Glenford’s Spec Home Story—Are Spec Homes Right for You?


house-construction-1407499_960_720Contemplating adding a spec home to your real estate investment portfolio? Weighing the pros and cons and working with professionals can help.

An Experienced Contractor’s Story

Glenford Branham comes from a long line of savvy real estate investors and general contractors. Starting at just 14 years of age, Glenford has been in the construction industry for 57 years. Originally from Kentucky, he moved to Arizona to enjoy the warmer weather. “Construction and real estate is a family tradition,” he says.

Glenford’s built a few houses in his day—around 40. After his wife passed away last year, he decided to “do something a little different” by tackling a spec house project. He called his go-to contact Tony for assistance with the mortgage loan, but spec home financing is simply not an option at most traditional banks and mortgage brokers.

Tony recommended Glenford work with Private Hard Money Lender, Level 4 Funding, touting the group’s impeccable track record, quick service and competitive pricing. Glenford was sold, picked up the phone and called Mark Gowlovech.

As a general contractor, Glenford also handles commercial construction and is always on the go. He’s actively coordinating several construction projects, all while raising his 12 year old granddaughter by himself. With no time left for added headaches or piles of paperwork Glenford was happy to lean on Mark for the heavy lifting and speedy service his hard money loan request needed.

Speedy Service

Mark swiftly took the reins and got Glenford the financing he needed for his latest real estate project. Glenford smiled as he shared he just received the project permit and would be diving into the construction process shortly.

Glenford was satisfied with his Level 4 Funding spec home loan experience, thanks to Mark. Though this was his first transaction with Level 4 Funding, chances are it won’t be the last. Glenford will be back when his next spec home or specialty project calls.

A Contractor’s Advice

Glenford is a man of few words. When asked to summarize his experience with Level 4 Funding and share advice regarding lending and investments, he said:

“Get with someone you trust to help you

with your lending and your business.”

Pointed advice from a seasoned general contractor, with so much incoming work he has no need to advertise. Glenford trusts his projects to Level 4 Funding, and recommends calling Mark for your next spec project loan.

Are Spec Homes for Right for You?

Speculative homes, commonly referred to as spec homes, are of course houses investors build with the intent to sell for a profit. Some builders prefer to deal in spec homes, and avoid the complications and time needed to customize a project for a specific home buyer.

Review the pros and cons below to help decide if building a spec home is the right investment move for you.


Moderate Risk: Don’t let their risky-sounding name fool you—spec homes can actually be a fairly conservative investment. Of course you must have or be an experienced builder to confidently secure a tidy profit or conservative turns to risky.

Reputation is Everything: Builders know that spec homes are a reflection on their quality of work and highly visible in the marketplace. Shoddy work will quickly show, and negative news spreads like wildfire. To preserve and showcase their reputation, builders typically take great care to perform their best work on spec homes. Great news for investors and homeowners alike.

Generous Profit: Profits on spec homes vary based on house location, type, and size, but many investors strive to net a 25% profit. Others follow a “sell two, build a third for free” rule of thumb, with a target net of 33% per project. No matter where you fall in this range, spec homes can indeed be lucrative. Just ensure you’re properly estimating and tracking expenses and using the most trustworthy partners you can find.


Builder Biffs: End up with a disreputable builder and your project stability begins to crumble. Costs can creep up, profits sink down and in a worse-case scenario you’re stuck paying expenses for a property you can’t sell. Or can’t sell for a profit. Do your homework and ask around to ensure a reputable builder is on your side to increase safety and peace of mind.

Customized Competition: Once your spec home is ready to sell, you’ll be competing with custom built homes. Spec homes are intentionally built following rather “vanilla” formats as builders have no idea what customized features the buyer would want. Keeping costs down without sacrificing quality is their primary concern. Your home may lose the battle against a buyer’s ability to choose their specific preferences and build a customized home.

The Great Unknown: Even the most sophisticated and experienced spec home builders can’t predict the future. The real estate market takes twists and turns outside of anyone’s control. One construction company owner built and sold over 20 spec homes in California over a 15 year period. But his spec home profit streak ended when the real estate market headed south and he avoided spec building for 5 years. Now he’s back at it, and his first project sold before it was even finished.

Spec Home Financing Solutions

Decided building a spec home is in your future? Follow Glenford’s lead and call Private Hard Money Lender Level 4 Funding. They can’t guarantee your profits or reduce your project risks, but they can ensure smooth, solid financing solutions available when you need them.



Happy senior business man making his notes at workDennis Dahlberg Broker/RI/CEO/MLO
Level 4 Funding LLC 
Private Hard Money Lender

Arizona Tel:  (623) 582-4444
Texas Tel:     (512) 516-1177
NMLS 1057378 | AZMB 0923961 | MLO 1057378
22601 N 19th Ave Suite 112 | Phoenix | AZ | 85027
111 Congress Ave |Austin | Texas | 78701

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About the Author:  Dennis has been working in the real estate industry in some capacity for the last 40 years. He purchased his first property when he was just 18 years old. He quickly learned about the amazing investment opportunities provided by trust deed investing and hard money loans. His desire to help others make money in real estate investing led him to specialize in alternative funding for real estate investors who may have trouble getting a traditional bank loan. Dennis is passionate about alternative funding sources and sharing his knowledge with others to help make their dreams come true. Dennis has been married to his wonderful wife for 42 years. They have 2 beautiful daughters 5 amazing grandchildren. Dennis has been an Arizona resident for the past 40 years.