The Appeal of Craftsman Style Homes in Real Estate: Market Trends and Investment Opportunities

Craftsman style homes have long been a favorite among homebuyers and investors alike. With their timeless charm and functional design elements, these properties continue to stand the test of time and offer a wealth of investment opportunities. In this article, we will delve into the history, features, and market trends of Craftsman homes, and explore their potential as a sound real estate investment.

History of the Craftsman Style

Craftsman homes first emerged in the late 19th century as part of the Arts & Crafts Movement in Britain. This movement aimed to revive custom handiwork and design features in opposition to the mass-produced styles of the Industrial Age. The style quickly gained popularity in the United States, thanks in large part to American furniture maker Gustav Stickley and his magazine, “The Craftsman.” The movement popularized many of the Craftsman and bungalow style homes we see today, particularly in California and the Midwest.

The Origins of Craftsman Homes

The Craftsman home can be traced back to the late 19th century Arts and Crafts movement, which sought to prioritize custom handiwork and craftsmanship over mass production. The style made its way to the United States in the early 20th century, where it quickly gained popularity, primarily in California and the Midwest.

Gustav Stickley and the American Craftsman Movement

Gustav Stickley, an American furniture maker, played a significant role in popularizing Craftsman homes in the United States. Through his magazine, “The Craftsman,” Stickley promoted the style, leading to the widespread construction of Craftsman and bungalow style homes throughout the country.

Characteristic Features of Craftsman Style Homes

Craftsman homes are known for their distinct architectural features, which include:

  • Small- to medium-size homes
  • Low roofs and overhanging eaves
  • Simple furnishings and colors
  • Natural materials like wood, stucco, stone, and brick
  • Open family room floor plans
  • Eat-in kitchen nooks
  • Lots of natural light
  • Built-in cabinets and bookshelves
  • Hardwood floors
  • Ceiling beams
  • Fireplaces
  • Custom millwork and large pieces of trim
  • Dark wood paneling
  • Stained glass
  • Sleeping porches
  • Large front porches supported by columns

The Use of Natural Materials

One of the defining features of Craftsman style homes is the use of natural materials such as wood, stucco, stone, and brick. These materials not only showcase the home’s craftsmanship but also create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Open Floor Plans and Functional Spaces

Craftsman homes are known for their open floor plans, which allow for easy flow between rooms and create a sense of spaciousness. In addition, functional spaces such as built-in cabinets, bookshelves, and eat-in kitchen nooks add both style and practicality to these homes.

Ties to Modern Home Trends

Craftsman homes reflect beauty, functionality, family space, and comfort — values that have only grown in importance in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted people to spend more time at home, increasing the desire for features like separate office spaces, built-in storage, and aesthetically pleasing design elements.

The Rise in Popularity of Craftsman Homes

As more people prioritize comfort and functionality in their homes, the Craftsman style has experienced a resurgence in popularity. The open floor plans, natural materials, and abundant natural light found in Craftsman homes make them an appealing option for many modern homebuyers.

Adapting to Modern Needs

While Craftsman homes have many desirable features, they may require some updates to meet the needs of today’s homeowners. For example, some may need additional office spaces or upgraded kitchens and bathrooms. However, the timeless appeal of the Craftsman style ensures that these homes remain a popular choice for buyers and investors.

Market Trends for Craftsman Style Homes

As the demand for Craftsman style homes has grown, so too has their value in the real estate market. Many buyers are willing to pay a premium for these properties due to their unique features and timeless appeal.

Pricing and Value

Craftsman homes often command higher prices than other styles due to their unique features, open floor plans, and use of natural materials. However, the increased demand for these homes has also led to increased value, making them a potentially wise investment.

Location and Availability

While Craftsman homes can be found in many parts of the United States, they are particularly prevalent in California and the Midwest. In areas like the Greater Toronto Area, these homes may be in shorter supply, making them an even more sought-after commodity.

Investment Opportunities for Craftsman Style Homes

With their timeless appeal and functional design, Craftsman homes offer a wealth of investment opportunities. Whether you’re looking to buy, renovate, or rent out a Craftsman property, there are many ways to capitalize on this popular style.

Buying and Flipping

Purchasing a Craftsman home in need of updates can be a profitable investment opportunity. By modernizing the property while maintaining its original features and charm, investors can potentially increase the home’s value and sell it for a profit.

Renovating for Personal Use

For those looking to make a Craftsman home their primary residence, investing in updates and renovations can not only improve the property’s value but also make it more comfortable and functional for modern living.

Renting Out Craftsman Homes

With their unique features and wide appeal, Craftsman homes can make profitable rental properties. By maintaining the property’s character and ensuring it meets modern needs, investors can attract long-term tenants and generate a steady income.

Challenges and Considerations

While Craftsman style homes offer many investment opportunities, there are some challenges and considerations to keep in mind.

Maintenance and Repair

The unique features of Craftsman homes, such as wood exteriors and custom millwork, can require more maintenance and repair than other styles. These repairs may be more costly due to the specialized skills and materials needed.

Balancing Modernization and Preservation

When updating or renovating a Craftsman home, it’s essential to strike a balance between modernizing the property and preserving its original character. This can be a delicate process, but it’s crucial to maintaining the home’s timeless appeal.

In Conclusion

The Craftsman style remains a popular choice in real estate due to its timeless charm, functional design, and adaptability to modern living. By understanding the history, features, and market trends of these homes, investors can capitalize on the numerous opportunities that Craftsman properties present. Whether buying, flipping, or renting out a Craftsman home, the potential for profit and long-term value is clear. However, investors should be mindful of the unique challenges and considerations associated with these properties, ensuring that they maintain the home’s character while meeting the needs of modern homeowners.