If you plan on starting or growing a portfolio of residential real estate investments, picking the right architectural style can maximize your marketability. Recent data shows that 14.1 million households (42 million residents) live in single-family rentals.

What types of rental homes are more desirable for residents, and which ones leave something to be desired? Here are some of the best home styles for landlords should add to their portfolios.

Affordability + Value

The ideal rental has two features in balance: a reasonable price and objective value. These rentals have a fair cost compared to the market’s competition. They also offer safety, convenience, and functionality to their residents. The cheapest option doesn’t always win here, nor does the most expensive (unless you’re serving a niche luxury market).

  • When a rental has a low cost but is located in an unsafe neighborhood and poor condition, renters will more than often look for something else, even if it’s more expensive.
  • When a rental costs too much for its location and condition, renters seek out similar properties listed at the average market value.

Meeting the ideal standards of fairness so that the resident gets what they pay for will ensure that your property remains occupied. The best way to stay within this golden mean is to investigate the local market’s average rent. Any property you acquire should be priced around this average to be the most competitive and visible.

In the rental market, certain styles of houses are more marketable and appealing to residents too. What are they?

Types of Home Styles For Landlords

A home’s style directly influences its marketability and, therefore, its value. By selecting more affordable styles located in safe and convenient locations, you can continue to offer desirable rentals to local residents. Different types of houses offer unique advantages. Here are the best ones for landlords who want to buy and hold real estate.

Ranch-Style Homes

When it comes to affordability, this one-story single-family home costs the least among detached homes. Since it’s easier to buy in cash or afford for more home buyers, it’s an excellent starter property for novice landlords. It’s also an excellent addition to any seasoned investor’s portfolio because of how fast these gems fly off the shelves.

Ranch homes aren’t just affordable; they are the ideal property for young families, seniors, and anyone else who doesn’t want stairs in their house. Ranch-style homes can be left as no-frills affordable rentals or be enhanced with conveniences like an attached garage, a front porch, a kitchen upgrade, fresh carpets, and professional landscaping in more high-end areas. Just remember not to over-improve any property when the renovations don’t add to the property’s market value.

Townhouses & Duplexes

These attached or semi-attached homes can be even more affordable than ranch-style homes if they are moderately sized. Townhomes can even offer more bang for a renter’s buck since they can get larger properties for less than renting a detached home.

The drawbacks include noise bleed from neighbors, but they also get the convenience of less (or no) yard upkeep. Often, these homes are located in communities where yard care is part of the package, which is another perk.

Split Foyer or Split-Level Homes

According to a recent NAHB survey, less than 3% of millennials are interested in becoming homeowners of a split foyer property. However, these houses are seriously underrated gems. With the right updates such as enhanced curb appeal and additional windows, the extra space and versatility of the split foyer house can become an excellent investment. 

Since they were more affordable to make than other house styles, they boomed in popularity in the 1970s. In subsequent years, their popularity dwindled, but many remain to this day that are in good condition. Right now, you’ll find many split foyers on the market that are listed lower than more popular styles like colonial or ranch styles.

However, this is an excellent opportunity for a landlord who wants to offer a spacious, versatile, and affordable rental. Check out your specific market’s demand for rentals and see how easily (and for how much) split foyers lease, and if the stats check, snag this home type in your portfolio!

Colonial Style Homes

Colonial homes are among the most popular architectural styles in recent years for their aesthetic curb appeal, practicality, and spaciousness. They come in many variations, from farmhouse style to contemporary home styles and closed and open floor plans. Each has its own charm and appeal to different renters.

This style has at least two floors and a garage and is typically located in well-established move-up home neighborhoods. Colonials are popular with families and multiple roommates because of the spacious living rooms, staircases, and extra space for rooms like home offices. Colonials can also have desirable aesthetics like bay windows that add to curb appeal. 

For these reasons and more, colonials are also highly marketable when it’s time to sell.

Cape Cod Style Homes

Cape Cod houses have an evergreen appeal and can be quite diverse in their structure. It’s best known for its steep gabled roof and central chimney. Cape cods can be single-story or two-story homes with additional features like a garage, front porch, fireplace, and patio.

Many Cape Cods originate from the mid-20th century, but you can also see features from this style integrated into ranch-style homes and other contemporary structures. Older Cape Cods are smaller than modern versions, which makes them more affordable and ideal to use as rentals. This also means they are more likely to be in established neighborhoods.

Other Types of Home Styles for Landlords

If you want to talk about single-family home styles, we can be here all day. Over the years, builders created many beautiful architectural styles that are still around us. With an expert eye, you can find hidden gems like well-maintained Queen Anne, Georgian, Tudor style, and Victorian homes that can also be marketed to residents.

However, the more unique and historical a house becomes, the more expensive it is to maintain. This is due to the rarity of the building materials used to maintain the unique character of historic buildings. However, if you can find a well-maintained home from another era, you may find one within your budget to lease to residents.

After all, your investment journey is unique. You should not feel restricted by the list of most popular rentals if you find a style of home that you’d love to buy, maintain, and turn into an investment.

Find Your Ideal Home Style With Marketplace Homes

Your dream home or investment may be coming on the market right now. Our team of real estate professionals is ready to help you meet your goals. Contact us today to schedule a call, or send us a brief message about what kind of real estate investment looking for.