Real estate in the Pascack Valley and Bergen County has about 6 basic styles of homes for buyers to choose from. Of course there are variations in each particular style, but I want to keep it simple, especially for the first time home buyers out there. What is unique about the housing stock in Bergen County, is on the same street, the ages, sizes, styles, and lot sizes can vary greatly. So here are the basic styles of single family homes available in the Pascack Valley and surrounding Bergen County in New Jersey.
This is a single level home. Commonly have a full basement, or built with a crawl space or on a concrete slab. Sometimes larger or added onto ranches are sometimes referred to as an ‘expanded ranch’.
This home usually has at least 1 bedroom on the 1st floor and the second floor has slanted ceilings with the remaining bedrooms. Many were built in the 1940′s. Often they have dormers. They are considered to either have 1.5 or 1.75 floors. The dormers can be a full dormer on the back, front, both or smaller dormers in the front with windows. Many times, owners will expand cape cods to full 2nd floors for more living area. Cape Cods in this area usually have full basements.
Has 2 or more full stories. Bedrooms are all on the upper floors. Many newer colonials have the garage built-in, but common to see attached or detached garages. Colonials in this area often have full basements, but occasionally you will see ones built on a slab or have ‘dutch’ basements. Dutch basements are usually small basements which are home to the hot water heater, furnace and/or boiler. The ‘colonial’ style is very broad. There are all types of colonials, such as side hall, center hall, Tudors, Georgian and the much recently maligned ‘McMansion’.
Bi-Levels are the most cookie cutter of all the home styles. Usually there is an entry foyer, with stairs going up and another staircase going down. The bedrooms are found on the 2nd floor, along with the kitchen, dining room, and living room. The 1st floor contains a family room and sometimes another bedroom or den. The garages are built into the house and there is no basement. The bi-level is built on a concrete slab.
Split-Levels have one part of the house is about half way between the floor and ceiling of the other part of the house. The one story section typically contains a living room, kitchen, and dining room. There are typically two small sets of stairs that attach the one story section of the house to the two story section. One set leads up, typically to the bedrooms and a bathroom. The other set leads down to a large family room and basement area. The basement is usually a partial basement, that only runs around the portion of the house that is one story. The 2 story section is typically built on a concrete slab. Some split-levels have no basements at all or the 1 story section of the house has a crawl space under it. Sometimes you see a tri-level split, where there is another set of stairs from the 2nd floor often leading up to a master bedroom and master bathroom. Sometimes there are front to back splits, where the front portion of the house is a single story and the stairs lead to a back portion of the house that is 2 stories.
Is a broad category. Its usually doesn’t conform to any of the other styles. They are usually more modern looking and no 2 may be alike. They have odd, irregular shapes. They often have open floors and tall windows.