Are Houses With Names Making a Comeback?

July 8, 2020

To put their own unique mark on a home, some owners are naming their houses. The nation has a long historic tradition of named homes, and the practice is reportedly rising again, The Wall Street Journal reports.

A name for a home can add interest for would-be buyers and even generate more inquiries from those who are curious to learn more, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Bernard Herman, the George B. Tindall Distinguished Professor of Southern Studies and Folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says house names have proliferated to reflect the democratization of estate ownership.

"House naming as we know it is connected to the emergence of modern sensibilities of property and land," he says.

“Most of our properties have house names,” Story Litchfield, a broker with LandVest Properties on Mount Desert Island, Maine, told the WSJ. “And if they don’t, we try to come up with them.”

But she says there is an art to it. For example, she suggests avoiding names that are “too pretentious or tongue-in-cheek.” She also suggests homeowners avoid nonsense words that are not memorable or difficult to pronounce.

On Mount Desert, a large island in Maine known for its grand old estates, homes are often are referred to by name. For example, Martha Stewart’s estate overlooking Seal Harbor is named “Skylands.” The late banker David Rockefeller’s home is called “Ringing Point,” named after a navigational bell heard offshore.

The trend of naming houses is especially visible on properties listed on online vacation rental and real estate sites, the WSJ reports.

“Names here represent more than a house,” Story told the WSJ. “They represent an area, a way of life, and are evocative of family and summer and happy times.”

Source: 
More Homeowners Are Playing the Name Game,” The Wall Street Journal (July 3, 2020) [Log-in required.]