Finding a home that’s perfect for you is not just about the right timing—it’s also about finding the right style. The popularity of certain house styles depends on various factors, from the region and climate to neighborhood and personal preference.
- The most popular house styles in the U.S. are cottage, contemporary, Mediterranean and craftsman.
- The house styles Americans are most likely to never want to see again include: adobe, contemporary, townhouse, and colonial.
- 76% of Americans would buy a house that’s ugly on the outside, in their opinion, but perfect on the inside.
The Most Attractive House Style, According to Each State
We tabulated the regional results and determined the most attractive house styles according to each state. Cottage and contemporary both scored the highest, winning eight states each. For cottage, these included states on either coast, such as Washington and Virginia, as well as states in the middle of the country, like Oklahoma.
Known for their coziness and diminutive size, cottage-style homes typically have stone or wood elements and often include porches. Cottage-style homes also make great places to collaborate with local gardeners to create the outdoor space of your dreams.
Clean and minimal are two words that define the contemporary-style home. Often grouped under the "modern" umbrella, which includes sharp, contrasting lines and colors, "contemporary" also serves as a catch-all term for what is popular in many new builds in America. In our survey, it notably won out in Midwestern states, including Indiana, Illinois, and Minnesota.
The Highest-Rated House Styles Nationwide
When we removed our state-by-state analysis, we looked at how the 15 common house styles in our study fared nationally. Overall, our respondents indicated the following as the most attractive American house styles: cottage (11%), contemporary (10%), Mediterranean (9%), and craftsman (9%).
Mediterranean houses are popular in hotter areas of the country and include familiar stucco walls, red roof tiles, and well-cultivated outdoor spaces. Craftsman homes embrace an earthy look, characterized by green and brown tones, natural materials, gabled roofs and open front porches outlined by columns.
The Least Popular House Styles in the U.S.
We asked respondents which house styles they most prefer never to see again, and Americans rated several home styles in the double digits. Although some of the least popular styles included regional favorites, they also included styles we have not yet discussed, such as adobe (14%) and townhouse (11%) styles.
Popular in the Southwestern part of the U.S., adobe houses can withstand the harsh sun with their thick walls and flat roofs. Originally created by the indigenous Pueblo people, the materials used to create these houses were sourced from land near the region’s rivers.
As for townhouses, you’ll typically find these in cities, typified by their long and narrow construction, shared walls with other homes, and two or more interior levels.
Which Parts of a Home’s Exterior Matter to Homebuyers
Finally, we asked our respondents some miscellaneous questions about the exterior design of a home. In a competitive housing market, we wanted to know whether they would buy a home that they consider ugly on the outside but perfect on the inside, and 76% answered yes, indicating that exterior house style matters, but not as much as interior layout.
We also wanted to know which exterior home features matter the most to Americans. When it comes to style, our respondents pay particular attention to porches (29%), windows (24%), and siding (17%). So, if you’re looking to sell your home, you might consider contacting a local window cleaning service to give you an edge.
Since so many house styles are artifacts from different historical periods, we also asked how respondents feel about vintage homes. Americans are very nearly split on their preferences, with 54% preferring to purchase a new home, while 46% would invest in a vintage residence.
When it comes to preservation, though, Americans are less split. Of our respondents, 45% indicated that preserving the original exterior of a vintage home was important to them, 10% said it was not important, and 45% were neutral on the matter.
From May 6 to May 12, 2022, we surveyed 2,263 Americans on their house style preferences. Our respondents were 35% men, 62% women, and 3% were non-binary or preferred not to say. The generational breakdown includes 1% Silent, 13% baby boomer, 24% Gen X, 45% millennial and 17% Gen Z.
Local results do not include the following states due to insufficient survey responses: Rhode Island, Delaware, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont, Alaska, South Dakota, and Wyoming.