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  • Writer's pictureBrett Hodgdon, PE

This Is Your Go-To Guide For Types of Homes

When discussing the types of structures pertaining to houses, there are just a handful of types: apartments, condos, townhomes, tiny homes and single-family homes.

Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans provides a simple guide on houses' structural classifications.

Use this guide on some of the most popular structures to help narrow down your preferences and house search.

1. Apartment

"An apartment is part of a collection of similar units in one building structure. An important feature is that you have to rent the place from a landlord. Oftentimes, apartments have many convenience factors like an on-site repair worker, laundry, gym facilities or a pool. Though you don’t get as much privacy and you won’t be building equity on your residence, there are many additional pros and cons to weigh when deciding whether to buy or rent."

  • Pros: Repairs and maintenance are taken care of

  • Cons: No option to purchase, less flexibility and freedom

2. Condo

"If you like the conveniences that come with an apartment but are looking to own, a condo might be a great fit for you. Instead of having a building manager or landlord oversee your unit, you’re in charge of all the repairs and the upkeep. Condos are a great option for city living and for older adults who want to own and have a mortgage but don’t want to deal with the upkeep of a single-family home."

  • Pros: Less upkeep than a single-family home, with the benefits of homeownership

  • Cons: Less privacy and free agency

3. Single-Family (Detached)

"The key feature of a single-family home is that it’s completely detached from other housing units, unlike condos, apartments or townhomes. The majority of homes in the U.S. are single-family homes. They’re less common in highly populated areas and are typically found in suburbs. Single-family homes are usually more private and there are more options for personalization (barring any HOA requirements)."

  • Pros: Greater privacy, more freedom

  • Cons: Typically cost more to maintain and own

4. Tiny Home

"Tiny home popularity has boomed in recent years, spurring what’s known as the “tiny home movement.” These small abodes usually fall in the range of 60 – 400 square feet. Some tiny homes are prefabricated and some are complete custom builds. They have become greatly popular among single adults and couples who want more financial and physical freedom, as some tiny homes are mobile and can be moved to new locations."

  • Pros: More affordable and greater physical freedom

  • Cons: Smaller space, less room for family growth

6. Townhome

"A townhouse or townhome is an individually owned dwelling that shares at least one wall with another unit and has its own entrance from the street. They are most popular in big cities where space is limited. Townhomes typically make use of vertical space with multiple stories but save horizontal space by sitting side by side with other homes. Sometimes there are shared amenities among a collection of townhouses."

  • Pros: Typically more affordable than single-family homes

  • Cons: Less privacy and less freedom to change the exterior

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