House Hunting? If you can pick your home style, which would you choose? I like the Spanish Style but I wouldn’t mind the Victorian!

 

I like the Spanish Style but I wouldn't mind the Victorian!
 
When you are shopping for a house to buy or rent, how much does house style play into your decision-making process? Knowing the features (and drawbacks) of a handful of main house styles can help you search smarter, and help you find a home that works not only for your style but for your life. 
 
 
What is available on the market depends on what region you live in, as well as whether you are focusing on an urban, a suburban or a rural community. Even specific neighborhoods within a town can be more heavily concentrated with a certain house style — just think of the "painted lady" Victorians in the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco. Once you have a house style in mind, take a drive around your area to see if there is a neighborhood you should focus your search on. 
 
 
Learn more here about nine common house styles in the United States to see if one of them is right for you.
 
Colonial. This traditional East Coast U.S. style tends to have a symmetrical facade, two stories and a formal entrance front and center.
 
Is it for you? Colonial homes have classic curb appeal in spades and a nice separation between public rooms (living room, dining room, kitchen) on the first floor and bedrooms upstairs. Small, separate first-floor rooms can feel quite formal and sometimes dark — the polar opposite of an open floor plan.
 
Craftsman bungalow. Influenced by the English Arts and Crafts movement, American Craftsman houses are known for their solid, quality construction, low-slung profile and use of natural materials like stone and shingles made of wood. Most common in California, Craftsman homes can also be found across the country. Similar in style, Prairie homes dominate in the Midwest.
 
 
Is it for you? With an open floor plan and plenty of built-in details like desks, china cabinets and shelves, Craftsman homes make excellent use of a compact space. Repairing and replacing period details can be costly.
 
 
Cape Cod. A popular East Coast U.S. style, the Cape Cod house is a small, usually shingled cottage with a pitched roof and dormers.
 
Is it for you? With its petite footprint and charming cottage style, Cape Cod style is great for smaller households. It's also a natural choice for vacation homes and can be found across the country. As with many older house styles, Cape Cods tend to have little storage space.
 
 
Victorian. Fancy gingerbread trim, towers and wraparound porches are hallmarks of this unmistakable style. Inside you will find lots of cozy, private rooms and nooks.
 
Is it for you? The warren of small rooms can be either a help or a hindrance, depending on your lifestyle. If having a separate library, den, music room and office appeals more than one large space, the layout of a Victorian home could be a great fit. Historic Victorians can be costly to repair and maintain.
 
 
 
Spanish style. Especially popular in warmer regions of the country, Spanish revival–style homes tend 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 ideal for warm climates. The charming gardens, courtyards and balconies are perfect for outdoor entertaining. In older Spanish revival homes, bedrooms and closets tend to be small.
 
 
Ranch. These sprawling, single-level homes can be found all across the country. Key features include open floor plans, patios and an attached garage.
 
Is it for you? With big yards, open floor plans and plenty of storage, ranch homes are a natural choice for families. With their single-story layout and low maintenance requirements, smaller ranches are ideal for retirees and empty-nesters as well.
 
Row house. This urban housing style takes on a different look depending on the city, from the brownstones of New York to the Victorian row houses of San Francisco. All feature long, narrow floor plans and can be either divided into flats or kept as single-family homes.
 
 
Is it for you? Newly constructed lofts and townhouses have more spacious floor plans, but a classic old row house has character to spare and may feature hand-crafted built-in details.
 
Modern. While "modern" covers pretty wide ground, you can count on modern homes to feature large expanses of glass, crisp architectural lines and open plans.
 
Is it for you? Lovers of modern design will surely gravitate toward this home style. The wide-open spaces also make modern homes ideal for entertaining.
 
 
Modern or Contemporary: What's the Difference?
 
Green. Not so much a style as an approach, green design can work in concert with any other home style. From additions to older homes, such as solar panels, to new builds incorporating green features from the start, there are many ways to go green with your house choice.
 
 
Is it for you? Saving on energy costs and preventing harm to the environment are solid reasons to choose a green home — plus, green features can be a boon when it comes time to sell.
 
 
 

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