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Home Styles – What’s the Difference? May 1, 2009

Posted by Laura Schwartz in First-Time Buyers.
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Walking around the office lately I heard someone say, “I have a buyer for Arlington, but he only wants a Colonial!” Followed by someone else who says, “I would only buy a rambler! I’m just not a Colonial guy.” So it dawned on me, aside from the typical “I like it!” comments, do you know the difference between Single Family Home(detached) styles and what makes them unique? These pictures are from the MLS of homes currently on the market. Here’s a quick synopsis of some common terms:

Colonial: Typically a 2-story house, often with a basement, with a center entrance or a side door. Some also have garages to the side of the home.Contemporary: Usually modern and/or non-traditionalcharacteristicsusing various shapes, material, and designs. With the new requests for more openness (kitchen/family/dining etc), much of the interior designs have open space.Rambler: More often than not, this is a single level home built on a slab. Sometimes in the shape of an “L,” other times a “U.” If you see a 2-level rambler, the 2nd level is almost always a basement!

Split Foyer: Ever walk through a front-door to be greated by 2 sets of stairs – one that goes up to the kitchen and one to the basement? This is called a Split Foyer style of home. The basement, or bottom level, is usually a considered a separate level.

Cape Cod: Often called “Cute” (yes, that’s a professional term), a Cape Cod is marked with a peaked roof (usually attic or crawl space), above the main level of living.

Split Level: Usually one half of the house is “taller” than the other. The taller side usually has 2 floors off the main living level (the shorter half). Sometimes living space is above the garage.

Arts & Crafts: Typically built with wood, stone, and/or brick. Many times these homes include built-ins cabinets, fireplaces, porches, and open floor-plans.

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