When looking at the history of architecture it's not difficult to see that patterns have emerged over the years. You can easily distinguish between the homes that were built hundreds of years ago and the newer homes for sale that you will see on the market today. Whether you're choosing to work in the real estate world or thinking of becoming an architect yourself, you're going to want to understand the different major architectural styles that you will see in homes today here in North America.
Those looking at homes in Canada and America will not usually see properties that predate the Victorian Era. From this time period you will see mainly Gothic Revival, Italianate, and Egyptian Revival architecture. You will not find a lot properties in these styles but you might find some buildings that are more than one hundred years old in some of the continent's older cities. These homes will have been built between the middle of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
The big styles that you will see from the beginning of the 20th century are Queen Anne and Second Empire. Romanesque Revival was also very popular all the way through to the 1930s. When you're looking at older homes you might also find some in Mission Revival or Colonial Revival. There are also Dutch Colonial Revivals in New England and some Spanish Colonial Revival homes in the Southwest of America. Beaux Arts was very popular with homes into the 1920s.
You will find that there are styles that are more seen in the city and others that are reserved for the country where properties are allowed to be a bit more spacious for a lower price tag. Swiss Chalet style properties and Adirondack homes are going to be seen more in rural areas, while cities have embraced Modernism and Art Deco, to name a few. If you're living in the Southwest you might see Ranch style homes and those using Structural Expressionism.
Green building and sustainable architecture is one of the new designs that you will see coming out today, which includes new construction technologies offering better energy efficiency (using ICF for foundations and walls, for example). This ranges from those styles incorporated into townhome developments and those for large office buildings. Interactive architecture has also been used since the beginning of the 21st century and you will still see many homes in the Post-Modernist style. There are so many homes available throughout North America and they come in dozens of different architectural designs. Whether you're looking for natural building or Mid-Century Modern homes then you are sure to find some in many cities throughout North America still in existence.