Most people know that a mansion costs much more than a farmhouse. What many might not be aware of is that the style of a home can also have a major impact on its price. A Mediterranean-style home sold in the United States costs an average of $1.32 million, while a ranch-style home costs less than a fifth of that.
Location is one of the biggest reasons why one particular type of building can be more expensive than another. Some home styles, such as ranch-style properties, can be found all over the country. Others are far more likely found in cities with expensive real estate, pushing up the average price significantly. Brownstones, for example, which have an average listing price of $830,036, are commonly found in Manhattan and areas of Brooklyn.
Most of these home styles also tend to be older and are either less likely to be built today or not built at all. That scarcity helps drive up prices. In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Brendon DeSimone, realty expert for Zillow, agreed. Older properties, including Georgian, brownstone, Spanish and Mediterranean, “have significant architectural value.” According to DeSimone, “you just can’t remake those homes nowadays” because the homes were built so long ago that it would be too expensive to include the same architectural detail today.
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Based on data provided by Trulia, 24/7 Wall St. identified the home styles for which the average price listed by Trulia was greater than $650,000. Descriptions of home style characteristics and history came from groups including Realtor Magazine and Better Homes & Gardens.
These are the most expensive home styles in America.
8. Queen Anne
> Average asking price: $655,658
> Most popular: 1880s and 1890s
A Queen Anne style home is one of several different types of Victorian houses, so-called because they were built during the Victorian era in the second half of the 19th century, according to Better Homes and Gardens. San Francisco is especially famous for its Victorian homes, especially the set of seven Queen Anne homes that have become known as the Painted Ladies and Postcard Row. Among the unique features that distinguish a Queen Anne style home are a steep roof, multiple balconies and vertical windows. Zillow’s DeSimone told 24/7 Wall St. that the Queen Anne style is “from a different era, historic, and harder to make,” leading to higher prices.
> Average asking price: $689,216
> Most popular: 1905 to 1920s
A craftsman is a style of bungalow, a type of house defined by its limited height and space-efficient layout that is frequently focused on a central living room. The popularity of the craftsman was established at the start of the 20th century, according to Realtor Magazine. The publication describes craftsman homes as featuring wide front porches and roof edges (called eaves) that hang over the building. According to DeSimone, craftsman houses often feature hardwood floors, the use of gumwood for woodworking, French doors, built-in shelves and an attention to detail that add to their prices. These homes, he added, are popular in the San Francisco Bay Area.
6. Art Deco
> Average asking price: $783,589
> Most popular: 1920s and 1930s
The origin of the Art Deco home style can be traced back to the 1925 Paris Exhibition Internationale des Arts Decoratif. Art Deco structures include geometric patterns and tend to be taller than they are wide, according to Realtor Magazine, and often feature “flat roofs, metal window casements, and smooth stucco walls with rectangular cut-outs.” Many of New York City’s most well-known structures, including the Chrysler Building, are designed as Art Deco constructions. Miami is also a major location for Art Deco style buildings. Leslie Piper, Housing Specialist for Realtor.com, notes that limited inventory and “a home that has features that you just can’t buy nowadays” help drive up the style’s price.
> Average asking price: $831,036
> Most popular: mid-1800s to 1940s
A brownstone is an urban, brick row house, often featuring a brown limestone facade. In particular, brownstones are associated with New York City, and especially Brooklyn. The abundance of brownstones in the city, one of the nation’s most expensive housing markets, drives up the price for the style. DeSimone noted that “you don’t see brownstones in Kansas.” But according to an October 2012 New York Times report, construction of authentic brownstone buildings may be all but over, even in New York. Last year, Portland Brownstone Quarries, the Connecticut quarry that had supplied most of the brown limestone for New York’s buildings, was closed down. Brownstone facades are now most-often fixed using a brown cement substitute.
> Average asking price: $1,082,448
> Most popular: N/A
While a penthouse is typically the top floor of an apartment building, most apartments on the top floor are called the penthouse. The penthouse is intended to convey the sense that it is exclusive, luxurious and often offers views that other apartments in the building do not. There are no rules about what constitutes a penthouse and, on occasion, an apartment that is not on the top floor of a building can be referred to as a penthouse. Penthouses are frequently located in high-end apartment buildings that have various amenities, Realtor.com’s Piper notes.
> Average asking price: $1,181,197
> Most popular: 1700s
Georgian style homes are named after the four British kings that ruled when the style was first popular during the early seventeenth to mid-eighteenth century. The style, which emphasizes symmetry, a square shape, and windows surrounding the home’s front door, became popular in New England in the 1700s. As a result, the majority of these properties are still located on the East Coast of the United States. One famous Georgian property is Mount Vernon, the home of the first U.S. president, George Washington, for most of his life.
> Average asking price: $1,315,177
>Most popular: 1920s and 1930s
Mediterranean homes became popular in the 1920s and 1930s. These homes frequently feature red tile roofs, arches and white stucco outside walls, and they are often oriented around a courtyard. These homes are most common in the Florida and the Southwest, especially in California, where the climate is ideal for the open style. The style is often called Spanish or Spanish eclectic. However, homes that are referred to as “Mediterranean” command a higher listing price. Mediterranean homes were listed on the market for an average of $1,315,177 — nearly twice the average listed amount for Spanish-style homes.
> Average asking price: $1,845,624
> Most popular: 1700s through 1800s
Classical homes include a number of different, distinct styles. The first of these is symmetrical Georgian style, which was used in the American colonies as early as the 1700s. By the 1790s, the Federal style, which is also considered Classical, incorporated arched windows and decorative details as well as Georgian symmetry. Later into the 19th century, the Greek Revival style became popular. This architectural style emphasized massive porches at the front of the house as well as narrower, rectangular windows. According to DeSimone, the term classical is a catch-all for properties that feature older architecture that cannot be built today.
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