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.

Advantages:

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

Disadvantages:

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

Cottage

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.

Advantages:

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

Disadvantages:

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

Shotgun

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.

Advantages:

  • 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

Disadvantages:

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

Ranch

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.

Advantages:

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

Disadvantages:

  • 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.

Advantages:

  • 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

Disadvantages:

  • 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.

Advantages:

  • 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

Disadvantages:

  • Lack of natural lighting
  • Small space for families