buying your first home - what you should know

Should You Buy A Cape Cod-Style Home?

If you're looking for a small, single-family home, many of the homes you come across on the market are going to be Cape Cod-style homes. This type of home is shaped like a slightly rectangular box. The second story is built into what would have been the attic space, so there is only a narrow and tiny crawlspace above the second floor, rather than a full attic. Cape Cod style homes are sometimes also called one-and-a-half story homes because of this layout. If you're thinking of buying a home with this design, there are a few pros and cons to consider first.

Pro: Cape Cod homes have small roofs. 

Since these homes are shaped like plain boxes, their roofs are small and have a simple shape. As such, the roofs are easy and inexpensive to replace. This will save you on roofing costs throughout the life of the home. The roofs of Cape Cod homes also tend to be sloped enough that snow slides off them in the winter, which means you don't need to worry as much about snow leading to a roof collapse — or melting and causing ice formations that might damage the roof.

Con: Cape Cod homes don't always cool easily.

If you live in an area where the summers are warm, then you should know that Cape Cod homes can be tough to air condition. Heat easily travels through the small attic space and into the upstairs of the home, so the second story tends to get hot. And since heat rises, more air travels upstairs naturally, too. The home's air conditioner cannot always keep up. You might need a separate window unit to supplement the AC upstairs.

Pro: Cape Cod homes have a quaint, cozy appeal.

Often, these homes have a staircase that is centered in the middle of the first floor. As such, the rooms downstairs tend to be smaller and more secluded, which creates a cozy appeal. Upstairs, the slanted walls create a similar quaint appeal.

Con: Cape Cod homes are difficult to add onto.

If you decide you want more space, adding onto your Cape Cod home may not be an option. The layout makes it tough to build on an addition as you might with a ranch or other style home. So your only real option, if you end up needing more space, will be to move out and buy a larger home.