Residential Housing - What Type is Best for Me?
If you keep up with the current housing market, you know it’s had an outstanding year from 2021 to 2022. Low-interest rates, high growth of single-family home prices and rentals, low foreclosure rates, and a record-high number of home sales. Homeowners are in a market right now where properties are selling quickly and often above the asking price. The moral of the story is that the market boomed last year, and the boom will continue into the rest of 2022, Ramsey Solutions predicts.
If you drive around your city and suburbs, you are likely going to see a lot of new residential projects pop up, from apartments and condos to single-family homes. If you are thinking about buying a new home, there are several residential housing types to explore as you approach your decision.
Single-Family Detached Home
A detached house is the embodiment of the American Dream. It has everything you could dream of – privacy, yard space, and freedom to alter how you please. These housing types are individually owned and have no shared walls with neighbors, no shared property, and the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems are unique to the structure. They’re perfect for families and for folks looking to customize their space. As a buyer, you also will have a more reliable resell value compared to other housing types. However, single-family homes historically come with more maintenance than other housing types, which falls on the shoulders of the owner.
A single-family duplex is similar to a detached home, except they share a common wall with another unit and are a part of the same overall structure. Most of the time, a duplex is one building with two units that are either stacked vertically or side-by-side. Each unit has its own, separate entrance, garage, and a large outdoor space. For builders, it can be more cost-efficient to build duplexes – building two units at once saves money in the long run. As a buyer of a duplex, you get more square footage and more land value.
Townhouses have been around for centuries, but the number of new townhouse builds has steadily increased over the past few years. Townhouses are single-family homes with multiple floors that share one or two walls with adjacent properties but have their own entrances. Historically, townhouses are very common in city suburbs and are uniformly built in a distinct community with a homeowner’s association. Nowadays, townhouse developments are popping in small towns and urban areas with more unique and distinctive features. These dwellings are individually owned, similar to a single-family home, but they also include other community areas like courtyards, shared corridors, and green spaces. Townhouses are perfect for retired-aged individuals looking for scale-down living while maintaining a sense of independence and community. Since these unit types share common walls, and the style of the building means that interiors tend to be very similar, constructing one can be less of a challenge.
With housing prices increasing, more and more people are opting for renting apartments. Apartments are rented residential units that are part of several buildings called an apartment complex. These complexes are owned by a management company or independent owner, depending on the building. It is the owner’s job to keep up on all unit maintenance, which is a huge perk for the renter. Renting an apartment also allows the tenant to save money on living. While they do have a rental payment, they don’t need to worry about maintenance, property taxes, and they tend to have lower utility costs. Apartments are great for young people looking for community, great amenities, and a short-term housing solution.
A condominium, or “condo”, is an individually owned unit within a larger building of similar units. Think apartment, but instead of renting the apartment, you own it! Condos are managed by a larger condo association that is responsible for all exterior and common area maintenance. They also have similar amenities to apartments, like swimming pools, gyms, community rooms, green spaces, and elevators. Condos are very common in larger cities and are typically found in high-rise buildings. However, you can sometimes find a detached condo in some markets.