Ranch, colonial vs cape. Tell us your favorite architectural style.

Real Estate Agent with First Class Homes Inc.

When purchasing a new property it is very important that a buyer understands the costs related to maintaining the house. Some structural layouts are cost-effective while others may feel like a hole in your pocket. Personally, I prefer colonial and ranch homes over anything else that's available in metro New York area. These two styles may not look better than unique and contemporary styles but they are easy to use and energy cost is pretty low while comparing with the rest.


Ranch: is a local architectural style which took birth in the USA. First built in the 1920s, the ranch style was extremely popular with the booming post-war middle class of the 1940s to the 1970s. The ranch house is known for its lengthy, dense ground profile and minimalistic character that uses a few of both interior and exterior decors. Some older built homes might have issues with cold spots in winter but with proper renovations, such issues can be fixed easily. Raised ranch style homes are seeing an increase in demand in local markets around Long Island.

ColonialColonial homes have several characteristics that make them stand out. These homes are symmetrical, or square, and feature an entry door that can be found in the middle of the front of the home. The style also features two windows on either side of the entry door, with five windows on the second floor, with one directly above the entry door. Other characteristics include paired chimneys, a medium pitched roof to provide drainage in rainy weather and a stairway that is directly behind the entry door and leads to a hallway that bisects the middle of the second floor. From personal experience and working with contractors these structures are easy to maintain & the benefits are quite obvious.

Cape: Also known as a Cape Cod, these homes have a low, broad, single-story frame building with a moderately steep pitched gabled roof, a large central chimney, and very little ornamentation. Found in New England in the 17th century, the simple design was built of local materials to withstand the stormy, stark weather of Cape Cod. It features a central front door flanked by multi-paned windows. The space above the 1st floor was often left unfinished, with or without windows on the gable ends. Most Capes with slanted bedroom ceilings on the second-floor scare aware my millennial clients. I can't blame them as I am not a big fan either. Yes, you can raise the ceilings up and many people have done it. This does increase the value of the property so it is still a good starter home option.

Split-level: Split style homes may appear larger in size but I think most of the interior space is lost with stairs and walkways. Yes, you may hang or place decorative items in those empty areas but they do not add much value in my book. Instead, you might just pay higher taxes. If I need more interior space I would choose a colonial home over a split. There are few variations of Split style homes known as side-split or a back-split. 


Some architectural styles are not great for the weather conditions in the north-east winters, therefore, I am not going to share much on them as I have little to no information. I am inviting other real estate experts to share their knowledge though about home styles out in Southern & Mountain states.

Comments (2)

Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good Morning Parminder -  It is good that there are different styles for different tastes.  Mine is solidly colonial.

Dec 27, 2018 05:41 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

As a former Appraiser, I always appreciated the fact that the Chicagoland area hosted such a wide range of housing styles, Parminder Singh ... it kept my job interesting and fun.  Entering so many differing styles also gave me great insights into my own tastes/wants as to architecture, so when it came time to build our own home I had a wealth of ideas to utilize during construction.  Hoping many read and learn from your post and its's info as it will assist them in their home searches greatly ...


Jan 10, 2019 10:43 AM