Discover Your Ideal Home Style with Our In-Depth Glossary
Embarking on the journey to find the perfect type of home can be both exciting and overwhelming. You have to decide not only on the type of home but also the style of home. It’s crucial to understand the differences to make an informed decision. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore 21 types of homes, complete with pictures and the essential information to help you find your dream dwelling.
Types of Homes vs. Styles of Homes
Houses can be categorized in two ways: by type of home and by style of home. The type refers to the building structure, while the style is based on the architectural elements that make up its design. Knowing both types and styles will help you make the best choice for your next home purchase or better appreciate your current residence.
1. Single-Family Home
A single-family home is a standalone, detached house designed for one family, person, or household. It features a private entrance, direct street access, and is built on land owned by the homeowner. This type of home is the most popular type in the United States.
2. Multi-Family Home
A multi-family home is a single building designed to accommodate multiple families living separately. This category includes duplexes, condos, and apartment buildings.
Apartments are rented residential units within a building or a separate dwelling in a home. They are one of the most common types of houses in the USA.
A condo, short for condominium, is an owner-occupied apartment within a building of individual units. Residents own their condos outright and share ownership of common areas.
A cooperative, or co-op, is a housing corporation where residents own a share that allows them to live in a unit under a proprietary lease agreement. Co-ops are often more affordable than condos but have higher maintenance fees and stricter rules.
A duplex is a single structure with two private living spaces that share a wall. It can be sold to two separate owners, making it a popular investment property option.
7. Twin Home
A twin home is sold as two properties on two separate lots, sharing a wall. Owners can treat their side of the structure and lot as they wish.
A townhome, or townhouse, is a subtype of a single-family home that shares at least one wall with another home. They typically have a row-house design with minimal lawn space and may have a private garage and outdoor area.
Brownstones are a type of iconic New York City townhouse, built as upper-middle-class single-family homes in the 19th century. Some have been subdivided into smaller condos or apartments.
10. Row House
A row house is a group of nearly identical low-rise homes lined up along a city street, sharing common walls and a roofline. They are an iconic part of urban neighborhoods in many American cities.
11. Modular Home
Modular homes, also called prefab or prefabricated homes, are built in a factory in several pieces and assembled on-site. They must follow local building codes and resemble traditional stick-frame homes.
12. Mobile Home
Mobile homes, also called trailers or manufactured homes, are prefabricated homes built on a steel frame and transported to their final location. They are more affordable than traditional homes but may have certain zoning and financing limitations.
13. Tiny Home
A tiny home is a small, compact living space that usually ranges from 100 to 400 square feet. This type of home is growing in popularity due to their affordability, eco-friendliness, and minimalist lifestyle.
Row houses are nearly identical low-rise homes lined up along city streets, sharing common walls and a continuous roofline. Originating in the U.S. during the 19th century, these homes contribute to the distinct character of cities like Philadelphia, St. Louis, and San Francisco. Usually spanning two to four stories, row houses accommodate one or two families and provide a European-scale alternative to high-rise apartments in urban areas.
Manufactured homes, also known as mobile homes, are prefabricated dwellings built in factories and then transported to permanent locations. They come in single-wide, double-wide, and triple-wide floor plans with customizable features, and are typically placed on owned or leased land within a manufactured home community.
Motorhomes or RVs are drivable dwellings on wheels, often used as second homes or even full-time residences. The most common size, a Class C-25, is 23 to 25 feet long and can accommodate five people.
Houseboats are mobile living quarters on the water, functioning as motorhomes on aquatic surfaces. Equipped with an engine, houseboats can be driven to new locations and usually require boat loans for financing.
Floating homes are permanent dwellings built on floating foundations of logs, Styrofoam, and/or concrete. They’re connected to public utilities and anchored to a moorage, or dock. Floating homes can range from tiny abodes to four-story houses.
Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)
ADUs are secondary houses or apartments on the same lot as a primary residence. Often called guesthouses, in-law apartments, carriage houses, or granny flats, ADUs can be used as rental properties or to house family members.
Mansions are grand, opulent homes spanning at least 5,000 square feet. These architectural marvels boast luxurious amenities like grand staircases, multi-car garages, and wine cellars. The criteria for a home to be considered a mansion varies by location.
McMansions are substantial, modern homes lacking a coherent architectural style, frequently characterized by their uniform design and criticized for their ostentatious size. These properties are often linked to gentrification and considered emblematic of poor taste.
This guide aims to provide you with an overview of which type of home you may encounter in your search for the perfect dwelling. While it’s essential to understand the architectural styles and structures, it’s equally important to consider factors like location, budget, and lifestyle when making your final decision. We hope this guide will help you find your ideal home and inspire you to create a space that reflects your unique style and needs.
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