Distinguishing the Different Home Styles Found in Northern Virginia Real Estate

Filed Under: Virginia real estate    by: Steve Kayhill

northern_virginia_real_estate_home_typesWhen shopping for a new home, the style of house you are looking for is very important. Not only does the style influence the appearance and atmosphere of a home, it also has a bearing on the cost and durability of that particular piece of property. There are a variety of house styles commonly found in Northern Virginia real estate. And it’s a wise idea to be familiar with them before you begin seriously looking.

What Dictates Home Styles?

The real estate landscape has evolved and shifted over the last four or five decades. In the past twenty years land prices have shot up dramatically, causing a shift in the style of homes available on the market. Land and subdivision configurations and designs will greatly influence the style of houses built in that area.

For instance, since land in Northern Virginia has experienced a substantial increase in price, individual lots are getting smaller. This, in turn, is resulting in more compact styles of homes being built. Although the Ranch bungalow or Rambler style of home was popular back in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, over the last decade or so the local market is being flooded with tall, narrow homes built on lots with smaller frontages.

Bungalows are much more expensive to build, which makes sense considering the larger foundation and more expansive roof. And the footprint of these Ranch or Rambler homes will not fit nicely on smaller properties. That means most newly built bungalows are custom projects that will carry a heavy price tag and likely be designed with top of the line fixtures and finishing.

Most homes in Northern Virginia are built on a typical basement foundation. Others are constructed on top of a poured concrete slab. Commonly built in areas where the water table may prove a problem, poured slab homes are generally more affordable.

Popular Styles of Northern Virginia Real Estate

The Colonial home is a two-story model that often features 3 or 4 bedrooms on the upper level. Depending on the square footage of the lot, the Colonial offers a two- or three-car garage. Larger 1/2 acre or corner lots may feature a side load garage, but most often the front elevation includes both the garage and the front entrance.

The Ranch or Rambler style of home is a bungalow or one level home. This means that all of the living space is accessible without the need to climb stairs. It also offers a sizeable basement area, assuming that a poured basement is available. Ranch homes built on a walkout lot are in high demand, thanks to the spacious main floor and a lower level with separate access to the backyard.

A Split Foyer house features a short stairway (usually 5 or 6 steps) up to the front door. Often a bedroom or the living space is built above a garage and the basement is actually on the ground floor with a rear or side entrance. The Split Foyer model is a cost effective design and can be built beautifully on a poured concrete slab, while offering all of the space your family needs.

Check out the different home styles available when shopping for Northern Virginia real estate. Remember that the model best suited to your family is worth the investment. It may be possible to build new if you cannot find what you need, but costs and timing could be an issue. Consider all of your options and take your time finding the ideal home for your family.


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