Homebuyers often confuse one style of home for another. When searching for your next home or trying to determine the style that matches your needs, it's important to know the different styles of homes available and on the market. Below is a breakdown of the many styles and their descriptions.
- Bi-Level: A bi-level style home is typically a one-story floor plan that has been raised above ground level, where another level of living such as a basement or additional rooms resides. They are often considered ranches or split-level homes. In fact, when you enter the front door and have to climb stairs to get to the kitchen or main living space, you're typically in a bi-level style home.
- Bungalow: A bungalow style home is a compact 1-1/2 story house that contains smaller rooms. There will typically be 2 or more bedrooms on the main floor, along with a bathroom and living space. Bungalows often have basements that can be finished for additional living space and an attic space that may also be finished for 1 or more bedrooms. Bungalows often have bay windows as an accent and a front porch. Those looking for first floor living with additional options on other levels may be best suited for a bungalow.
- Cape Cod: A Cape Cod style home is similar to a bungalow but will usually have a distinctive peaked roof, central front door, shutters, and will usually have an A-frame construction. Cape Cods also have first floor bedrooms and often feature a bit more living space such as a dining room or larger second floor bedrooms with baths optional.
- Colonial: Colonial style homes are traditional in America and have a rectangular design. Many have centered front doors and a center entryway to the home. Typical colonials will have all the main living space on the first floor such as living room, dining room, possible den or family room and kitchen. The second floor is usually reserved for the private quarters such as bedrooms and bathrooms. Most will have a basement and an attic that may or may not be finished living space. Colonials are spacious and great homes for those needing privacy or living space.
- Duplex: A duplex is two properties that are joined by one common wall (often mistaken for a double).
- High Rise: A high-rise apartment or property is any multiple-floor building that has ten or more floors.
- Manufactured Home: A manufactured home is all or a part of a dwelling unit that is built in one location and placed in another.
- Mobile Home: A dwelling unit that is built with wheels attached and can be moved from one location to another.
- Ranch: A ranch is a home where all the rooms are on a single floor (one floor living). Ranches are often rectangle or L-shaped. Rooms are typically spacious and open and every area of a ranch is utilized for its space. Ranches may or may not have basements.
- Split Level: A split-level is designed to effectively and efficiently use all areas and floors. Splits will have three floors of living, all tied in with a few stairs leading to each floor. The main living area, which consists of the kitchen, living room and dining room, will have a few stairs leading up to the bedrooms and baths and a few stairs leading to the lower level (recreation room, family room, mechanicals, and utility room).
- Town House: Town houses or homes generally have two or more floors connected to other units via party walls. Similar to a duplex, town homes are typically a part of a developed community of condominiums, clusters or single family homes in a planned community. Town homes will typically have homeowner's association fees, which may include common ground upkeep, recreation areas and amenities.
- Tudor: A Tudor style home will look like an old English home. Gables and half-timbered exterior walls along with brick or stucco are usually what greet you. Windows are tall and diamond-paned. Popular features are arched doorways and windows. Room sizes and layout will vary widely and character and unique design are common. Bedrooms may be on the first or second floors and many will offer basements or dormers.
- Victorian: A Victorian style home is often found in older cities and communities and they will typically offer hardwood, high ceilings, stained glass, dramatic stairways and crown molding, multiple paint colors on the exterior, and an eclectic collaboration of design and architecture. Many modern Victorian homes will have gutted redone kitchens and baths while still holding onto the original elements and character.
Author Cecilia Sherrard is a full-time real estate agent with Realty One Real Living in Ohio. Her website, http://www.YouShouldOwn.com, is full of information, tips and assistance for both buyers and sellers.