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Single-family homes vs. attached family unit homes — pros and cons

If you’re in the market for buying a home, chances are you’ve been overwhelmed or unsure due to all the different options out there —and one of the biggest decisions you must make when looking is the type of home you imagine yourself living in. What exactly are the pros and cons of a single-family home vs. an attached unit home?

The advantages and disadvantages of all the different types of homes on the market

Unless you have magical powers to see into the future —you can’t predict with certainty how long you will live in your new home and what life changes your home may have to accommodate in the future. Thankfully, as long as you make an effort to inform yourself before making any final buying decision, all types of housing style options are viable ones. Knowing the finer details of every kind of property will definitely help focus your home search.

Keep reading below to find out what the advantages and disadvantages are between single-family homes and attached-unit homes. Before you decide what style of home living you opt for, it’s essential to compare and figure out which is best for you and your family!

People are often struck by the immediate difference in appearance between the two, but the contrast is hardly skin-deep.

Single-family homes vs. attached family unit homes — pros and cons

Advantages of a single-family home

Many single-family homes offer a yard, garage, and maybe a private garden and swimming pool. If you love hosting big BBQs, large family gatherings, have always dreamed of free-ranging chickens eating ticks and planting a vegetable garden, and value your privacy, a single-family home is likely more suitable for you. If you are the type that likes to do-it-yourself (DIY) and likes having peace and quiet after a long day at work – you’ll want to see the list of other single-family home benefits below:

Envisioning your future home as the go-to place for family reunions, Super Bowl parties, and sleepovers? A single-family home is calling your name.

Pros to single-family homes

  • Privacy. From the grass on your front long to the attic space above your head  — all of it is yours. You never have to worry about reserving an area for BBQing or neighbors crashing your pool party  — that is unless you want them to!
  • Outdoor space. A bigger yard for you, your children, and your pets.    In today’s world of technology, it’s nice being able to escape al the white noise and get back to nature.
  • More space for stuff. Inside and outside, there’s WAY More room for your stuff and areas to design —  and if you’re the type of person who’s always struggling to find space to store beach toys, holiday decorations, extra clothing, or exercise equipment, a single family home is probably right up your alley.
  • No noise issues. No shared walls of floors means no worrying about neighbors blasting music or getting stuck having awkward conversations.
  • Room to grow a family. If you’re looking to start a family or are forecasting the day your parents or grandparents may come live with you – a single family home is a great option.
  • Active living. A single-family home offers space for activities. You can run in your neighborhood, swim in your backyard, and even cut your own firewood for exercise! And if you consider yourself a ‘Mr. or Mrs. fix it’, you have a variety of projects you can choose to do yourself if you enjoy home projects and watching the progress unfold.
Make your private outdoor space come to life with outdoor seating that allows you to sink into nature for some peace and tranquility.

Advantages of a Condo, Apartment, or Townhouse

Attached-unit homes come in a variety of different shapes and sizes.

If you are a minimalist who values new construction and amenities, you may get more for your money ( and maintain your sanity) with an attached-unit home. Although in many cases you may give up a yard, some level of privacy and space, you get perks such as a shared pool (which you don’t need to measure chemicals for) and recreational facilities that can actually make them more valuable to some than a single-family home.

Pros to attached units

  • Low maintenance. An attached unit compared to a single-family home means a lot less maintenance and upkeep headaches. You don’t need to worry about a leaky roof or gas leaked going unnoticed or pushed to the side until its get unbearable. An attached-unit homeowner almost always pays their HOA or maintenance fees to take care of upkeep concerns year-round.
  • More affordable. Compared to the same size space of a single-family home, an attached unit is often more affordable, and you don’t need to worry about unexpected costs from things breaking or replacing a leaky, old roof.
  • Fewer concerns when traveling. If any potential burglars tried to break in or a gas leak happens, a neighbor is likely to spot, hear, or smell any problem. Single-family owners often need to find house sitters when traveling and install security systems.
  • Efficient living. This means you can take the money you saved and put it towards other pursuits, like vacations, annual gym memberships, college educations, or charitable donations.
  • Live closer to the hustle and bustle of town. Unlike a single-family home which may feel isolating at times (especially when your car is in the shop) you may live so close to work you can commute by bike or use public transportation.
If you hate clutter and prefer to go out for meals instead of cooking and cleaning up at home, the proximity of a townhouse to a town’s center is especially appealing.

Apartments vs. condos vs. townhouses versus single-family homes — exactly what do these terms mean?

To help wade through the complex nature of home buying, we’ve gone ahead and broken down the differences between the terms apartments, condos, townhouses, and single family homes.

Apartments

An apartment is often owned by a corporation or a person, and the units are all rented out to different people and families. In other words, an apartment is a leasehold property. With a leasehold property, you buy the right to occupy a property that you share in some way with someone else (ie, whoever owns the building or land the structure is built upon)

Technically, you cannot purchase a unit in an apartment — you can only lease a unit.

Condos

Condos are very similar to apartments in appearance and function, but each unit of the building is owned by different individuals. The various individuals in attached housing can act as tenants and choose to rent out their unit as they see fit. For example, each individual can decide to rent out their unit if they wish —but they still must manage their own unit. Often, there is a homeowner’s association (also known as an HOA) that maintains and upkeeps common areas, exteriors and comes up with the rules of the building.  But keep in mind that an HOA comes with annual fees.

In terms of appearance, condos can be high rises or low rises, such as 3-4 story buildings.

Townhouses

A townhouse is similar to a condo in that each unit is owned by different individuals. However, the difference between a townhouse and condo lies in the structural appearance and layout. Townhouses are multi-level units and are often a row of similarly styled and sized units that share common walls on the left and/or right —  but not on the top or bottom.

Of all the types of attached-unit homes, townhouses are the closest to single family homes. The difference being a townhouse shares at least one common wall with another townhouse. 

Single-family homes

Single-family homes are unattached properties which stand on their own. They do not share any walls with other properties. A single family home is a freehold property where you own your home and the land. They often offer backyards and more privacy, though they usually do not come with an HOA . An HOA takes care of any maintenance on the single-family property. The HOA for a single-family home will just take care of regulation of community rules, maintenance of parks, and community recreational areas.

The bottom line – make sure your finances are sound

The difference between fitting your current needs and present budget in line with what you may need in a few years often clouds your ability to choose. How do you know if a townhouse, condo, apartment, or single-family home is the right choice long term?

Before deciding on any home purchase, make sure you’re in a comfortable enough financial position to take on the costs.

Look into possible added annual costs that go beyond just signing above the dotted line.

Looking for more personalized guidance on the different types of home options available in Greenwich, Connecticut area? Call or email Longo Realty Group today!

Are you the current homeowner? Comment below on things you like (or don’t) about your type of home. We will be sure to add it to the list!

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