Home sweet home can take on a lot of different forms, from cozy condominiums to towering townhouses. The single-family home, however, is probably the type of residential property most associated with our mainstream idea of what “home” looks like: four walls, a roof, and a yard of your own. White picket fence optional.
What Is A Single-Family Home?
A single-family home is typically defined by two elements: who owns what, and the property’s ability to function as its own unit.
With a single-family home, the owner of the home owns both the building and the land it sits on. Contrast this with condo ownership, where the owner only has a claim to the interior of their individual unit and jointly owns common areas with other members of their association.
Single-family homes must also not share any utility, heating or air conditioning systems with any other dwellings. They have their own private entrances and exits and have direct access to the street. A single-family home is a free-standing residential building. Single-family homes are designed to be used as a single-dwelling unit, with one owner, no shared walls, and its own land.
The Pros And Cons Of Single-Family Homes
Single-family homes are great for anyone in need of that quintessential homeownership experience and everything that comes with it: privacy, your own yard, the freedom to (mostly) do what you want with your home. However, with that freedom comes a lot of responsibility.
If you’re considering purchasing a single-family home, here are some things to think about.
Pros Of Single-Family Homes
- More space. Though single-family homes can take on all sorts of shapes, sizes, and square footage, in general, they tend to be a good choice for those who need more space – whether that means a bigger kitchen, more bedrooms, or a basement for storage. Plus, if the lot your home sits on has sufficient space, you have the ability to construct outbuildings for additional storage or living space.
- More privacy. Because you and your neighbors aren’t all squished together into adjacent units with shared walls, you don’t have to worry about anyone overhearing private phone conversations or judging your taste in music.
- Fewer neighborly nuisances. Along with more privacy, single-family homeowners don’t have to worry as much about noisy neighbors. Vacuuming at 3 a.m. or practicing your tap dance routine is perfectly acceptable when you don’t have downstairs neighbors (though you probably should clear it with your housemates, as a courtesy).
- Freedom to build or modify. Don’t like the color of your single-family home’s siding? Change it! Want to build an addition to your home? Go wild. While other types of homeowners typically have less say over how the exterior of their home structures look or whether they can make significant changes to the property, single-family homeowners have much more freedom to decide what their home looks like, inside and out – which can be a great opportunity for those looking to buy a fixer-upper home.
- Fewer rules. Although single-family homeowners in neighborhoods governed by a homeowners association (HOA) might have some limits on what they can and can’t do with the exteriors of their properties, these rules are typically less restrictive than some of the rules you might encounter with a condo association, which could include limits on the number and types of pets you can have or restrictions on things like smoking in your unit.