When you think about driving through the picturesque towns of New England, you probably conjure up images of white steepled churches and Colonial homes. You will find plenty of both here, but the options for housing styles run the gamut from contemporaries to Cape Cod cottages to antique farmhouses and ranches.
Here is a sampling of property types in New England today:
Ranch Houses – Today’s ranch home had its true hey-day in the 1950s and 60s with large developments of the sleek one-level homes occupying entire developments within newly emerging suburbia. Ranches offer the convenience of one-floor living with or without basements. While these style houses fell out of favor for a time, they are gaining in popularity as baby boomers age and young families seek their first homes. In Massachusetts alone, nearly 20 percent of the properties currently for sale are listed as ranch-style.
The split entry ranch differs from a straight one-level home in that the entry into the house is between floors. The lower level is usually a finished basement made into a family room and the first floor contains all living areas. A front-to-back split has a small kitchen and living room on the first floor, with several steps down to a finished basement and several steps up to the bedroom level. These are popular with parents who wish to be near their children as they sleep and yet far enough away to have some privacy.
The raised ranch includes a basement on the lower level and a longer flight of stairs up to the living area of the home. The front door of these homes is usually located at the bottom of the stairs on the lower level. They generally have a living room to the right of the stairs, three bedrooms to the left and a kitchen with dining area adjacent to the living room.
Bungalows — These homes are a good choice for first-time buyers because of their affordability. They are usually one level but may be one and a half stories high with wide, low roofs and eaves that overhang. The rooms generally surround a central living room or parlor. They often have spacious porches and almost always have prominent center fireplaces with stone chimneys.
Colonials — The styles of Colonial homes are as varied as their predominance on the landscape of New England. The original Colonial houses were made with shingles, although most have been replaced with clapboards. They were built without porches and in most cases faced south to combat the cold New England winters. They have gable roofs and their interior designs are very symmetrical with the second story generally having the same amount of floor space and rooms as the first level. The early Colonials homes are rectangular in shape and have a center chimney.
Garrison Colonials were very popular from the seventeenth century until the early 1970s, but not many are built today. They differ from their straight front cousins in that the second story juts out over the first. They have a chimney on one end of the house instead of the center and are good choices for people who are looking to move up to a second home with more space but cannot yet afford their dream house.
Dutch Colonials have a gambrel roof that slopes down over both sides of the home. Like the garrisons, the chimneys are usually on an end of the roof not in the center. Many of the Dutch Colonials have small bedrooms, but what they lack in space they more than make up for in old-world character and charm. The dining rooms are usually ample sized and the living rooms are long, but can be narrow. There is generally a nice size portico area inside the front door with a second window-paned inside door leading to the home’s interior.
Still another variation on the Colonial style – the Saltbox continues to be very popular today in new construction and in existing homes. These houses are set up like traditional Colonials but they have a characteristic sloping roof on the side, which is a striking architectural feature.
Cape Cod Homes — This property style originated in the New England in the mid-1600s. Cape houses are still built today and are among the most popular choices of home buyers seeking a home that truly has a cozy, old world feel to it. Capes generally have a center chimney and are 1 ½ or two stories high with a master bedroom on the first floor and two other bedrooms upstairs. The larger Cape style homes of today often have three bedrooms up with a living room, dining room, kitchen and den on the first floor. Basements are often partially or fully finished. Some Capes are built with dormers or gambrel roofs to provide more headroom in the bedrooms.
Whether you’re looking for a traditional antique farmhouse with its rocking chair porch, high ceilings, built in cabinets, pantries, and wide plank flooring, or all the modern charms of a newly constructed luxury estate with media rooms, gourmet kitchens and spacious master suites, you will find it in New England. Visit jackconway.com today and choose your style.