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What’s Your Type: Housing Options

You’re starting your home buying process and your Realtor asks you, “What type(s) of home(s) are you interested in?”. You’re puzzled. Isn’t there just one type of house? No! There are quite a few types of homes, and some will be a better fit for you based on your needs! Let’s explore your options!

There are 2 categories we need to quickly define to get started – attached and detached. Attached is just as it sounds.. attached to one other or multiple other units! As a result, there is typically an HOA (Home Owner’s Association) or party-wall agreement in place with attached structures because the structures share common elements such as a roof, gutter system, etc., whose maintenance must be shared amongst multiple owners. Detached is the opposite and sits by itself. Therefore, they generally will not have an HOA unless they are in a specific development or area that has one. Now let’s explore both categories!


  • Raw land – Land that has no structures on it. You would be building a home/structure in this scenario.

  • Single-family residence – A primary living structure that is not attached to another primary living structure.

  • Single-family residence with income potential (ADU, basement, garage conversion, etc.) – There are several examples of this! One of my favorites is a home that has a finished basement and private entrance. You can rent out the basement to help pay your mortgage. Another great example is a home that has a detached garage with a suite above it, otherwise known as an ADU (accessory dwelling unit). In both of these examples, the home is technically a single-family residence, but it comes with an additional “unit”. What makes this different than a duplex? The property will be sold as one, whereas a duplex can be sold by unit. THESE ARE GOLD. Some examples are pictured.


  • Condo – Think apartment, but owned. A condo is a single unit attached to multiple other units and is distinguished by potentially having other units on all or some sides (above, below, and either side). Condos generally have a shared entrance to the building then private entrances to the individual units. Condo buildings are the most likely to have additional amenities such as a pool, workout facility, event space, etc.

  • Townhome – Townhomes function in a similar manner to condos, but generally do not have units above or below them, just beside. As a result, they have private entrances for each unit. In a community of townhomes, they may have s spaces such as a workout center, pool, etc.

  • Duplex – 2 attached single-family residences.

  • Triplex – 3 attached single-family residences. These could be further defined as either condos or townhomes depending on the structure. A triplex of townhomes is pictured below.

  • And beyond (Quad, etc.) – 4+ attached single-family residences. These could be further defined as either condos or townhomes depending on the structure. A fourplex of condos is pictured below.

Now that you know the difference between structures, it is time to identify what may be a good fit for you! Please reach out if you would like to discuss these (your) options in detail!

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