Residential Housing Styles
When searching for your next home it can be a minefield of different terminology displayed on the property listings and you may feel somewhat confused with what to expect from the description of the property. Differentiating between the different residential home styles and layouts can help a homebuyer narrow the search for a new home.
When deciding on the type of home you would like to purchase, it is important to know what the available options are, whether or not each style will lend itself to your lifestyle needs. It is important to envision how your lifestyle and needs might evolve over the next five to ten years as well. We have compiled a list of the most common home styles for you to consider.
A one-storey home with a basement that has the same square footage as the main level. The basement is below grade and reached by a full flight of stairs. The entryway is usually at ground level or up a few steps. There may be an attached garage.
A raised bungalow is also a one-story home whose basement has the same square footage as the main level and is reached via a full flight of stairs — with the distinction of being built higher off the ground. This allows for larger windows and therefore more sunlight in the basement than a traditional bungalow.
Hillside or Walkout Bungalow
From one side a hillside or walkout bungalow looks like a standard bungalow and from the other side it looks like a 2-storey home. This style of home is built into a hillside or a steeply sloped yard. This style allows for a walk-out basement and much larger windows in the basement.
Bungalow with Bonus Room
This style of home is a standard bungalow with a single large room above an attached garage reached by a full flight of stairs.
A bi-level home is similar to a raised bungalow in that it sits higher up on the land but unlike a raised bungalow, the stairs inside are split. From the front entrance, a half-flight of stairs leads upstairs and a half-flight of stairs leads down into the basement.
A ranch-style bungalow also contains the living area within a single floor but can be differentiated from a bungalow. In most locations, a ranch-style structure can be identified by a long, low-pitch roofline and asymmetrical rectangular, L-shaped or U-shaped layout.
Split-levels are either side-split or back-split and range between 3 and 5 levels. The location of the entrances and the configuration of the rooms for each level varies.
One and a Half Storey
A one and a half storey home has approximately sixty percent of the living area contained on the first floor and the second floor reduced in usable area due to a slanted roof line that restricts the ceiling height.
A two-storey home has a second floor of equal living space and ceiling height as the first floor.
Two and a Half Storey
A two and a half story home is similar to a two-storey home but provides an additional half storey on the top floor. This storey is often limited in ceiling height.
Townhouses, also called row houses have three or more units that are joined together by party walls. Each unit is separately deeded. Shared walls can reduce the price per square foot due to the saved construction costs.
Multi-family homes are separated housing units contained on a single deeded lot and include duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes. This style is usually purchased as an investment property but owners can occupy one unit and rent out the others.
Modular homes are basic build homes built in a factory rather than on a building site. Homeowners can work with the manufacturers, along with their own builders to get a house that suits their needs. Once the modules are completed, they are trucked to the building site and assembled on the prepared foundation.
Condos are privately owned units within a building of other units. Owners jointly own shared common areas, such as pools, garages, hallways, etc.
So now that you have learned about the different styles of property available to you, hopefully you are better equipped moving forward with your search for your dream home.