17 Perfect House Plans for First-Time Homeowners

Aiken Street, Plan #1807
Photo: Southern Living

Moving into your first home comes with plenty of excitement—and plenty of decisions. What square footage fits your family? Which design style matches your own? How much do you really need that wraparound porch? Luckily, our Southern Living House Plans cover every base. For first-time homeowners, we chose our favorite plans that are compact in size—under 2,500 square feet—but live much larger with clever layouts and cozy accents. We married traditional Southern styles, like Colonial and Lowcountry, with stylish updates that keep things fresh. From modern farmhouse plans to charming cottage house plans, this collection is chock-full of inspiration.

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Sizes To Fit All Families

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Farmdale Cottage, Plan #1870

Farmdale Cottage
Laurey W. Glenn

Find a country cottage with more charm, we dare. This 2,057-square-foot abode offers a satisfyingly symmetrical exterior and stunning entry for first-time homeowners that want character and style.

3 to 4 bedrooms and 4 baths
2,057 square feet
See Plan: Farmdale Cottage

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Sparta II, Plan #1810

Sparta II, Plan #1810
Southern Living House Plans

From the stately Colonial influence seen on the exterior to the traditional Southern influence felt inside, this house plan is a perfect fit for first-time buyers that love a classic look.

3 bedrooms and 3 ½ baths
1,804 square feet
See Plan: Sparta II

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Aiken Street, Plan #1807

Aiken Street, Plan #1807
Southern Living

Want every day to feel like a getaway? Enter this classic cottage with a Lowcountry feel and vintage twist. It features a mix of simple spaces and natural materials that set the tone.

4 bedrooms and 4 ½ baths
2,233 square feet
See Plan: Aiken Street

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Randolph Cottage, Plan #1861

Randolph Cottage, Plan #1861
Southern Living

Southern charm meets New England style. This charming cottage lives bigger than its sweet size thanks to an open floor plan.

3 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths
1,800 square feet
See Plan: Randolph Cottage

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Tideland Haven, Plan #1375

SL1375 Tideland Haven
Southern Living

This haven is detailed for comfort. A wraparound porch and tucked-away bedrooms are cozy touches, while a free-flowing living and kitchen space makes for easy entertaining.

2 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths
2,418 square feet
See Plan: Tideland Haven

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Fontanel Carriage House, Plan #1856

Fontanel Carriage House, Plan #1856
Southern Living

Tiny house lovers, rejoice! This Fontanel carriage house plan packs its 1,099 square-feet with country farmhouse charm. Modern accents make it feel fresh and stylish enough for young buyers who prefer cozy over spacious.

2 bedrooms and 2 baths
1,099 square feet
See Plan: Fontanel Carriage House

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Four Gables, Plan #1832

Four Gables, Plan #1832
Southern Living

Joanna Gaines might just swoon over this modern farmhouse plan. For those who love shiplap, this one's for you.

4 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths
2,341 square feet
See Plan: Four Gables

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Cottage Revival, Plan #1946

Cottage Revival, Plan #1946
Southern Living

You'll love this modern take on a classic cottage. Enjoy a lived-in, organic flow thanks to its L-shaped layout.

4 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths
1,929 square feet
See Plan: Cottage Revival

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Charlestowne Creek Cottage, Plan #1956

Charlestowne Creek Cottage, Plan #1956
Southern Living

This house plan offers plenty of historic character on the outside, while fitting first-time homeowners' needs with fresh interior details (since it's a newer house plan). And there's no denying the curb appeal garnered from Chippendale front railing, front columns, and floor-to-ceiling windows flanking the front door.

3 bedrooms and 3 ½ baths
2,314 square feet
See Plan: Charlestowne Creek Cottage

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Nautical Cottage, Plan #224

Nautical Cottage, Plan #224
Southern Living

This coastal-inspired cottage is basically made for those who love relaxing at home. It's warm and inviting—all at a compact square footage perfect for young owners.

3 bedrooms and 2 baths
1,315 square feet
See Plan: Nautical Cottage

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Eastover Cottage, Plan #1666

Eastover Cottage Plan #1666
Southern Living

Find this plan somewhere between Greek Revival and Southern cottage on the style spectrum. The front porch lets you enjoy part of what makes living in the South so special: winding down the day on the porch together.

3 to 4 bedrooms and 3 ½ baths
2,530 square feet
See Plan: Eastover Cottage

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Pendleton, Plan #1812

Pendleton, Plan #1812
Southern Living

Talk about curb appeal. This front porch serves as a warm welcome for all guests, while a Dutch Colonial shingled roof is a cute finishing touch.

3 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths
2,329 square feet
See Plan: Pendleton

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Sugarberry Cottage, Plan #1648

Sugarberry Cottage, Plan #1648
Southern Living

Pairing compact square footage with ample covered and screened porch space, this house plan lives larger than its not-too-big, family-oriented layout.

3 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths
1,679 square feet
See Plan: Sugarberry Cottage

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Bay Breeze, Plan #1914

Bay Breeze, Plan #1914
Southern Living

Who doesn't love a little bay breeze? This house plan agrees. The two-story home makes a case for late-afternoon porch sits and cheery-hued shutters.

3 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths
2,030 square feet
See Plan: Bay Breeze

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Sadie Springs Retreat, Plan #1957

Sadie Springs Retreat, Plan #1957
Southern Living

This shingled home is influenced by traditional Colonial style, but keeps things cozy with a Southern cottage feel. The master suite opens up to a personal porch space, which is a special treat for young buyers.

3 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths
1,806 square feet
See Plan: Sadie Springs Retreat

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Cottage of the Year, Plan #593

Cottage of the Year, Plan #593
Southern Living

This plan is infinitely versatile as far as fitting the personal style and location of potential owners, making it an easy pick for first-timers. The slightly larger square footage will work for those who want room to expand.

4 bedrooms and 3 ½ baths
2,718 square feet
See Plan: Cottage of the Year

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Beaufort Cottage, Plan #1136

Beaufort Cottage, Plan #1136
Southern Living

This Carolina-inspired cottage is a beautiful blend of past and present. A galley-style kitchen and fireplace-focused living space makes the plan feel plenty homey.

3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths
1,720 square feet
See Plan: Beaufort Cottage

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