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Home Styles: Pros and Cons

For veterans buying a home, there are a lot of components to consider: price, location, upkeep, etc. For some, the choice of house style is as simple as being “cute.” For others, it’s all about functionality.

The styling of a home is important to consider due to its potential impact on the financials, sociability and comfort of your home. And what styles have better resale values could mean a lot if you're expecting a PCS anytime soon.

So here's a rundown of some common styles and their perks and downsides:

Colonial Revival

Colonial revival houses are typically symmetrical looking homes with two to three stories. There have a sloping, triangular shaped roof with windows that jut outside the slope of the roof. Bedrooms stick to the upper levels while the bottom floor is used as common area.


  • Happy medium between strictly structural homes and aesthetic homes, meaning they have a larger market for resale
  • Compartmentalized rooms for privacy


  • Stairs can limit mobility
  • May feel “generic” and impersonal


Cottage-style homes are those characteristic brick or stone homes with steep, triangular roofs. A chimney is often found in the front while the interior rooms feature low, arched doors.


  • Cozy and comfortable feel
  • Small building easy to maintain and control temperature
  • Often come with porches or patios to enjoy the outdoors


  • Small spaces may get cramped
  • Not conducive to hosting social gatherings


Shotgun homes can be found in the South and are quite popular in the New Orleans area. They’re characteristically narrow (no more than 12-feet wide) with rooms positioned in a straight line without any hallways. The kitchen sits in the back while the living room is in front.


  • High ceilings and lack of hallways create an efficient cross-ventilation and cooling system
  • Those built on stilts allow cooling from below as well as protection from flood waters
  • Potential lower property tax


  • Lack of privacy between rooms
  • More building material used than in a square home for same footage, meaning more potential maintenance


The single-story ranch home is typically a minimalistic house style with a low-pitched roof. Large windows adorn the living areas with easy access to patios and porches.


  • Easy mobility due to lack of stairs
  • Large, airy layout
  • Easy access to roof for maintenance purposes


  • Long walls make the distance from the furnace vary among rooms making certain areas warm and others cool
  • Bedrooms on lower level are attractive to burglars
  • May not be as aesthetically pleasing or feel as large as two-story homes

Split-Level Ranch

The split-level ranch home features an entry that a person can either go up a small flight of stairs, or go down a separate flight. They contain three or more levels with the center level as the entry.


  • Sense of separation which can come in handy with hosting guests (friends and in-laws)
  • Perception of a bigger home
  • Often come with an attached garage that saves land space and has easy access from inside


  • Heat distribution can be a challenge with multiple levels
  • Constantly going up and down stairs to reach destination
  • Cleaning the home and moving furniture can be a hassle with multiple levels

American Bungalow

Perhaps the most characteristic aspect of the American Bungalow is its built-in cabinets, seating and shelves. Built for efficiency, the styling contains connecting rooms, and like the shotgun, does not contain hallways. The living areas remain on the bottom of the one and a half stories.


  • The low-to-the-ground design ties the home into the surrounding landscape more easily than other common architectural styles.
  • No or limited amount of stairs
  • Sense of privacy as surrounding trees can “hide” low-lying homes


  • Lack of natural lighting
  • Small space for families

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