House-Hunting Assist: If You Could Pick Your House Style …

When you are in the market for a home to buy or lease, how much does home style play into your decision-making procedure? Understanding the attributes (and pitfalls) of a small number of main home designs can allow you to search smarter, and help you to find a home that works not just for your personality but for your own life.

What’s available on the market depends on what area you reside in, as well as if you are focusing on an urban, a suburban or a rural community. Even particular neighborhoods within a city can be more heavily concentrated with a specific house style — just think of the “painted lady” Victorians in the Haight-Ashbury region of San Francisco. As soon as you’ve got a home style in mind, have a drive around your area to find out if there’s a locality you should focus your search on.

Learn more about nine common house designs in the United States to see if these is ideal for you.

Normandy Remodeling

Colonial. This traditional East Coast U.S. style tends to have a symmetrical facade, two stories and an official entry front and center.

Is it for you? Colonial homes have classic curb appeal in spades and a nice separation between people rooms (living room, dining room, kitchen) on the first floor and bedrooms upstairs. Little, separate first-floor rooms may feel very formal and at times dark — the polar opposite of an open floor plan.

Paul Moon Design

Craftsman bungalow. Influenced by the English Arts and Crafts movement, American Craftsman houses are famous for their strong, solid building, low-slung profile and application of organic materials such as shingles and stone made of wood. Common in California, Craftsman homes may also be found across the nation. Similar in style, Prairie homes predominate from the Midwest.

Is it for you? Having an open floor plan and plenty of built-in details such as desks, china cabinets and shelves, Craftsman homes make excellent use of a compact space. Repairing and replacing period details can be costly.

More about Craftsman-style homes

Soorikian Architecture

Cape Cod. A popular East Coast U.S. style, the Cape Cod home is a small, typically shingled cabin with a pitched roof and dormers.

Is it for you? With its petite footprint and charming cabin style, Cape Cod style is good for smaller families. Additionally, it is a natural choice for vacation homes and could be found across the nation. Just like many older home designs, Cape Cods often have little storage space.

More about Cape Cod layout

Degnan Design Group + Degnan Design Build

Victorian. Fancy gingerbread trim, towers and wraparound porches are hallmarks of this unmistakable style. Inside you will find lots of comfy, private rooms and nooks.

Is it for you? The warren of small rooms could be either a help or a hindrance, depending upon the way you live. If using a separate library, den, audio space and workplace allure over one large space, the design of a Victorian home could be a great fit. Historical Victorians can be expensive to repair and maintain.

More about Victorian architecture

James Glover Residential & Interior Design

Spanish style. Especially common in warmer areas of the nation, Spanish resurrection–style homes have a tendency to feature arches, tile work and white stucco. Some may have balconies or a central courtyard.

Is it for you? Thick stucco walls and tile floors are naturally cool, which is excellent for warm climates. The charming gardens, courtyards and balconies are fantastic for outdoor entertaining. In elderly Spanish revival homes, bedrooms and cabinets tend to be little.

More about Spanish resurrection and Mediterranean designs

Webber + Studio, Architects

Ranch. These sprawling, single-level homes can be found all across the nation. Key attributes include open floor plans, patios and an attached garage.

Is it for you? With big lawns, open floor plans and a great deal of storage, ranch homes are a natural choice for families. With their single-story design and very low maintenance requirements, smaller ranches are best for retirees and empty-nesters as well.

Ben Herzog

Row home. This urban housing style takes on a different look depending upon the city, from the brownstones of New York into the Victorian row houses of San Francisco. All feature long, narrow floor plans and could be divided into apartments or kept as single-family homes.

Is it for you? Recently constructed lofts and townhouses have more spacious floor plans, however a traditional old row home has personality to spare and might feature hand-crafted built-in particulars.

Natural Balance Home Builders

Modern. While “modern” covers fairly wide floor, you can count on modern homes to incorporate large expanses of glass, crisp architectural lines and spacious plans.

Is it for you? Lovers of modern design will certainly gravitate toward this home style. The wide-open spaces also make modern homes ideal for entertaining.

Modern or Contemporary: What is the Difference?


Green. Not too much a style as a way, green layout can work in concert with any other home style. From additions to elderly homes, for example solar panels to new builds incorporating green attributes from the start, there are many ways to go green with your home choice.

Is it for you? Saving on energy costs and preventing harm to the environment are strong reasons to select a green home — plus, green attributes can be a boon when it comes time to market.

Learn more about this passive solar home

Moger Mehrhof Architects

Inform us This listing is merely the tip of the iceberg — farmhouses, mountain homes, adobe houses and countless others each offer particular charms. Which is your favorite home style — and why?

More: Where Does Your House Get Its Appearance?

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