House Styles of New England

What is a Tudor House Style?

What is a Tudor House Style?

The Tudor Revival House Style (often called a Mock Tudor or Tudorbethan when describing 20th century American homes) was very popular in the early 1900’s up to the great depression. In the 1920s and 1930s, the Tudor Revival style was second only to the Colonial style in residential popularity. They continue to be built, but are usually too expensive to build at any scale but on estate-size homes.


These homes are easily identified by their distinctive features: complicated and steeply pitched roof-lines with front-facing cross gables; decorative (non-structural) half-timbering upper stories often infilled with herringbone brickwork, blocks, or stucco; patterned stonework or brickwork on the lower story with decorative trusses at the gable ends; large, really prominent stone or brick chimneys often topped with elaborate sculpted plinths; tall but narrow multi-pane casement windows (older ones often have diamond-shaped panes); uneven dormers; and last, a rounded covered entry or porch with tall, rounded door. In my opinion, the one truly distinctive feature is when the roof line itself curves from peak to cornice to suggest a medieval cottage.

They can be found throughout Metrowest, and because of the various highly-decorative and memorable features of Tudor homes, they have always been very expensive to build, so all Tudors and especially the newer ones are only found in the highest price range of their respective communities. The older homes are found mostly in Newton and Brookline. Newer homes are found throughout metrowest. They sell very well and appreciate directly with the market and are considered a good investment as long as you maintain them.

pinterest-sqFor some great examples of Tudor Style Homes click on the above Pinterest link

What is an Antique House Style?

What is an Antique House Style?

Antique homes are historic, cultural treasures that can never be replaced, nor can they easily be compared to modern homes in their respective towns. Although each is as individual as the family or families that built and expanded them and each is made from local materials found close to the site,  there are some commonalities that will help you identify them.

They are typically rectangular in shape and include a large central chimney with one or more fireplaces, narrow clapboards for the siding material, simple trim around doors and windows, and a few small windows (called “lights”) around the main doorway. The other windows typically have numerous small panes, most often 4×4, and are usually split horizontally with the bottom opening to add ventilation in the nice weather. True antiques were fitted with exterior trim whose purpose was to secure the home against Native American raids, such as shutters, solid pine front doors, and large hand-forged hinges and handles.

Over the years, as the family of the homeowner grew, they were fitted with wings, walls and lean-to’s and barns to house their growing family needs. This phenomenon often leads to miss-matched floor heights, weird “railroad-style” hallways and doors/windows to nowhere that were no longer needed as the family blossomed. Many of these wonderful homes have restored hand-hewn beams with exposed pegs, very wide pine board floors, soapstone sinks, and hand-carved trim or trim produced with water saws. Antique lovers find these details to be absolutely charming and are very fond of them.

These homes appeal to a select group of buyers, so their on-market times are usually longer than many other home styles and their rate of appreciation is typically less than that of most other homes. This is partially because they are located near the center of towns (very close to main roads – some even on double-yellow streets) and their location on the lot is usually very close to the road. However, antique home lovers are a special breed and when they purchase their home have been known to live there for a very long while.

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For some great examples of Antique Style Homes click on the above Pinterest link

What is a Multi-Level House Style?

What is a Multi-Level House Style?

The multi level (sometimes called a bi-level) is a wonderful, deliberate house style that modern architects created to group similar living activities, such as sleeping or entertaining, separating the quiet activities from the more boisterous ones.

Legend has it that there were lots of unemployed Architects during the Great Depression and the Works Progress Administration hired loads of them to design a truly “American” style of home and this is what they came up with.

There are generally three or more levels in multi’s and looking at the front of a a typical specimen, it looks to have a line drawn down the middle with a one  story home on one side attached to a two story home on the other. You always enter a multi on the entertaining level and once inside if you travel half-way into the depth of the home you will find a set of integrated up an down stairways (usually containing 6 stairs) that take you half a level up or down to the rest of the house. The lowest level(s) of these homes are devoted to a garage, mechanical, laundry and family rooms; the middle level, which is usually part of the one story section, supports quieter activities and usually contains the kitchen, living and dining rooms; and the topmost level(s), usually in the two story section, support the quietest activities and contain the bedrooms, offices or studies.

In Metrowest, multi level homes generally sell very well. Many have updated kitchens and baths and they are usually sited on mid-sized to larger parcels of land in mature, established neighborhoods. In my opinion there is no good looking/functional way to expand a multi, and I find that most people, when they need more space just sell and move-up to a different house style.  Because of that, multi’s  make good first houses for small families and are usually found in abundance in the entry-level price points for their respective towns/locations.


For some great examples of Multi-Level Style Homes click on the above Pinterest link

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