Know Your House Styles: A Guide For Single-Family Home Buyers

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Know Your House Styles: A Guide For Single-Family Home Buyers

One thing many people do not realize until they start shopping for a home is that there are a lot of distinct, single-family house styles. Below, you will find descriptions of the most common single-family house styles, which should hopefully make it easier to decipher ads and find a home you love.

Cape Cod

As the name suggests, this house style was really common in the East Coast between about 1920 and 1960. Cape Cod homes are squares or short rectangles. They have a bottom floor, plus a second floor built into what would otherwise be an attic space. They tend to be small and therefore are a popular starter home choice.


A ranch is a big one-story home. It's usually shaped like a rectangle. Ranch homes are popular with older adults as there are no stairs to navigate. The downside is that these homes can be expensive to heat and roof since they're so sprawling.


Farmhouses are usually simple and functional. Most are shaped like boxes with two stories. The roofs tend to have several peaks, and the windows are large. Farmhouses tend to be big with large living rooms and kitchens to accommodate big families and groups.


Colonial homes were popular in the late 1800s through the 1950s. This style is known for its large central entryway, many windows, and dormers on the roof. Colonial homes also tend to have columns and pilasters, plus a symmetrical design. They have two floors and usually very tall ceilings.


The Craftsman style came to the United States as a part of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the late 1800s. The movement emphasized the use of natural materials, like stone and wood. In a Craftsman home, you will see an open floor plan, lots of non-painted wood, brick and stone features, and perhaps some stained glass. These homes are simple but well crafted.

Greek Revival

Greek Revival homes tend to be quite large with multiple roof gables, porticos, and large windows. There's often a central front entryway, but the home is asymmetrical, perhaps with a lower roof on one side than the other. In more recent Greek Revival homes, the garage is often attacked on one side. 

This is not an exhaustive list of home styles, but these are the most common ones you'll see in ads for single family homes. Hopefully you can now read those real estate ads with more clarity!

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Homes, Properties, Buildings & More: A Real Estate Blog When you think of real estate, what comes to mind? Most people initially think of homes, and indeed, private residences to comprise a pretty big portion of the real estate market. However, empty lots, office buildings, and commercial buildings are also considered real estate. When shopping for any type of land or property, you need to ensure the real estate agent you hire has expertise in the particular type of property you want to buy. For instance, you don't want to hire a commercial real estate agent to help you buy a home. Learn more about the intricacies of real estate on this blog.