Real Estate

Choose A Retirement Community By The Home Style}

Submitted by: Carol Fena

Do you think you would choose what state to retire to based on the style and appearance of the homes located there? No, you laugh, how absurd to even think of making an important decision that way. However, styles of homes vary so much, depending on the region of the U.S., that the style of home you find appealing may be a reflection of your personality, and a clue as to where you might like to live. Doesn’t where you live have to make you feel comfortable?

I reviewed the styles of new homes in active adult retirement communities. Take a look at the following styles by region or state and ask yourself which you prefer. It may tell you something about your personality and where you would like to live. And it turns out most of these home styles are what you would envision them to be for that region.


– The stucco sidings of condos and single homes are frequently painted a rose color. Sometimes the rose is deep and sometimes pale but a lot of pink to rose paint is used. As you would guess, the roofs are Spanish tile that is preferred for tropical climates but recently a more up-to-date look combines three color tones and in lighter rosy hues. The use of columns and enclosed porches sometimes called “Florida rooms” is prevalent. Florida’s style is tropical and unique and not used anywhere else in the U.S. The landscaping everywhere in Florida features palms of all kinds.


Georgia is a Southern state but the architectural style is strikingly different from its next door neighbor, Florida. In Georgia the colors are more neutral and surprisingly somber. Lots of bright white trim along with the muted taupe colored paint of the wooden clapboard siding. English cottage style seems to suit Georgia. Long shutters seem more New England but here they are happily displayed in Georgia along with boxwoods, blooming roses and floor plans named after English towns.



This is my favorite style and my preferred place to live. Lots of unabashed Spanish styling. Heavy Spanish tiled roofs and heavy wooden doors in that Canyon grey color. It’s such a California classic look and it never goes away. California developers also still love the low-slung ranch look with recessed entries. Architectural details are combined in such a way that these homes are always surprising and never boring. Creamy stucco abounds and today the tan shake roof is more popular than the dark. Lots of clingy twining vines. A hint of an Old California Mission style is everywhere even if only in the heavy rustic wood of your front door. California style is fabulous.


Brick homes are the standard here. Do you like homes with a permanent anchored feeling, colors of neutral taupe that, well, look staid is the word that comes to mind. Dark roofs seem preferred. These homes lighten up with the use of filmy clouds of flowering trees and shrubs in masses. These home styles give the appearance of possessing financial security and responsibility and if you like to appear that way, you may like the homes of the Southeast. North Carolina floor plans had names like Dogwood and Cardinal.


Lots of wood and brick siding and sometimes in combination, dark shingled roofs, colonial and English manor touches or Federal styling. Sometimes Northeast homes border on looking boring but elegant at their best. Floor plans can have English names.

New England:

New England homes change in appearance from their Northeast neighbors and become a misty grey as if trying to blend with the sea. Grey wood siding with crisp white collars of molding. Shake or shingle dark roofs. Dark pine trees surrounding the landscape and to brighten up they use classic colors of cardinal red and forest green in painted shutters. This is a refreshing look–so different from anywhere else in the country.


Contemporary ranch, bungalows, lots of shutters, colors of taupe, very straightforward, honest, and some might call plain but what those living in the midwest like–the heartland of our country. Very Americana names for floor plans such as Heritage.


Very near to California but the home styles aren’t at all alike. This is surprising since so many Californians retire to Washington state. These homes appear more like a rugged version of the Northeast style. Dark colors, woodsy, more plain as if trying hard to not look like their flashy neighbor. Some Northeast touches are dormers, bay windows and faux brick trim.


Distinguished by their use of stone–large chunks decorating the stucco sidings. Of course, as expected in very hot areas, Spanish-tiled roofs.


Texas has its own distinguished subtle western-look style. I saw use of stonework combined with painted accents using the rich colors of leathery western saddles. Another look was of stark white stucco combined with black-hat colored shingle roofs. The names of the floor plans show Texans love of their countryside with names of local wildflowers and trees.

Well, of course, this has all been just for fun. No one would decide to move somewhere just because they liked the architectural style of the homes–or would they?

Have you found an area you prefer? Check out my website to find active adult retirement communities located there.

About the Author: Carol Fena, experienced in real estate and property management, enjoys writing for her website


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