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Identifying Features of Arizona Homes: Part One

Regionally throughout the United States, residential architecture, landscaping, and overall tone vary depending on location. New England homes are known for a historical, Victorian feel. West coast residences are characterized by large windows facing the ocean. Midwestern homes often feature a broad farmhouse look, Bible belt homes carrying traces of French, Spanish, and Creole influence, etc.

Included below (and following) are characteristics of Arizona style homes:

Theme One: Horizontal Space Usage, rather than Vertical

In many of the American regions described above, urban population is commonly denser; more people live in a smaller amount of overall space with the unspoken intention of being in closer proximity to jobs, resources, and culture in general. Metropolitan cities often feature living spaces being literally on top of one another, with prime real estate being in high demand because of the enormous supply of inhabitants.

This image of crowded housing units stands in start contrast to Arizona residential patterns. Here in the Southwest, larger lots and much more space are available to builders and buyers, simply because the cultural norms of mass transportation and interaction are quite different. Most families and homeowners drive their own vehicles on large, individually-accessible freeways. Reliance on buses, taxis, and trains is significantly lower, and subways are non-existent. Because of all this, there has never been a need or push to cram as many homes together or on top of one another, causing homes to be designed to have a wider, deeper first level, and often no basement or second level, or a small one if so.

Rarely are homes built in a direct vertical fashion here in Arizona. Horizontal space is available, and is therefore utilized.