Wet Bars, Hot Tubs, and More: What Home Feature Rules in Your State?

Diversity is one of the United States’ greatest assets—and that’s true even in home design! Especially in home design, in fact. From coast to coast, the way we like to live varies enormously. Sitting in a covered patio sipping cocktails after a refreshing dip in the pool, Texans may wonder what kind of house their Delaware compatriots live in. Are they chilling in their master rooms? Cowering in their storm shelters? Swinging on their gazebos?

Well, wonder no longer, friends, because we’ve pinpointed the distinctive housing features of each state.

Our data team took a deep dive into our 1.5 million active listings of single-family homes for sale and parsed out over 200 individual features from their listing descriptions. From there, we finalized the top five features for each state and picked the one with real local flavor.

Explore the details by hovering over each state and clicking for high-definition photos from real homes.

Let’s take a look at some features that leap out:

Kansas: Wet bar

Alcohol laws in Kansas are among the strictest in the U.S., which may explain why 7% of its homes currently on the market have a wet bar. Remarkably enough, the state banned the sale of liquor “by the drink”until 1987 (it’s still illegal in 10 counties), pretty much outlawing public bars—so it makes perfect sense to have one at home. Invite your friends! And you can be sure that everybody will know your name.

Oregon: Hot tub

What goes perfectly with Oregon’s lush trees, awesome pinots, and chilly nights? A hot tub! We’re actually surprised that only 5% of Oregon homes for sale come equipped with one.

Oklahoma: Storm shelter

With an average of 55 tornadoes tearing through Oklahoma every year, storm shelters are an important feature. Our data show that 6% of homes in Oklahoma are marketed as having one. Why not more? Well, the cost of adding a storm shelter to an existing home starts at $2,500 and can exceed $20,000—which is not so financially appealing, considering that the median home price statewide is only $168,000.

Michigan: Pole barn

Pole barns are, well, barns that use large poles to provide vertical structural support. Pioneered in the 1930s, pole barns are still common in rural areas because they’re quick and cheap to build. You can find them in 5% of Michigan listings.


Idaho: RV parking

With more than 600 campgrounds featuring breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife, Idaho is a terrific place to hit the road in an RV. Little surprise that Idaho ranks as the second-highest state in RV ownership—89.7 vehicles per 1,000 households—after Wyoming, according to DataMasters and the U.S. Census. Appropriately, 6% of Idaho homes for sale are equipped with spacious RV parking.

Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama: Traditional design

A love of history and tradition runs strong in the South. In Mississippi and Georgia, a typical home features elegant formal dining spaces with grand oak tables, antique chairs, and French linens. In Alabama, crown molding gives a luxurious and gracious feel to ordinary living spaces.

North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, and Minnesota: Porch

There’s another side of the South, though, and that’s the tradition of hanging out on the porch, drinking some sweet tea. Front porches in North Carolina (9%) and Virginia (8%) let you enjoy the fresh air and chat with neighbors without leaving the comfort of your own home. A little farther down in South Carolina, screened porches (10%) offer protection from those pesky mosquitoes during the humid summer.

As for residents in Minnesota, three-season porches (4%) are the way to go—providing a shield against harsh weather conditions without ruining the sense of indoor-outdoor living.

Montana and Utah: Vaulted ceiling

Inspired by ancient cathedrals and basilicas, vaulted ceilings have been trending in residential homes for quite some time, especially in Utah (10% of listings), Montana (7%), and other Western states. Vaulted ceilings are a dramatic feature, creating space and allowing tons of natural light to come in. On the downside, keep an eye on your energy bills: Heat rises, and the winters are long.

New Mexico, Alaska, Delaware, and Vermont: Fireplace

While fireplaces are popular across the country, different types are preferred in different locations. A kiva fireplace, known for its beehive appearance with an arched firebox door, is a top choice for New Mexico homeowners to decorate their Southwestern adobe homes (6%).

In the wilds of Alaska, a wood stove offers an off-the-grid option to beat the cold (5%). In urban Delaware, on the other hand, gas fireplaces (9%) warm people’s toes and hearts—no muss, no fuss. And Vermonters choose stone fireplaces (6%) to warm up rustic homes.

Posted by Yuqing Pan on Realtor.com


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