Different Home Styles: Which Is Best For Your Family?

theproagent Home Buying Tips

Your home is an extension of your personality. Luckily in Minnesota, we have a wide variety of house styles that appeal to all types of people. If you’re a first time home buyer (or even an experienced home buyer) getting to know the different style homes in your area is a worthwhile exercise.

So what are the different styles of homes you can buy? Whether you’re after an elegant colonial or a contemporary open plan, let’s take a look at some of the most popular house styles, their history, and critical elements.

Ranch homes

Modeled initially after rural Western ranches, ranch architecture was first built in the 1930s and is known for its sprawling, open plan style across a single floor, or in some cases split-level floors. Designed for homebuyers that don’t like lots of stairs, ranch home is a practical home if you’re planning to have a big family as they offer a decent amount of space regarding bedrooms, storage capacity, as well as an attached garage. Ranch homes are one of the most readily available starter homes on the market and can be found both in urban and suburban areas around the Twin Cities.


Minnesotans love their craftsman homes. Craftsman homes began from the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain starting in the 1860’s. Typically constructed with large gable roofs and intricate stone or wood detailing, they fit in nicely with the Minnesota seasons and nature. Another well-known feature of craftsman homes is their porches.

Log homes

Ranging from small cabins to large luxurious getaways, log homes can be built in any location, but are most often situated in a rural or forest setting. Constructed entirely from logs and incorporating other materials like stone for decorative features, log homes have been around since the settler cabins of the 1600s. They are best suited to those who like a rustic, natural look for their home. If you decide to build from plans, the climate where you live can dictate the type of wood used. A popular northern-Minnesota choice for a summer getaway home, aka cabin.


One of the most popular home styles is the colonial because people love the timeless elegance and a sense of history they get from these houses. Colonial architecture started in the 1600s with the early American settlers from Europe, so there are many variations on this type of home reflecting their geographical diversity. A colonial revival occurred in the 1800s and is still going strong today with new construction colonial homes. Standard vital features include symmetrical or square shape, usually two or three stories, windows placed on either side of the main door, paired chimneys, sloping roof to provide proper drainage, shutters, dormer windows, and columns.


Townhouses originated in the early 19th century in urban areas. Due to the restrictions on land, these houses are typically smaller than stand-alone homes and are designed to save space by connecting to the house next door by a sidewall or garage. They are usually two-story houses, though in high-density areas they can be higher. Key features include narrow staircases, side hallways, a small yard and street facing garage.


‘Modern’ refers to thcrafte architectural style popular in the 1950s and 1960s and is often confused with contemporary architecture. A modern style home typically has clean lines, open living spaces, bare floors and a flat roof. Natural and human-made materials are often combined, such as polished marble countertops and exposed wooden beams vs. molded plastic furniture and polished metal tapware. If you love minimalism and open plan design, then you’ll be attracted to this kind of home.


‘Contemporary’ is any building style that is popular right now, which can mean borrowing elements of other eras or create something entirely new. Contemporary does tend to look more like the modern style because open concept layouts are currently popular, but contemporary homes are more forward thinking around comfort, sustainability, harmony with the natural landscape, energy efficiency, use of natural light and recycled materials. Modern style homes attract people who are up to date with the latest trends and who want to live close to a city.