The Most Popular House Styles, According to Each State

By HomeAdvisor

Updated September 6, 2022

American house exterior

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.

Whatever the reason for their preferences, we wanted to determine the most popular house styles in the country, so we surveyed over 2,200 Americans. We showed them visuals of 15 common house styles and asked them to rate their favorites and least favorites, and they also answered some questions about their tastes. From there, we determined the most popular house styles in 40 different states and gained some insight into what home buyers might be looking for.

Key Findings

  • 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.

the most popular house style in every state map

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.

Other popular home styles, broken down by state, include Mediterranean (seven states) and craftsman (four states). States that did not have an adequate number of responses are not included in this breakdown.

Here is the complete list of the most popular house styles in every state:

  • Alabama: Mediterranean
  • Alaska: Not available
  • Arizona: Mediterranean
  • Arkansas: Mediterranean
  • California: Craftsman
  • Colorado: Cottage
  • Connecticut: Cottage
  • Delaware: Not available
  • Florida: Mediterranean
  • Georgia: Farmhouse
  • Hawaii: Not available
  • Idaho: Not available
  • Illinois: Contemporary
  • Indiana: Contemporary
  • Iowa: Craftsman
  • Kansas: Contemporary
  • Kentucky: Mid-century modern
  • Louisiana: Tudor
  • Maine: Cape Cod
  • Maryland: Adobe
  • Massachusetts: Contemporary
  • Michigan: Victorian
  • Minnesota: Contemporary
  • Mississippi: Contemporary
  • Missouri: Cottage
  • Montana: Not available
  • Nebraska: Cottage
  • Nevada: Mediterranean
  • New Hampshire: Victorian
  • New Jersey: Colonial
  • New Mexico: Adobe
  • New York: Contemporary
  • North Carolina: Farmhouse
  • North Dakota: Not available
  • Ohio: Tudor
  • Oklahoma: Cottage
  • Oregon: Craftsman
  • Pennsylvania: Mid-century modern
  • Rhode Island: Not available
  • South Carolina: Victorian
  • South Dakota: Not available
  • Tennessee: Craftsman
  • Texas: Mediterranean
  • Utah: Contemporary
  • Vermont: Not available
  • Virginia: Cottage
  • Washington: Cottage
  • West Virginia: Cottage
  • Wisconsin: Colonial
  • Wyoming: Not available

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 most attractive American house styles

Americans’ favorite house styles also differ by generation. Baby boomer and Gen X respondents tend to prefer the craftsman style, while millennials lean toward contemporary and Gen Z favors the cottage.

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.

Interestingly, 12% of respondents voted the contemporary style as their least favorite, even though it also ranks among the most popular. While this style was popular in the Midwest, states that disliked it tended to be southern, such as Texas, Kentucky, Georgia, and Arkansas. Clearly, Americans are split on whether or not they prefer contemporary architecture.

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.

how Americans feel about house exteriors

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.

While style preferences may differ, what it takes to upkeep your home’s exterior remains consistent. Whether it’s power washing your exterior, leaf-blowing your deck, or giving your home a fresh coat of paint, you can find local home improvement pros to help with any project you need.


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.

Renderings for this project were created by brick&batten, a virtual exterior home design firm.

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