive due to the utilization of a pre-existing floor plan, cutting down on design costs.
  • Shorter construction time: Since you’re modifying a design rather than starting from scratch, your home will be ready for move-in sooner.


  • Limited customization compared to custom homes: While you can adjust the layout, there are certain elements of the design that you may not be able to change.
  • Not as unique as custom homes: The base design isn’t one-of-a-kind, and other homes will share similar features.
  • May include some compromises: Your dream layout may need to be adjusted to fit the constraints of the existing design.

Consider the Smiths, a family of four. Both parents work full-time and their kids have a slew of extracurricular activities. They’re looking for a comfortable, functional home with some personal touches, like an open plan kitchen for family meals and a study room for the kids. A semi-custom home fits their needs perfectly, allowing them to modify a professionally designed layout to accommodate their busy lifestyle.

Quick Move-In Homes: Cost-Effective and Convenient

Quick move-in homes (also called spec homes) are pre-built homes that are ready and waiting for you. As a home builder, we have a selection of high-quality, well-designed homes that you can move into almost immediately. These homes are an excellent choice if you’re in a hurry to move, whether due to a job relocation, a tight housing market, or other personal circumstances. While customization may be limited, you’ll have the advantage of knowing exactly what you’re getting before you make your purchase.


  • Quick and easy moving process: Since the home is already built, there’s no need to wait for construction. You can move in as soon as the paperwork is complete.
  • Economical option: These homes are often more affordable than custom or semi-custom homes as we have already built them for you, reducing the cost.
  • You can inspect the finished home before purchase: This means you can ensure the home meets your expectations before you commit.


  • Limited or no customization: The design and finishes are already set, so you’re unable to make changes to suit your personal preferences.
  • Less personal connection to the home design: Since you’re not involved in the design process, the home might not feel as uniquely ‘yours’ compared to a custom or semi-custom home.
  • Choice limited to available inventory: Your options are restricted to the homes that are already built and ready for move-in.

Take the Williams family as an example. They’ve just relocated due to a job transfer and are eager to settle down. With two young kids and another on the way, they need a move-in-ready home that can accommodate their growing family. A quick move-in home provides a convenient, stress-free solution, allowing them to quickly transition into their new life.

Assessing Your Financial Situation: Making Dreams Meet Reality

Your dream home needs to not only fulfill your lifestyle and aspirations but also align with your financial reality. This requires a detailed understanding of your current financial position, your future financial prospects, and the housing budget that you’re comfortable with. It’s also essential to explore different financing options like mortgages, construction loans, or potential programs for first-time homebuyers.

You might also want to consider the potential resale value of the property in the future. Even if you plan on staying in your new home for many years, it’s always wise to consider the potential return on investment. A well-built, well-located home can potentially provide a significant return in the future.

Reflect, Choose, and Embrace Your Future

Remember, your home is more than just a building; it’s a canvas for your family’s future memories. Whether you choose a custom, semi-custom, or quick move-in home, your decision will shape your family’s life for years to come. Consider your family’s unique needs and let them guide you to the right choice. Here is a worksheet you may find useful to help you think through these considerations. At Generation Homes NW, we’re always happy to help you work through this decision and explore your options. Contact us with any questions or concerns you might have or to learn more.

The team at Generation Homes Northwest brings over 50 years of homebuilding experience, building modern and vibrant new homes in our communities throughout Clark County, Washington. We’re a fresh experience to homebuilding, where your ideas come to life with a team of passionate builders, designers, and trade partners. Our mission is simple: provide the best products, design, and customer care.