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Real Estate Ads - Home Style Terms and Their Meanings

Whether you’re buying or selling, reading real estate ads can be confusing. Here are explanations of more style terms used in real estate ads. “Split Foyer” style A home entered by a foyer with a half flight of stairs up to the upper level (where the living spaces and one or more bedrooms are usually located) and a half flight of stairs to the lower level (typically housing the family room and additional bedrooms). “Tri-Level” style A home with three levels. It is typically entered on the middle level and has half flights of stairs to the highest and lowest levels. The living room, dining room, and kitchen are usually on the middle level.

The bedrooms are usually on the highest level. The lowest level may be unfinished or have family room, laundry, and perhaps a garage located there. “Contemporary” style These vary greatly, but none looks as if it could have been built prior to 1900. Some are almost entirely of glass. Some are almost entirely under ground.

Roofs can be gable (slants down on each side of a ridge line creating triangles of space at each end), shed (slants in one direction only from high on one side to low on the other), flat, or sod (grass covered) for that matter. Often several roof styles are incorporated in one home. Energy saving or indoor-outdoor connectedness tend to be designing motives. Simplicity, straight lines, and open spaces are hallmarks. Decks, patios, and terraces are frequently featured and are often constructed of the same materials used indoors. “Victorian” style This style is based on houses built during Queen Victoria’s reign and for a while afterwards. They are usually at least two stories tall and maybe more. They are embellished with a variety of things including porches, turrets, towers with conical roofs, pediments with fanciful shapes over doors and windows, windows to the floor with perhaps only one sheet of glass per sash. And do think “gingerbread” or wood fashioned into intricate shapes for gable ends, places where porch posts reach the ceiling, at stair landings, and so on. Modern builders usually pare this style down because of the expense, but even the most recently built examples can be rather fanciful.

Summary When looking at homes, you’ll find particular styles appeal to you. Once you identify the styles, you can narrow your search for the perfect home.


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