If you are shopping for a new home, you should take the time to learn about the seven most common types of houses.
Shopping for houses means looking through countless of listings whether on the internet, in the classifieds, or in MLM listings. Oftentimes these listings don’t come with pictures, so you’re left to imagine what the house looks like through the description alone.
Most descriptions come with words such as, a spacious bungalow, a cozy villa, or a practical row house. If you’re not familiar with these terms, you might just be thinking about a different type of house entirely.
In order to eliminate the confusion, some of the most common types of houses are listed below.
- Bungalow – A bungalow is classically defined as a one-story house, cottage, or cabin. Traditionally, bungalow style houses are associated with small floor plans. However, larger bungalows have been constructed and many small bungalows have been remodeled. Bungalows don’t have basements, and they were originally designed to provide affordable housing to the working class.
- Single Detached – A single detached home is actually any house that stands separate and by itself. It is structurally separated from the neighboring houses and is surrounded by open land. Basically, a bungalow, cottage, or even mansion can be termed as a single detached house, as long as it is not connected to any other property by a common wall.
- Flat – A flat is a type of home that is contained within a larger building. A flat can occupy a whole floor of a building, or only a part of the floor, where different units are separated by walls. The buildings that house flats are usually made for residential purposes only.
- Duplex – A duplex refers to a two-fold apartment or condominium where there are separate entrances for the dwelling units. Usually a duplex comes in the form of a two story house where a common wall separates the two areas.
The term “duplex” can then be extended to make three units or more, and it will then be termed as a “three-plex, four-plex, five-plex” and so on.
- Row House – Row houses are located in the same area and have the same architectural design and appearance. They are modern homes which situated side by side, and the units share a common wall. These houses are usually priced lower than single detached households in closed subdivisions.
- Villa – The term villa was once used to refer to the upper class country homes of ancient Romans. Today, the term villa has evolved to refer to the beautiful and tasteful country homes of the upper class. Properties that are described as villas generally refer to larger homes with landscaped gardens and perhaps a view of the sea or the countryside.
- Mansion – The word mansion is used to describe a very large house. Real estate brokers in the US have set dimensions for mansions, defining them as houses with an area of 8,000 square feet (740 square meters) or more. Traditionally, mansions are characterized by having a large ballroom and numerous bedrooms. Today, however, there is no particular requirement as to what makes a mansion, aside from the fact that it should be a large and well endowed home.
These are only some of the most common types of houses that can be found in real estate listings. Some other types include houses like end of terraces, colonial houses, chattel houses, deck houses, log cabins, gambrels, and more. However, these terms are not commonly used today (like castles, for example).
Whatever the purpose of the home may be, learning about different types of houses gives us insight when it comes to choosing our perfect home. It helps us better plan which type of house will be most suitable for our personal use.
What type of house do you have? What type of home is your dream house?
YFS is owner and author of Your Finances Simplified. He was born and raised in West Philadelphia and is now a financial adviser, IT contractor, landlord, and treasurer of a non-profit. He created his blog partly due to his desire to help people with their finances.