Know Your House’s Style

I see it all the time. An agent that doesn’t specialize in historic homes lists a home for sale and calls it a Victorian when it is really something else. You would think that the “year built” would give it away, but most real estate agents have no clue that historic home styles were built in certain time frames. Agents look at decorative trim on a house and think it is a Victorian, but what they don’t realize is that the home did not originally have that trim, but was instead added by a later owner. Needless to say, this drives me crazy, and is one of the reasons I educate sellers on the need to have a historic home specialist market their home.

 What is it? Victorian? Greek Revival? Colonial?

Knowing the historic architecture of your home can also teach you what is and isn’t original to the home. Over the years, I have been a detective for homes that have been renovated, trying to find out for example what a room was originally used for, or where a door/window used to be. Finding “shadows” (as I call them), on exterior or interior walls can tell you what the trim might have looked like, and knowing the historic style of your home will help in this endeavor. Figuring out the original floor plan will be an easier task if you know the home was built as a Greek Revival, and not a Colonial Revival.

From my perspective, if an agent can’t properly describe the style of your home, you might think twice about hiring them.

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One Response to “Know Your House’s Style”

  1. Brent Hull says:

    I completely agree. Every house tells a story, and you want it to tell a good one. Not knowing what style the house was originally built in is an easy and common way that people muddle up the story and overall appeal of their home.

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