Certain industry words and terms in real estate may seem obvious to some people but not others. When it comes to the names of various properties in Calgary, it’s one thing to have a basic understanding of what they are. Still, it’s another thing to know the differences between properties – especially when trying to get an accurate market report or to know what Calgary buyers are looking for in their next home.
What is a Detached Home?
A detached home has many different real estate names: stand-alone house, single-detached dwelling, and single-family home, to name a few. Ultimately it means that the building is free-standing. That means it does not share walls with another residence. Detached homes are typically built on lots more prominent than the dwelling, allowing for a yard. Dimensions of a yard vary, often typically based on the structure size of the property and the size of the lot in the community. Detached homes may or may not have a garage which may or may not be attached to the house. How many rooms a detached home will also vary, depending on the community and measurements of the dwelling. A bungalow, villa, or cottage are all detached homes.
What is a Townhome?
Different names also refer to townhomes. They are also referred to as townhouses or row housing, with minor distinctions between them. A townhouse is less uniform and meant to mimic detached housing while attached to the unit on either side. Townhouses typically have several floors and a private entrance from the exterior (as opposed to an apartment building with shared access). These units can also be built vertically and side by side (in which case, one would use the term rowhouse).
Condo-style vs Freehold Townhome
Townhomes are also further divided into condo-style townhomes and freehold townhomes. In a condo-style townhouse, owners are responsible for certain aspects of their individual property but not the foundation or other shared spaces. Freehold townhomes mean the owner owns the land the property is built upon and is responsible for the foundation, unlike living in a condo-style townhouse.
Typically, the purchase price of a detached home and a townhouse can differ significantly. Additionally, there are other financial considerations between the two properties. Detached homes on larger lots than a townhome will translate to a larger yard, which means more upkeep is required and a higher landscape budget in both winter and summer. If the townhouse is part of a condominium, fees usually cover those aspects, making the monthly condo fees reasonable and easier to accommodate.
Even with a freehold townhome, there are space limitations that the property owner will have to consider. Those who own a detached home still have to abide by permitting rules and bylaws, but more space means more options. Owners of a detached house may also find themselves more flexible than the owner of a townhouse regarding renovations and repairs.
Depending on the community and lot allocation, detached home homeowners may find their neighbours live just as close to them as someone in a freehold townhome. If there is more space between properties, those living in a detached house will probably have more sound privacy than those living in a freehold or condominium-style townhouse.
Knowing the differences between the units will help buyers understand what they are looking for when entering the real estate market to buy a home. What works for one buyer may not be what works for another, but that is the great thing about real estate. There is something out there for everyone!
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