A Look At The Evolution Of The American House Since 1900

Joan Shaffer October 14, 2016 Buyers Homeowners Practical Tips

How have our homes changed over time? Let’s take a quick look at some of the most important changes in our American homes over the past 116 years. (Note: the prices shown reflect national averages, and not those for our Front Range.)

Forget bathrooms: Outhouses and earth closets handled human waste at the beginning of 1900.

By the 1910s, electricity was increasingly retrofitted to existing homes.

The next decade saw electricity in most all homes, as well as a detached garage. The breakfast nook explodes onto the market.

By the 1930s, fireplaces lose popularity. Coved ceilings and arched doorways become a signature architectural trait of the time period.

By 1940, the average house cost $2,938 and is 1,000 square feet. Half of all homes have a full bathroom combo of a bathtub, toilet, and sink. Attached garages appear on the scene.

During the 1950s, cookie-cutter track homes filled the needs of the postwar housing boom, and the average-sized home increases to 1,100 square feet and costs $7,354. Most new homes are one-story and called a “ranch”.

It’s the 60s, and the average cost of a new home has risen to $11,900. Vaulted ceilings and exposed brick become popular features.

A decade later, the average home price is $17,000 and the size jumps to 1,500 square feet. Twenty percent of homes have a laundry room and 66% have central air conditioning.

The average new home in the U.S. in the 1980s cost $47,200 and is now almost 1,600 sq. feet. Finished basements peak in popularity, as do carpeted bathrooms and wall-to-wall mirrors.

The 1990 average home experiences a size increase to 1,905 square feet and rises to about $79,100. Fireplaces return to popularity, kitchen size increases, and walk-in closets become popular.

By 2000, the cost of an average home is now $119,600 for 2,266 sq. feet. Hardwood floors begin to replace carpet, and builders install larger windows and skylights.

In response to the recession, by 2010, housing size decreased for the first time in 100 years (to 2,169 sq. ft.) but costs rise to $272,900. Open floor plans are increasingly popular.

However, by July of 2016, the average size new home has risen to about 2,670 sq. feet, with an average price of $355,800.

In a recent national survey, sixty-five percent of nearly 22,000 homebuyers surveyed said they’d be willing to spend more for a home with smart-home technology. More than half of those surveyed said they’d be willing to pay extra for interior and exterior security cameras, network-connected appliances, doorbells with text alerts and access to security cameras, smart air filtration vents, and more.

What’s in store for the future? From tiny homes to container homes, zero carbon homes and more, one thing is for sure: our homes will continue to evolve. However, if you’re more interested in checking out homes right now in our Front Range market, call me

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