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What's your home style?

Architectural styles, and how they can open up or limit your home choices.

One of the things I like most about being a Realtor is seeing so many different types of homes and different architectural styles. What’s fascinating, however, is that many people (including many agents) don’t really know one style from another, though they may claim to want or not want a certain type of home.

I can certainly understand buyers saying they want certain features that are going to dictate a certain style of home, such as needing everything on one level or having an attached garage. The problem is that everyone has pre-conceived notions of what a certain type of home offers.

For instance, I have had countless clients tell me they don’t want to see ranch homes. When I dig deeper, it’s more that they want the features that they think ranch homes don’t have, such as hardwood floors and fireplaces. The reality is that many ranch homes do have these features, and usually once they see that, they are more open to looking at them.

This is also true in the reverse, where a buyer says they want a particular style of home, usually because they like the curb appeal. A good example would be a Tudor home, which are prevalent in many of the older in-town neighborhoods here in Atlanta. I’ve found that many buyers are attracted to the style, but are then disappointed because they want a more open floor plan, whereas Tudors generally have a cozier, more compartmentalized feel to them.

The misrepresentation of a home’s style in a for-sale listing presents problems as well. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen homes of any style or age described as bungalows, or more specifically Craftsman Bungalows. Sometimes these homes have a single bungalow or craftsman feature, but other times it’s simply mislabeled. For a time, it seemed craftsman front doors showed up on any and all styles of homes.

The term “contemporary” seems to be up for misinterpretation as well. While that may be personally annoying, there are more far-reaching consequences to inaccurate information about a home’s style.

Although in today’s world, buyers and agents can see pictures of homes before looking at them, it can be a real turn-off to go see a “Craftsman Bungalow” which turns out to be a ranch home. It makes the buyer wonder what other information is inaccurate, and can make them feel they’ve wasted their time. You also may lose out on potential buyers, because agents can search homes using style as a criteria, and if your home is listed incorrectly, it may not come up in their search. I’ve learned not to search that way, due to that very issue. I’d rather scroll through and pick out the right homes to show based on the pictures. Based on a home’s true characteristics.

The real moral of the story, however, is that it pays to keep an open mind when looking at homes, rather than limit yourself to a certain style. You may surprise yourself when you see what really appeals to you in the end.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Drew Plant May 04, 2012 at 12:04 PM
All good points, Bill. I think (I hope!) the era of putting the wrong style door on any house is over. Thankfully we have a lot of great homes styles to choose in our area.

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