House hunting can be an overwhelming task for new home buyers stepping into the market for the first time.
For 41% of recent buyers, the first step they took in the home-buying process was looking at properties online.
It’s natural to be worried about making first-time buyer mistakes when you’re house hunting. One of the first key things you need to decide to get you going on the right track is what type of house you are searching for.
When considering your first home purchase, two of the crucial decisions are the type of house structure and type of house style that will suit your needs.
Not sure what either refer to? That’s okay, we’ll give you an overview in this guide. Use the links below to go straight to a specific section or keep reading to get all the info.
What Are the Different Types of Houses
There are many types of houses to consider when you’re shopping for a home. From single-family to condominiums, to different styles like colonial to craftsman, knowing the different types of homes can help you narrow down where and what you want to look at.
What Are the Main Types of Houses?
Types of houses available to you typically vary depending on where you live. As society progresses, living styles and requirements evolve, which requires housing types to adapt as well. Listed below are a few popular types of house structures to consider when planning your move:
As the most common type of home in the US, single-family homes are often more competitive on the market due to their popularity. These homes are fairly large and are detached single buildings as they are seen in most suburbs. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are usually built based on the community or area they’re being built in.
Multi-family homes contain two or more housing units within the entire building. The functionality of this home can suit the owners needs. Each unit can be used as separate apartments, a single home with a guest house, or even a mother-in-law suite. Multi-family homes can either be multi-story structures or ground level.
Bungalows are typically single-story homes with a square or rectangular structure in simple style. Since they are single-story they tend to be popular among the aging-population for easier mobility. Bungalows were built in abundance in the early 1900s, but they’re not as commonly built in most communities nowadays.
Condominiums, or condos, share similar characteristics with apartments, except ech condo is privately owned. Unlike apartments, condo owners are solely responsible for upkeep of their interior and exterior of their home. Communal areas are typically owned and governed by an elected body, similar to a housing association, and are maintained by all tenants on the property overall. Condominiums vary in size and style and are typically found in cities and suburban areas.
Townhomes, or townhouses, are tall, narrow properties joined by other townhomes on either side. With the townhouses being on either side, windows typically are located at the front and back of the home. The homes are often two stories tall, but can be either three or four. Due to their structure, townhomes can be found more frequently in the center of towns and cities where space is at a premium.
Apartments are usually larger buildings that are split into numerous units. Typically, one person or business owns the entire property and each apartment is leased out to potential tenants. However, individuals can buy apartments in some cases. Apartments may come with other amenities in the building or property such as: a gym, pool, laundry room, and a parking structure.
- Mobile Home
Mobile homes are factory built and towed to their final destination. They are not typically built in situ like other types of houses. Despite their name, they are not intended to be towed or mobile as other recreational vehicles but are small enough to fit on a standard-size road for transportation. While mobile homes can be kept in a mobile home park, some buyers install them on their own on private land for affordable living.
- Tiny Homes
Over the past few years, there has been an increase in people interested in living in a tiny home. The typical size of a tiny home is between 100 to 400 square feet. These types of houses are inventive in maximizing space with furniture and floor plans. Those who tend to want to downsize or live a more minimalist lifestyle choose tiny homes.
When searching for the perfect home for you, the types of homes styles should play a factor in your decision. Personal preference in architecture style is key to choosing the right type of home to suit you. Here are a few of the main styles of homes that people tend to gravitate to:
Colonial-style homes evolved from European influences from the 1600s and grew in popularity in the 1700s for American homes. The colonial architecture typically is in saltbox style, where there is a steeply sloped roof that is longer on one side. Another key feature on these homes are their relatively flat surface and various windows along the exterior of the building.
Craftsman-style homes were built in the early 1900s to the 1930s and were named after the American expression. Americans placed high-value on handmade crafts as well as raw and natural materials in an alleged reaction to the Industrial Revolution. These types of houses focused on exposed beams and rafters, open porches, terraces, and exposed stone details.
Inspired by the Tudor period, these homes are typically made from brick and stucco with ornate, exposed half timbers in the exterior and interior of the home. These homes have a typical stepped roof, rubblework masonry, and long rows of casement windows.
Ranch-style homes originated in the US with concepts from the American Western period and have a variety of subcategories. These types of home styles are known for their dense ground profile and minimalistic character in both exterior and interior decor. Modern concepts are fused with working ranches to create a casual and easy-going aesthetic.
- Cape Cod
Cape Cod is a subcategory of Colonial-style homes created by colonists who settled in New England, except there are some slight differences in exterior and interior. Cape Cod is modified by adding an English House hall and a parlor house to counter the stormy weather of New England. Cape Cod also incorporates the use of shutters, wooden clapboards, or shingle exterior to their two-story home windows.
- Adobe Revival
Adobe is a mud brick that is the main building material for the home. These types of houses resemble cob and rammed-earth buildings. They have a sleek exterior with neutral coloring as their base paint. The adobe bricks vary in size and there isn’t a set square footage to qualify as an abode-styled home. If it’s main material is adobe, the house is in adobe-style.
Modern types of houses came into their popularity after World War II and remain popular today. Majority of modern homes have a sleek exterior that displays a variety of hardwood and other mixed materials in neutral colors. Another key characteristic in most modern homes are large windows along the house to let in natural light.
As you can see, all the different house types have their own charms and accommodations.
How Many Different Styles of Homes Are There?
With the ever-evolving housing market, types of house styles change and evolve along with it. There are many different styles of homes and within those categories, there are subgroups to each style and type that are present in different regions and locations. We’ve included a concise list above of some of the most prevalent home styles for your convenience.
What Type of House Can I Afford?
When deciding your price range for your future home, it depends on your circumstances. A variety of factors can play into the budget, such as:
- Cost of homes in their area
- Monthly mortgage payment you can afford
Once you consider these factors into figuring out how much you can realistically afford, searching for a home that suits your preferences will be a lot easier. Consider creating a home budget template along with a comprehensive list of ideal aspects and accommodations that would suit your lifestyle and preferences.
Although every individual is different, home styles and types can be grouped together in certain price ranges. For example, bungalows tend to be at a higher price than most people expect while mobile homes can be more cost efficient.
Typically, if a house has more intricate architectural points and is made of certain materials, the price of the house is higher, but the location of the home also plays a large factor into the cost. Another aspect that can affect the cost of the home is inflation’s impact on housing.
Overall architecture can be a point of interest when discovering what a house may cost along with the other factors mentioned above.
When determining what style home you have, one should compare the signature style elements of the different types of houses to pinpoint what style your home falls under.
For example, craftsman homes typically have porches with columns, exposed beams throughout the house, and natural wood elements. In another instance, a modern styled home will have larger windows and a more unconventional exterior shape with sleek edges.
Find the Right Home for You
While there are a lot of different types of houses and home styles, finding the right house for you can be simplified by narrowing down to those that fit your preferences and budget. Different types of homes can be separated into two key categories: type of house and the house style or architecture. Taking the time to research and figure out what you want and making sure you’re financially prepared to buy your first home can help you navigate the home-buying process with ease. That way, home-buying is an exciting experience, not a stressful one.
Sources: National Association of Realtors