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Phone: 301-704-6964

lenn harley
Lenn Harley,
Maryland and Virginia

Phone: 301-704-6964

Popular Maryland and Virginia Home Styles

Maryland and Virginia Real Estate Construction Styles

HOMES HAVE GOTTEN MUCH LARGER in the past several years. Efficient insulation, construction techniques help home owners operate larger homes with lower utility costs than in the past. The cost of homes is largely based on the cost of the land on which the homes are constructed. Land in Maryland and Northern Virginia is expensive and it drives home prices for new homes.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Ask for a tour of homes to see the different home styles in your area of choice and price range in Maryland or Northern Virginia. Our agents can help you find the best homes for your money.

Home styles vary throughout the United States. The home styles you see here represent the popular styles within 50 miles of Washington, D.C. in Maryland and Northern Virginia. Going south into Northern Virginia, there will be fewer basement foundation homes. Also basement foundations are not always possible in water oriented communities and many areas of Southern Maryland and Northern Neck in Virginia.

Don't forget that most homes you see on the home listing pages are homes with basements. Some areas close to water and homes built by Levitt and Sons in the 1960s do not have basements. But, 90% of detached SINGLE FAMILY HOMES in Maryland and Northern Virginia WILL have a basement.

Styles of homes have changed dramatically in the past 20 years. Land costs and construction costs have escalated. These increased costs have resulted in more compact and open home designs. While square feet in new homes had been reduced, the designs are much more functional and open permitting easier traffic areas.

Some styles are better suited for folks with children such as homes with easy listening for the nursery, homes on one level for folks who don't wish to climb a lot of steps, homes with large garages for folks with multiple vehicles, homes with gourmet kitchens for the family chef. Contact us and we'll help you understand how these homes are designed on the interior.

Real estate in Maryland and Northern Virginia has changed dramatically in the past 40-50 years. Land costs have driven the price of land up 10 fold over the past 20 years. Maryland and Virginia builders land developers often buy land when it is available to lock in costs and hold tracks of acreage for decades until the zoning or market is right to subdivide and develop. This practice is only possible for large builders and developers which may account for the dominance of a few large local or national builders.

Higher land costs mean higher construction costs when the cost of the lot is factored into the cost of a home. Homes have risen in price along with the rise in land/lot costs. Ramblers, which were very popular during the 1950s and 1960s are no longer cost effective for large developments. The "footprint" of the Rambler, or Rancher, is too large for the 8,000 or 9,000 average lot size in developments within 50 miles of Washington, D.C. New Ramblers / Rancher Style homes are usually custom built and quite expensive on a cost per square foot basis.

See the models below which represent most home styles found in the Maryland and Northern Virginia real estate market.


The Colonial

Cost effective for small footprint and low utility costs for heat and cool. The average home built in the past 20 years in the Maryland and Virginia real estate market will be a two story home with 4 bedrooms on the upper level, 2-3 full baths, depending on the square feet, a library for homes offering more than 3,000 square feet; foyer, living room, dining room, kitchen, breakfast area on the main level; finished or unfinished basement. Two car garages are the most in demand and three car garages or garages with a side load are popular on lots of 1/2 acre or more.


The Rambler(Ranch)

The Rambler is the classic one level home that has been constructed in Maryland and Virginia in all communities for over 100 years. Recently, with the rising cost of land, fewer Ramblers have been constructed, making the resale market very attractive for these homes. The Rambler or Rancher is a one level home that may have a Ramblers are popular with families with young children who don't want steps to temp young children to go up or down. They are also popular with older home owners who don't want to have to climb steps daily in their living areas. Ramblers also take larger lots than the Colonial because of the large foot print and the cost per square foot is higher than the Colonial due to the larger foundation costs ( if the house has a basement) and the higher roofing costs.

The Raised Rambler is built on a hill with walk-out basements. This is a very popular real estate style.

split foyer

Split Foyer

Enter the front door onto the foyer level and there will be steps, usually 5-6 steps going up to the upper level and 5-6 steps leading to the lower level, which may or may not be finished. Popular with builders due to the low construction costs because the homes are built on a slab. The Split Foyer offers an upper level that generally contains 3 bedrooms 2 full baths, living room, dining room and kitchen. Lower level recreation rooms, additional baths, another bedroom and an integrated garage is also possible. Many Split Foyers have attached garages.

This is a popular style of home in Maryland and Virginia in the outer suburbs where affordable homes are in much demand.

split level

Split Level

Rarely built today, but many resale Split Level homes are found throughout the area.

Split Level homes in Maryland and Virginia can be 3 levels, 4 levels and even 5 levels.

cape cod

The Cape Cod

Popular throughout the area in the 1940s - 1960s. Usually constructed with unfinished upper level which could be "improved" as families grew.

This is a style made popular for families with the master bedroom on the main level and the upper levels used by the children.


The Townhouse

Wonderful starter homes for first time home buyers.  Cost effective and offer more living space than expected.

Also known as the Town Home, these homes are profitable for builders and affordable for Maryland and Virginia home buyers.