It’s critical to understand your alternatives when buying a home. Knowing the differences between single-family homes, condos, and everything in between will help you figure out what will work best for you.
To put it another way, when people search for “house types,” some are looking for distinct home architectural styles, while others are looking for different sorts of residential building constructions that exist and are available.
The style in which a home is created is determined by architectural styles. There are numerous architectural styles, most of which are based on a historical era or geographic area. Cape Cod, Mediterranean, Mid-Century Modern, Georgian, and Ranch are just a few examples.
The term “types of houses” is more correctly translated as “types of building constructions.” Single-family, condominium, townhome, bungalow, split-level, and castle residences are all included in this classification.
Consider this your primer if the notion of selecting one of the many various types of homes accessible seems daunting.
A single-family residence
When you think of buying a home, you might picture a single-family home that sits on its own plot of land and isn’t connected to anything else.
A single-family house can also be a row house, townhouse, or semi-detached home, according to the US Census Bureau, as long as it is isolated from adjacent units by a ground-to-roof wall (no other housing units above or below) and does not share any utilities or HVAC systems.
Judy Zeder, an agent of The Jills Zeder Group, a Coldwell Banker-affiliated agency in Florida, describes the benefits of owning both the property and the house. “However, with a single-family house, whether you are self-insured or through a company, you are fully responsible for the property’s maintenance and insurance.”
People who choose single-family homes value solitude, the possibility of greater storage space (in a garage or other structures), and increased autonomy when it comes to property decisions.
Single-family houses, on the other hand, usually don’t have access to communal amenities like a pool or gym unless they’re part of a community, and the owner is responsible for 100% of the maintenance.
Condos and co-ops
In the case of a condo, residents acquire a single unit within a larger community. Instead of owning the unit itself, you would own shares in the cooperative or corporation that owns your building or community.
“Both condos and co-ops have maintenance costs, and these can vary substantially depending on the building,” explains Zeder. “The maintenance costs cover all of the building’s amenities as well as purchasing insurance.
It does not include content insurance, which is an additional expense, nor does it include taxes. In condos and co-ops, assessments are frequently voted on by the board and must be paid by the association.”
The advantages of purchasing a condo or co-op include:
- A pre-built community
- A more modest entrance price is possible.
- A pool or a gym are examples of amenities.
- Individuals’ maintenance obligations are reduced.
- Enhanced security
The disadvantages of purchasing a condo or co-op include:
- Invasion of privacy
- Having to follow the rules of a homeowners association (HOA).
- Outdoor areas may be limited.
- Assessments to pay for community improvements
- The possibility of your property’s value being influenced by nearby foreclosures or short sales.
A townhouse is a multi-story residence with its own entrance and one or two walls shared with neighboring townhomes.
Newer townhouse communities are usually planned and uniform, although older ones are often referred to as “row homes” and are more different, and are not always maintained by a HOA. The newer communities are usually gated and have a master plan and a board that handles the finances. They’re all about the same price as condos.
People are drawn to townhouses because they have a smaller footprint and may be purchased for less than a detached single-family home in the same neighborhood.
Other benefits may include shared amenities, a HOA to manage exterior upkeep and landscaping, and some outside area to enjoy, depending on the neighborhood. Limited parking, tight HOA rules, HOA fees, and a lack of privacy are some of the drawbacks.
A bungalow may be an alternative if you’ve decided on a single-family home. True bungalows are one- or one-and-a-half stories with two or three bedrooms, a total of 1,000 to 2,000 square feet, and generally have a front porch, though real estate brokers may use the phrase to apply to any small house. Craftsman, Arts & Crafts, Mission-style, and Queen Anne are examples of bungalow styles.
Bungalows may appeal to those who want all of their living space to be on one level, such as families with small children or those with mobility issues, because of their tiny size. Other advantages of a smaller home include lower utilities and maintenance costs, a lower overall cost of purchasing due to size, and typically stylized and vintage architectural aspects.
A bungalow has all of the advantages of a single-family home without the costs and time commitments that come with larger properties.
However, because many authentic bungalows are over 100 years old, they may require additional maintenance to remain in good condition. Other disadvantages include fewer bedrooms and baths, as well as less storage space than newer residences.
A modular home is a factory-built home that is assembled on a solid foundation and on a plot of land by a builder. Modular homes are not the same as mobile homes, which may be transported from one location to the next.
The advantages of purchasing a modular home:
- Because there is less waste, it takes less time and money to construct a “Green” building solution.
- Customizable to the owner’s preferences to a large extent
The disadvantages of purchasing a modular home:
- The perception that a “manufactured” home has a lower resale value
- Some unanticipated costs are not included in the manufacturer’s price, such as electricity, plumbing, and ducting.
How to select the home that is ideal for you?
There are numerous factors to consider when determining what type of home will suit you, including your financial condition, lifestyle, geographical preferences, the facilities you require, and the amount of maintenance you are willing to do. A real estate agent can assist you in considering these variables and discussing all of the fees involved in purchasing a home.
“To discover the ideal house, you’ll need an agent that is well-versed in the market and understands your requirements.
Because determining what constitutes a great house is such a personal matter, it’s critical to work with an agent you can trust and with whom you can discuss specifics about your lifestyle.”