Have you seen the nationwide averages for 15-year fixed mortgage rates lately? They’re hanging below the 3.00% line like Kevin Durant hangs out at the beach volleyball pits. The first time they averaged below 3.00%, we all stood there in amazement. Now, ever since May 31, 2012, 15-year fixed mortgage rates haven’t sniffed 3.00% and it doesn’t look like they’ll jump back up any time soon.
Many home owners are taking advantage of extremely low mortgage rates and buying homes at incredible prices. Whether they are purchasing second homes or looking to move from renting to owning, these low mortgage rates are making a home purchase the financially savvy way to go.
Quicken Loans can help you with the mortgage process, making it simple and easy to understand. But sometimes it’s just the process of finding your dream home that can be the challenge. You know what you want in style, room size or amenities, but when a listing describes a home’s style as Cape Cod or Bungalow, many homeowners are left scratching their heads.
This short list of home styles can help you with the process of finding a home that is perfect for you and your family.
A cape cod home is typically a one-story – sometimes 1 ½ – home that features a steep roofline, multi-pane windows, wood siding and often have dormer windows for added space. It has a symmetrical exterior, with the door often found directly in the center. This style originated in the 17th century by the English colonists who settled on the east coast.
One of the most popular home styles, the colonial is a larger offshoot of the Cape Cod. These homes typically have 2 or 3 stories, large fireplaces and brick or wood facades. Like the Cape Cod the windows are arranged around the center door, with narrow side windows on either side. These rectangular, symmetrical homes have floor plans with the kitchen and family room on the first floor and the bedrooms on the second.
There are several home styles that fall under the Victorian home style. These romantic and highly detailed homes were indicative of the era which lasted from about 1860-1900. A typical Victorian home design features a steeply pitched roof, a dominant front-facing gable, large bay windows, decorative accents like patterned shingles or spindles, and an asymmetrical exterior with a partial or full-width front porch.
The Tudor style homes are loosely modeled after the homes of Medieval England. The common features of these homes include tall narrow windows with small window panes, patterned brick or stone walls, rounded doorways, multi-paned casement windows and large stone chimneys. Many tudor homes also have a steeply sloping roof.
The Craftsman (also called a bungalow or an Arts and Crafts style) was a popular home from the early 1900s to the 40s. This style was created in response to the elaborate décor and floor plan of the Victorian homes, as a simple more ‘hand-built’ style. The homes often have a low-pitched roof, exposed roof rafters, and have porches framed by tapered columns. The homes are narrow and rectangular, often 1 ½ stories. The thing that set these homes apart from their contemporaries is the large amount of interior woodwork, like built-in shelving and bookcases.
The term contemporary describes a wide range of homes that concentrate on simple forms and lines. These modern homes feature lots of glass, open floor plans and unique designs. Typically they steer clear of excessive ornamentation and unnecessary details, placing more emphasis on flat-face exteriors and incorporating the surrounding landscape into their overall look. These homes also are known for their unusual mix of wall materials like stone, brick and wood.
This list should help you make sense of the home styles that are available when you are searching for your new dream home. It’s important to remember that you should be educated on the entire home buying process, and once you do find the place you’re ready to buy – make sure you consult one of our home loan experts to get a quote on your new home mortgage.