Home Styles in Real Estate Ads – The Meaning

Home Styles in Real Estate Ads – The Meaning

Whether you’re buying or selling, reading real estate ads can be confusing. Here’s a primer on the styles mentioned in the ads.

Home Styles

What’s the difference between a Tudor and Colonial style? What about a Colonial and Dutch Colonial? Read on to find out.

“Colonial,” “Georgian,” or “Federal” style

Terms used when talking about a two (could be 3 or two and one half) story house that is very symmetrical. The front door is in the center of the house. There are an equal number of windows on each side. There is an upstairs window over each downstairs window and over the front door. There are usually exterior shutters at the windows. (Note: The houses which inspired this very traditional style were built in the early days of our country and are seen mostly in the East.)

“Tudor” style

A style of home that borrows from merry old England. It typically has exposed heavy dark beams. Some of the beams are perpendicular, some horizontal, and some at a forty five degree angle. The exterior walls are usually stucco between the beams. The lower story is usually of brick or stone. The upper story often has sections that are cantilevered out over the lower story. Box bay windows and diamond shaped panes are frequent features as are large chimneys.

“Dutch Colonial” style

Very much like colonial style except that the roof is a gambrel roof. That is, it’s shaped like most folks think of a barn roof. It slopes down from a center ridge line and then, usually a little more than half way to the edge, the angle of the slope becomes sharper creating a second ridge at the front and back where the angle changes.

“Spanish,” “Mexican,” “Hacienda” style

Seen mostly in the South and West of our country, this style incorporates stucco or adobe type bricks and red half round roof tiles. These homes are often built in a “U” shape with the walls of the house extended to enclose the “U.” This design device can give a pleasant feeling of privacy to outdoor areas. Door and window openings with curved tops and wrought iron grilles, door hinges, and handles are frequent features.


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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