Once upon a time there were people living in small huts in the land of a nobleman. They are known as cotters, and their house is a cottage (both come from the Latin word “cottagium”). These simple, one-story dwellings were usually built of stone or wood, with thatched roofs and prominent chimneys.
The feudal system has faded, but the cottages remain. And we often associate them with rustic layouts and beautiful facades, today they can be done in any style and anywhere, from a city block to a country road, in the forest or in a beach resort. But cottages are still defined by their comfortable size — no more than 1,000 to 1,200 square feet, about half the size of the average American home.
Who would be looking for such a residence? Cottages are popular with buyers looking for a vacation home or starter home – especially with ingenious, handcrafted features. “Small artistic details in cottages were done with pride,” says real estate agent Shannon Weinman with Porchlight Realty Group in San Diego. “Shelves, cabinets, shuttered doors” all appeal to millennial homebuyers in particular, she finds.
Let’s continue to read about the history of cottages and how many buyers they have restored.
What is the history of cottage style?
Cottages date back to the late Middle Ages (around 1400-1500). It originated in England or Russia, depending on who you ask, but soon spread, serving the same purpose in England and Europe. Peasant farmers built these dwellings—the first tiny houses—on vast tracts of land owned by the weary nobility.
By the end of the 19th century, as it spread to America, a cottage went from being a worker’s home to a generic small house anywhere outside of a metropolitan area (and sometimes not so small—Gilded Age millionaires built their mansions in Newport, Rhode Island, and elsewhere. Resorts “cottages”.) As vacation or country homes for the upper and middle classes, cottages have retained their size but have been modernized, equipped with plumbing, heating and electricity. They often grew small secondary stories.
Today, some people prefer to live in a cottage full-time, especially a historic one. Intricate, old-school masonry and other forms of craftsmanship make them both strong and beautiful, Winman explains. “There’s a ‘carefully crafted’ vibe that’s very important to a lot of people right now. The idea of living in something mass-produced is not appealing to some buyers.
Different types of cottages
Given their long history and wide geographic popularity, cottages come in a variety of styles. Some of the more common ones include:
- English: When people picture a cottage, the English style cottage is usually what they think of. This style can have roofs and gardens that contrast with the structure. Most English cottages are single story.
- French: French country cottages often feature stone facades, brickwork and tiled roofs. Many properties have romantic vines and bright exterior shutters running down the side of the building. This type of cabin usually boasts a beautiful interior.
- Beach: Many American cottages fall into this category, such as Cape Cod and Nantucket, Massachusetts, located along the waterfront on the East Coast; Carmel and Monterey, California, on the West Coast. These homes often have wide front porches and wooden shutters that will turn gray over time. Expect lots of white trim and large bay windows.
- Nordic: Many cabins in places like Sweden and Norway are used as rural accommodations. They are usually made of wood and painted bright red (a simple, white beauty dominates the interior).
- Canadian: Like American nests, Canadian nests are usually located near a body of water rather than out inland. They deserve to have a second story.
- Bungalow Smaller versions of this architectural style, popular in 20th-century America, are often classified as cottages (especially in the Craftsman style). The bungalows, made of materials indigenous to the region, are one to one-and-a-half storeys high with front porches covered with low slats, thatched roofs or supported by beams. Interiors often feature built-in cabinets and double-hung windows.
What distinguishes a cottage style?
You can find cabins with different features, but these comfortable features contain some common features.
Some common elements found outside of cottage properties include:
- Cedar shingles
- Closed doors
- Stone or brick accents
- Asymmetric design
- Well equipped roofs
Outdoor spaces are often valuable in a cottage, because the interior is very small, so you can find many outdoor accents, for example:
Cottages often combine many natural materials in the interior design. The interior of a cottage may include:
- Exposed roof beams
- Exposed brick or stone walls
- Fire place
- Closed doors
- Built-in shelves and drawers
- Bending the back of the stone
How much do cottages cost?
According to a recent survey of real estate listings, the national average sale price of a cottage is about $236,000. , materials, features and location, the range can be from $ 120,000 to $ 500,000.
The small square footage of most cottages can limit their price tag in many markets. That means cottages are often found in resort towns and vacation spots where real estate is expensive. Additionally, “if a cottage is in a community and the community is very walkable, you’ll see a price increase relative to other types of homes in the area,” Winman said.
Because the cottages have features like built-in breakfast nooks and custom shelving, it can be expensive to restore an older one. But Wineman advises residents to look for tax credits. For example, the California Mills Act program provides incentives to buyers of historic properties. “If the home qualifies, a homeowner can save 40-70 percent on property taxes. The reason is that the owners use those funds to keep the historic house in good condition,” she said.
A final word about cottage style homes
Cottages can be perfect for a couple or a small family looking for a simple lifestyle. What these homes lack in spacious floor plans and light-filled interiors, they more than make up for in character and unique features like arched interior doors and custom-made bookcases. The popularity of exposed natural materials such as wooden beams and real stone slabs give cottages more personality than many conventional houses.
Keep in mind that buying an older cottage can mean inheriting a certain amount of plumbing or wiring challenges and, if it’s a listed property, restrictions on approved alterations. That being said, a cozy cottage can be an affordable home purchase and inspire you to live more efficiently than a modern property.