What's the most popular house style in your state?

Plus the house style that the majority of Americans favor no matter where they live.

House Styles
(Image credit: Todd Kent for Unsplash)

Real Estate in 2020 has been a mixed bag as homeowners navigate financial unknowns as well as record-low mortgage rates. In many areas, the real estate market is hot. But before you rush to put your home on the market, is your house style one of the most in demand?

To answer that question, homes.com conducted a survey of more than 5,000 adults across the U.S., asking about their favorite house styles and architectural features. So, what's the most popular house style in your area? And how does it stack up against the most common architectural examples? Read on. 

Homes.com asked respondents to vote on their favorite house style among a list of the most common types found in the U.S.: Mid-century Modern ranch, modern farmhouse, Spanish Colonial, Bohemian Craftsman, Italianate, French Chateau, and Tudor. 

Drumroll...The modern farmhouse was a clear winner. It was voted most popular in 42 states, particularly in the Northwest, East, and Southeast regions. Respondents said they enjoy how this style is "aesthetically pleasing but not boring;" "simple, cozy, and not too busy;" and "a nice big home for a family." 

Now, what exactly is considered a modern farmhouse? Unlike something like a Colonial or a Tudor, a farmhouse is not technically an architectural style. That said, there are some key characteristics like a white exterior, lots of windows, porch lights, a covered porch, and an A-frame roof. You may look for other details like carriage-style garage doors, shiplap siding inside, and reclaimed wood galore.

The New York TImes coined the term "modern farmhouse" in a 2016 article, and the concept has exploded in popularity since. (Think Joanna Gaines.) So if you're considering selling, it might be a wise decision to paint your home's exterior white and add black trim and some barn lights before listing it. 

While most of the U.S. is drinking the farmhouse Kool Aid, there were a few exceptions. Respondents in Midwestern states like Wisconsin and Minnesota and places in the Southwest including Colorado and Arizona preferred the Mid-century Modern ranch. The liked the style's "clean lines and big windows" as well as its "more minimal and natural" look. 

Given the current trends toward more minimal, pared-down architectural styles, it comes as no surprise that the majority of respondents ranked Italianate homes as their least favorite. The ornate style, which was least favored in 36 states, is distinctive of the 19th. century.

Characterized as "Neo-renaissance," key visual components include low-pitched or flat roofs, imposing cornice structures, projecting eaves, and pedimented windows and doors. It's a strong look, opposed to the safe style of the modern farmhouse.

In some states like Illinois, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania, respondents disliked the Spanish Colonial/Southwest style the most. Known for its stucco walls, red tile roofs, and enclosed courtyards, these styes are popular in the Southwest, as their name suggests. They'd look pretty out of place in Pennsylvania, so it's no surprise folks there aren't into them.

But, do the most common styles and the most popular sync up in other areas? 

Most Common House Styles In The U.S. 

It stands to reason that the least common house styles were among the least popular, including Italianate, Spanish Colonial, and French Chateau. However, you're most likely to see Bohemian Craftsman homes across the country. 

The Craftsman style is known for its low-pitched gabled roofs and broad eaves. These homes also have large front porches and wooden structural elements — with a focus on craftsmanship. Most of these designs are bungalows, which are either single stories or have a second story built into a sloping roof.

Current trends favor minimal styling and larger spaces, so it makes sense the Craftsman's more judicious use of space and architectural details aren't as popular in 2020. Don't fear, the modern farmhouse was the second-most common housing style across the U.S., so there are plenty to shop from if you're in the market. 

And if you're trying to sell a home that doesn't fall into the modern farmhouse category, don't sweat. According to results, the most important exterior home feature to buyers is the size and amount of windows. And inside, they care the most about the home's layout. 

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Ann Loynd Burton

After serving as an editor for luxury publications for nearly a decade, Ann Loynd Burton struck out on her own as a freelance writer covering design and lifestyle. Along with her work highlighting decor trends for Real Homes, Loynd Burton has covered interiors for such publications as Apartment TherapyAspireCottages & Gardens, and Galerie