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The popular appeal of Cape Cod homes — which have been around since Colonial times and hit their stride in the mid-20th century — is the symmetry.
Homeowners wax traditional: "It's a very balanced style," says Deb MacCormack, who is asking $1.195 million for her modern-day Cape Cod, located in the town of Centerville on the eponymous Massachusetts curl of land. "The chimney is pretty spectacular, right in the middle of the roof. It's so traditional and really doesn't go out of style."
MacCormack also likes that her Cape Cod appears to be one story in front, but bursts out in back with a two-story living room, giant windows, a screened porch and a deck overlooking the pool.
"It doesn't have this gargantuan look about it," she says, although the home spans nearly 3,800 square feet. "Another style might look like it was chewing up our lawn."
The home, listed by Joan Witter of Sotheby's International Realty, sits on a wooded acre with the feel of a country estate. Inside are graciously sized rooms with French doors and four fireplaces — along with four bedrooms and four baths.
It features hardwood floors and white detailing, plus a host of nooks and crannies — bookcases, window benches and the like — made possible by the Cape Cod gables and dormers. "They're charming details you don't see in other homes," MacCormack says.
The steep roof, a hallmark of the architectural form, goes to work when it snows, the way colonists intended when they first built these homes in anticipation of harsh New England winters.
MacCormack and her husband, Mac MacCormack, were relieved to see that even this past winter's heavy snows left little accumulation on their roof. "[The roof] did its work," she says.