Many of us enjoy taking a drive through ‘the rich neighborhood,’ comparing notes on which home we would buy if money were no object — maybe your dream home is an impeccably restored Craftsman bungalow or a shingle-clad Cape Cod.
The online loan marketplace LendingTree recently surveyed 1,500 Americans to find out which architectural styles are favored by would-be dream home shoppers. The results varied widely across age demographics. For example, Millennials and Gen Zers prefer modern exteriors, while Baby Boomers are keen on cozy ranches.
Want to find out if your favorite architectural style made the list? Fire up your Pinterest button and scroll through these in-demand exterior designs.
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1. Modern – 29 percent
Clean lines, contrasting colors and windows so big the neighbors can trace your every move. Modern home designs have become the pinnacle of wealth in North America. In dense urban areas, a new-build modern home typically implies that not only did you purchase the property, you knocked down an existing home and built yourself a brand new one.
2. Ranch – 23 percent
If you dream of wide open spaces with nary a neighbor in sight, perhaps a ranch-style home is more to your liking. Typically, single-story ranch homes have a low profile and a wide footprint. In the 1950s, this architectural style accounted for nine out of every 10 new-build homes in America. While its popularity has waned, homes without stairs are gaining traction among Baby Boomers looking to age in place.
3. Farmhouse – 11 percent
Modern farmhouse mania retains its grip on the American public. No wonder Chip and Joanna Gaines were given their own television network! Characterized by white exteriors, contrasting metal roofs and warm wood accents, farmhouses are no longer reserved for the country.
4. Cottage – 8 percent
Cottages aren’t necessarily akin to hobbit homes with sod roofs and round entry doors. In fact, there’s a whole range of cottage-style houses — see @cottage_a_day’s perfectly curated Instagram feed for proof.
5. Victorian – 6 percent
While many have deemed Victorian homes too old-fashioned, with their closed-off rooms and narrow staircases, others are drawn to this historic architectural style. These ornamental beauties were popularized during the reign of Queen Victoria from 1937 until 1901. Today, you can find numerous examples of Victorian architecture in cities like Toronto, San Francisco and Baltimore.
6. Colonial – 6 percent
Colonial-style homes are about as American as you can get. New England in particular is noted for its abundance of historic colonials, which are defined by wood cladding, oddly-sloping saltbox roofs and small leaded glass windows. Colonial Revival homes are much grander, but retain certain architectural elements like dormers, ornate entryways and symmetrical facades.
7. Bungalow – 4 percent
Bungalows are back, baby! As McMansions fall out of fashion and smaller, more efficient homes rise to prominence, Americans are looking to the Arts and Crafts movement for inspiration. It’s important to note, however, that a ‘bungalow’ is not an architectural style, but a type of dwelling. They can be single-story or a have a second story built into the roof, most often with dormer windows to provide natural light and ventilation.
8. Mediterannean – 4 percent
The west coast is well known for its love of Mediterannean-style homes, which embrace indoor/outdoor living and building materials that keep inhabitants cool. But in America, ‘Mediterannean style’ actually encompasses Spanish, French, Italian and Arab influences. It’s a modern mishmash that often incorporates stucco, clay tile roofs and open floorplans.
9. Tudor – 2 percent
There’s no mistaking a Tudor-style home. Tudors’ half-timbered exteriors are typically accentuated with brick and roof lines are varied, but pitched — sometimes with gables. From the 1920s to the 1940s, they were viewed as symbols of wealth, largely due to the fact that they were complicated to design and expensive to build.
10. Other – 7 percent
The beauty of architecture is that there are so many styles to choose from! You’ve got Italianate, Georgian, Craftsman, Cape Cod, Beaux Arts, Prairie School, Neoclassical, Spanish Adobe…the list goes on and on. When conjuring your idealized image of a dream home, let your imagination run wild.