Six Rules to Build a “Spec” House, Pacific Palisades – New Construction

By: Otis Bradley


Project: Pacific Palisades, California – New Custom Home

Architecture: Elizabeth Stevenson
Builder: Otis Bradley Company, Inc.
Interior Design: Otis Bradley Company, Inc.


This home was designed and built to sell. A new home, built with the intention to sell can also be referred to as a “Spec” house.

Six rules to effectively design and build a “Spec” house:

  1. A good budget
  2. Efficient construction schedule
  3. Organized purchasing
  4. Efficient and timely decision making
  5. A good real estate market
  6. Good design for resale

This is a great way for a builder to round out their business – particularly if the house can sell for more than it costs to build i.e. a reasonable profit. Over the last years 2008 – 2012 during the real estate depression and mortgage collapse this concept has been wiped out.

A spec house if done well is a great lesson for all who want to build.  A good project balances a beautiful home that appeals to the local audience at a price that is salable for more than it costs to build.

1997 Rough Numbers

Purchase Price: $600,000

Construction: $500,000

Sale: $1,400,000


Purchase Price:  $1,500,000

Construction $1m

Sale: $2,300,000

Obviously the cost to build is more than the sale price in the above example.  As the market comes back, hopefully this will change.



Otis Bradley Company, Inc. Feel free to copy, share or re post this article. Kindly make sure to include this information: Written by Otis Bradley, a Custom Home Builder, in Southern California. Please see for more information on Custom Home Building!