Last Updated: February 2, 2023
If this is your first hunt for a house, keep in mind that there are two things that define a house – its structural and architectural features. Understanding which of these you need is important so you will be able to clearly envision your dream home and know just what you are looking for.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the most common types of houses and discuss the structural and architectural elements that you need to consider in your search.
Popular Structural Types of Houses
Now let’s dive deeper into our list of house structures where you will find homes of all different shapes and sizes. This guide will help you figure out what you are looking for and narrow down your home search.
1. Multifamily Homes
A multifamily home is a residential property with multiple units within the same structure. Each of the units within the multifamily home has its own address, entrance, bathroom, and kitchen. As an owner of a multifamily home, you can choose to either live on the premises or rent them out to others.
Depending on the units within a multifamily home there are:
- Semi-detached houses
We will go into greater detail on these types of homes later in the article. Nonetheless, if you are in the market for a multifamily home, it is best to keep in mind that they are mostly purchased by real estate investors and used as a source of passive income.
An apartment is a type of unit that occupies a part of a building. Apartments are usually styled similarly and are rented out to tenants who enjoy the benefit of not having to build any equity. Apartments are usually found in urban areas, and they often have features like on-site laundry facilities and swimming pools.
Tenant rates vary as the landlord can charge different rates for similar accommodations as long as both parties agree. One of the biggest benefits of living in this type of home is that landlords are obligated to take care of the repair and maintenance under most lease agreements.
3. Single-Family Homes
Single-family homes are freestanding residential buildings that do not share a wall with any other building. These homes usually have just one kitchen and a single utility unit. Owners of single-family homes typically own both the building and the land on which it stands.
These houses make the perfect choice for families who need plenty of room to spread out and their own yard space. Due to the fact that owners buy both the land and the home, these types of homes are more expensive.
4. Semi-Detached Home
A semi-detached home is one that shares one common wall with another home. Typically semi-detached houses share a wall with a house of identical or similar build and are mirror images of one another. This means that they’ll be connected by a kitchen wall in both dwellings, for example.
These homes are usually found in urban areas, and they often have features like shared driveways and small yards. Compared to townhouses and apartments, semi-detached homes are often a more affordable option.
Townhomes are multi-floor homes that can share one or two walls with other attached building structures but have their individual entrances. Older townhouses in urban areas can usually be found in the traditional row house style, stretching for whole blocks.
Modern types of townhome houses can also have this look and may also have their own homeowners association. Some of the townhomes’ perks include having access to a small patio and a private garage.
|DID YOU KNOW: Applying for a home equity loan can help you use the current property value of your home to invest in renovations or anything else that you need.|
Co-ops, which are also known as housing cooperatives, are quite different arrangements compared to other housing options. Those who invest in a co-op are called shareholders. As a shareholder, you are entitled to a specific unit within a building for which you receive a proprietary lease upon making the investment.
After purchasing shares within a co-op, you can vote on decisions regarding the common space along with other shareholders, and you split the maintenance and other fees.
Condominiums, also known as condos, are privately owned home type units, which are part of a building or community. The owner has the rights to both the interior and exterior structure. Generally, condos can be found as part of a high-rise building, however, detached condos may also be found on the market.
All condo owners have shared ownership of the common areas within the building such as elevators, hallways, gyms, and pools. In terms of maintenance, condos can be less expensive as roof repair costs, for example, will be distributed among the other owners as well. If you are looking for a way to make renovation more affordable, investing in a condo may be a good idea, as well as getting some of the best home improvement loans you can get in 2022.
8. Tiny Homes
Tiny homes are often regarded as the cheapest type of house to build since, compared to the traditional house, they are smaller in size and less material is needed. These homes are usually between 60 to 400 square feet in size.
You do not necessarily need to build one on your own as many prefabricated tiny homes are specially designed to make tiny living livable. Here are some of the best home buying sites for 2022 that will provide you with greater insight into the market.
9. Mobile homes
A mobile home, also referred to as a manufactured home, is a type of housing that is built on a steel chassis with wheels that can be moved. Mobile homes may be temporarily or permanently installed.
There are two different types of mobile houses: static caravans and twin units. The static caravans can be transported in one complete section, while units are transported in two halves.
|Owners of multifamily homes can either choose to live on the premises or rent their property if they want to.|
|Tiny homes are some of the cheapest homes to build.|
|Both the modern and the mid-century styles are still widely popular today.|
|Ranch-style homes are built with accessibility in mind.|
Popular Architectural Home Types
Over the centuries houses were altered and developed to suit different types of lifestyles and environments. Each comes with its individual design.
We’ve assembled a list of the most significant types of architecture common in houses. Read on to learn more about the various home styles and find which one best fits your preferences:
1. Farmhouse Style
The farmhouse style is a type of architecture that is characterized by its simple, functional design. Farmhouses often have large porches, high ceilings, exposed beams, and rectangular floor plans. This style often features exposed brick and stone and might come with a barn-shaped roof.
Though there are plenty of variations of the farmhouse style across the US, they are easily identifiable by their rustic elements and wrap-around porches which are especially prominent in the southern states.
2. Craftsman Style
The American Craftsman architectural movement creates the types of houses whose styles focus on well-constructed, handmade architecture. The Craftsman style emphasizes horizontal lines and over-extended roof eaves. Their interior design often includes elements like window seats, built-in bookshelves, and hand-laid fireplaces.
On the outside, houses built in the Craftsman style feature low-pitched gable roofs, exposed beams, and stunning hand-worked wooden materials.
3. Modern Style
The modern style became popular in the early 20th century and still exerts its influence today. Some of the most prominent features of this style are large windows from the floor up to the ceiling, open floor plans, flat roofs, and clean lines. There’s a heavy overall accent on geometric shapes.
The main focus of the modern type of house styles was to create a simplified home by removing unnecessary details and emphasizing functionality.
4. Mid-Century Modern Style
The mid-century modern style emerged after WWII as a result of the Bauhaus movement during the pre-war period. The main idea behind this style is to embrace nature and minimalism which is why it appears somewhat abstract and futuristic.
This style is well-known for its monochromatic brickwork, clean lines, flat planes, and asymmetrical home layouts. Employing a mix of natural and man-made materials, this style is still widely popular today.
5. Colonial Style
The Colonial type of house style dates back to the 1600s, and it has many variations, such as American Colonial or British Colonial style. What is common to all varieties is that the houses are almost always at least two stories high and feature a grand entrance with a central staircase.
The British Colonial style is one of the most popular varieties; it features a central door with symmetrical windows on both sides and a side-gabled roof. Decorations vary with some colonial homes having a brick exterior and ornate trim, while others feature simple shutters and shingle siding.
6. Tudor Style
The Tudor style was brought to the US by European architects during the late 1800s and did not become popular until the 1920s. Simply put, this type of house has an asymmetrical look that resembles storybook houses.
The classical leaded windows, timber framing, and steep gable roofs of the Tudor style are inspired by Late Medieval and early Renaissance architecture. Today, this style is most popular in the Midwest and on the East Coast.
|DID YOU KNOW: A home warranty can help you protect anything from kitchen appliances to the roof of your home. Here are the cheapest home warranty options for 2022.|
7. Victorian Style
Victorian style homes emerged during the 1860s and were still popular through the early 1900s. They are known for their large wraparound porches and ornate woodwork. Victorian homes feature brightly colored facades, small towers, and bay windows.
Some distinct characteristics of these styles include homes with a mix of up to eight exterior colors, a prominent front-facing wide gable, and an interior with high ceilings and archways between each room.
8. Mediterranean Style
Mediterranean home types are most popular in areas with temperate weather like Florida and California. This is mainly because of their focus on indoor-outdoor living. These homes feature architectural elements from Italian and Spanish villas and often have white stucco walls with a combination of warm stone, wood, and metal work on their windows and balconies.
The Mediterranean style gained popularity during the 1920s and 30s as the housing style of the rich and famous.
9. Prairie Style
Designed to be functional and open, Prairie-style homes were made to celebrate the beauty of the Midwestern landscape. Made famous by Frank Lloyd Wright, the low-to-the-ground Prairie-style homes feature distinctive elements including flat roofs with overhanging eaves, thin brick exterior, and minimalistic ornamentation.
The interior of the Prairie home types is largely influenced by geometrical shapes and typically includes a large central chimney.
10. Cottage Style
These famous working-class farmer homes are native to England. They tend to occupy less square footage as they mimic bungalows and are smaller in size. Usually, they feature a small, cozy porch with wood shingle siding and a small fireplace inside.
Cottage-style homes are usually no higher than one and a half stories, and although they make use of traditional aesthetics they are not overly rustic. Today, they are popularly used as vacation or guest homes in the US.
11. Ranch-Style Homes
The ranch-style type of home appeared originally somewhere around the 1930s but did not become popular until the 1950s. Most ranch-style homes are one story tall and feature open living spaces, sliding doors, large windows, and spacious backyards.
These homes are built to be flexible and easily accessible which is why you can often find a devoted patio and an attached garage. One of their more prominent elements is their open floor plan and wide roof eaves.
12. Cape Cod-Style Homes
Originating from the Cape Cod area, this home style is designed with the harsh New England winters in mind. This is why Cape Cod homes feature heavy shutters meant to protect the windows from storms. Cape Cod-style homes are types of concrete houses that showcase a central fireplace used to heat all the areas of the house more efficiently.
These homes are no higher than one and a half stories with a steep roof and a small roof overhang. They are nearly free of ornamentation which is why they might come off as overly simplistic.
|DID YOU KNOW: Securing your home’s entry points can give you a sense of physical security as it will notify you of any trespassing or potential danger. Take a look at our list of the top-performing home security systems and find the right choice for you.|
There are many different types of houses, each with its own unique features. When deciding on a new home, it is important to consider the type of architecture that you prefer. Do you want a simple, functional design? Or do you prefer something more ornate? What your dream home will look like depends solely on your personal preferences.
It is only logical that the cheapest homes will be those that require the least material to build. If you are looking for affordable housing, some of your best options include one-story ranch houses, tiny houses, and shipping container homes.
When it comes to loans for building a house, you can opt for a construction-only loan, construction-to-permanent loan, owner-builder loan, or end loan. It all comes down to what types of houses you’re interested in. If you are struggling with bad credit and buying a house seems impossible, take a look at bad credit mortgage lenders.