The holidays are when the masses try their hand at homebuilding. In gingerbread form, at least.
Contests to build ginormous gingerbread houses are popular this time of year. Although it’s difficult to compete with the masters of pastry in creating a sweet structure, the appeal of cute cottages handmade from cookies and sweets endures.
These confectionery construction projects have also inspired builders to borrow elements of gingerbread homes for real homes. The gingerbread architectural style has roots in 19th-century Haiti and was adopted in American design after the Civil War.
Real-life gingerbread houses are festooned with carved latticework, pitched roofs, adorable adornments, and perhaps a splashy color or two. And while the style is more common in Atlantic coastal regions like Martha’s Vineyard and New Jersey, lovely examples of the style can be found across the country.
In honor of the holiday season, we’ve picked 10 sweet homes on the market right now that look exactly like gingerbread houses come to life. We invite you to take a bite!
Updated charmer: Stained glass, original hardwood floors, and a cozy sunroom are just a few of the touches that make this gingerbread-style cottage so special. Built in 1935, the three-bedroom home maintains its original charm and curb appeal, while the interiors have been given a modern and sophisticated update.
Coastal cottage: While it appears old-timey, this gingerbread home is less than two decades old. The exterior evokes whipped white icing, and the woodwork is hand-carved. The three-bedroom home has views of Old Tampa Bay, cathedral ceilings, and a two-car garage.
19th-century cheer: Known to locals as the Beaver Dam gingerbread house, the three-bedroom house was built in 1854 and recently updated with a new furnace, tankless water heater, kitchen, and hardwood floors.
Gingerbread-chic: Custom-built with stained glass depicting Hansel and Gretel, this adorable house goes all-in on the gingerbread theme. Built in 2001, the four-bedroom home is adjacent to Azalea Golf Course and has its own stream, pond, and water feature.
California gingerbread: With its cheery pink and green gingerbread detailing still intact, this Queen Anne two-bedroom cottage measures in at a compact 900 square feet. Built in 1896, the home was recently updated in the kitchen, bath, and laundry room.
Tampa bungalow: Built in 1991 and featuring a bright blue door, this shotgun-style bungalow is an ideal mix of new and old. A smart layout makes the most of the home’s 2,000 square feet, three bedrooms, and 2.5 bathrooms.
Key West stunner: If the wicked witch in “Hansel and Gretel” won the lottery, she’d gladly pack up her cookbooks and move into this South Florida mansion. The historic home was built in 1938 on a prominent corner in Old Key West, and boasts luxury touches like Brazilian wood floors, crown molding, and an indoor-outdoor fireplace.
Gingerbread meets shiplap: Located in the heart of downtown and featuring a wide, welcoming front porch and whimsical trim, this charmer was built in 1920. It still has its original shiplap and hardwood floors. Muted, stylish, and modern, this gingerbread beauty would make any buyer happy to call it home.
Italianate flavor: Stately and well-maintained, this Victorian home built in 1889 has loads of carved wood details inside and out. The four-bedroom house sits on a 5-acre lot and includes some original artwork as well as other distinctive touches like stained glass.
Martha’s Vineyard gingerbread: This darling gingerbread beach bungalow was built in 1870 and makes the most of its small footprint. Bright and cheery, it’s something straight out of a postcard with its views of Sunset Lake and short stroll to Jetty Beach.