Tips & AdviceWhat is a Mediterranean-Style Home?

What is a Mediterranean-Style Home?

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Potential homebuyers must consider several important factors when choosing their property. While finances, structural integrity, and location significantly impact someone’s decision to choose a home, the house’s style and layout can also influence a homebuyer’s opinion. As architects grew more creative with their homebuilding process, they adapted international styles, eventually developing Mediterranean-style homes in the United States. Modern homebuyers can purchase homes with global stylistic choices in many parts of the country.

The History of Mediterranean Architecture

Mediterranean-style homes quickly developed in America throughout the 1920s, drawing inspiration from architecture in Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Architects built buildings throughout warm climates, like Florida and California, eventually incorporating features from other countries like France, Morocco, and Greece. Due to the vast contributions to this architectural style, homeowners also refer to Mediterranean architecture as an Italian-style house or Spanish architecture homes.

Before the 1920s, architects used Mediterranean architecture to build public spaces like hotels, resorts, and restaurants. Designers used this style to implement a leisurely atmosphere, believing that the features blend well with the natural climates of travel destinations.

As the style grew in popularity, Mediterranean revival architecture spread throughout the southwest and continued to draw from Spanish influence. Today, homebuyers can still find this home style when looking for properties in warm climates across the country.

Mediterranean-Style Home Influences

Though there are plenty of similarities between different kinds of Mediterranean architecture, some builders drew more inspiration from one country and the time period over another. The following periods are the most popular influences in current Mediterranean-style homes.

Modern Mediterranean

Modern Mediterranean properties consist of traditional styles, including open floor plans and indoor-outdoor living spaces. In even more contemporary properties, these indoor-outdoor spaces, homeowners can sometimes separate the areas with bi-fold folding glass doors.

Italian Renaissance

Mediterranean-style homes that draw inspiration from the Italian Renaissance typically feature grand and ornate features. Homes can include indoor and outdoor columns and rounded arch doorways. The homes include large floor plans and symmetrical front-facing facades.

Spanish Revival

Spanish colonial architecture is also prominent in many Mediterranean properties. Some of these characteristics include a low-pitched roof, as well as clean lines. Spanish Revival styles are less decorative than Italian Renaissance-styled homes.

Contemporary Mediterranean Architecture

While most contemporary Mediterranean-style homes adopt their own overall style, they still include many similar features home-to-home. Modern homebuyers can expect to find the following features in a Mediterranean-style house.

Red Clay Roofs

One of the most noticeable features of modern Mediterranean-style homes are their red clay roofs with tiling. Typically, these tiles are in the shape of a half-tub, which helps trap cold pockets of air to cool the house down during the warm months. Additionally, this shape easily helps rainwater run off the roof to limit damage to a home during stormy weather.

Stucco Walls

Stucco walls consist of cement, sand, and water that help regulate a home’s temperature while adding a stylish texture. Warmer climates use this type of wall as it traps cool air during the day and then slowly releases hot air into the home throughout the evening.

Symmetrical Facades

Mediterranean-style properties emphasize the outdoors and have many large windows and doors to help bring the outside in. Their large symmetrical facades consist of evenly placed windows with ornate treatments and sometimes balconies. The facades grow more pronounced in homes with two stories.

Balconies and Grilles

Mediterranean-style homes have larger balconies attached to bedrooms or living spaces. Typically, these balconies have gardens or plants, as well as spaces to sit if the space allows.

Large Outdoor Living Space

Many homes have at least one large outdoor living space in the backyard, on a balcony, or in an atrium in the middle of a home. Mediterranean-style homes work with their surrounding environments and allow homeowners to spend as much time outdoors as they would spend indoors.

How to Buy a Mediterranean-Style Home

Homebuyers who explicitly want to find a Mediterranean home should first consult with their real estate agent to disclose their taste and preferences. During the home searching phase, they can use filters on RealtyHop to search for Mediterranean-style homes in their preferred area, like Miami.

Anticipated Maintenance

There are a few areas that potential homebuyers should consider when purchasing this property type. Since homes largely reside in warmer climates with significant sun exposure, the walls will fade over time and require a fresh coat of paint every few years. Additionally, the concrete-based stucco walls do not hold onto moisture well, potentially leading to cracks that can cause structural damage if left untreated.

While many buyers associate termites with wood, they can also creep into open cracks in a stucco wall. Therefore, buyers should complete the extra step of acquiring a termite inspection when they close a home.

The clay-tiled roofs do not need much maintenance but can become costly if they need a full repair. Tiles are expensive and require specialized labor to replace, costing homeowners up to $10 per square foot. Buyers should ensure the roof is stable when they complete their home inspection.

Conclusion

Mediterranean architecture stems from multiple different cultures to develop its unique look. With many European influences, architects developed Mediterranean-style homes throughout warmer areas in the United States to help homeowners regulate their property’s temperature and show off design flair. While Mediterranean touches can present themselves in any state, this home style is most popular in California, Florida, and Texas.

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