There are many different kinds of types of home to choose from. There’s so much to capture your imagination when you’re looking for a new home, and your tastes can vary wildly. You might like the idea of an apartment with a view, or find yourself drawn to a country cottage – but then find yourself flipping again and thinking a standard townhouse might suit you better…
The truth is, every different type of abode has its own pros and cons. So to try and keep you on track, let’s examine the main advantages and disadvantages of every home you might be tempted to consider. At the very least, this should help to narrow down your selection and ensure you’re only investigating properties that will be truly beneficial to you.
A Detached House
A house which is detached from any other structures and sits within its own plot of land.
- You don’t have to worry about the neighbours too much. As you don’t share a wall with any of them, there is a good chance you will always be protected from any noises and disturbances.
- You have your own defined space and don’t need to worry too much about sharing space with others.
- Detached houses tend to be larger, so they should also offer the best use of space – important if you have a large family.
- All that space and privacy you’re anticipating is going to come at a price; detached houses tend to be more expensive than other standard house versions.
- While you might not officially share a wall or land with your neighbours, it’s still possible for boundary disputes to become a problem.
- If you want to live in an urban environment, then you’re less likely to find detached houses – they tend to be concentrated in the suburbs.
A Semi-Detached House
A house which has one free side, but the other is connected to another building.
- All the benefits of a conventional house setup – ground floor, second floor, attic, even a garage etc – but without the expense of a detached house.
- Easier to keep warm thanks to the joint wall, so your heating bills should be less expensive.
- While most often found in the suburbs, they’re more likely to be found in urban areas than detached.
- If you have nuisance neighbours, there’s no escape – you share a wall together.
- You will likely also share similar space outdoors, with relatively little privacy between your garden and theirs. It’s also worth remembering that your back of house windows will tend to overlook one another’s gardens.
- Semi-detached homes are, on the whole, smaller than other conventional “house” setups.
An apartment is usually a one-story home which tends to be contained within a specific building, which will usually house several other different apartments.
- If you want to live in a city (and can bear the cost of living), then an apartment is the best way that you can go about doing just that. Apartments are perfect for taking advantage of the lack of space found in cities, so there tends to be a lot to choose from.
- Apartments are generally cheaper than houses, though this can depend – some exclusive apartment blocks in major cities can be very expensive.
- If you are not much of a gardener, then an apartment means you are unlikely to have to worry yourself with outdoor space.
- On the other hand, if you are a gardener, then the lack of outdoor space will be troubling for you. It is possible to find apartments with access to some garden space, but they are often few and far between – so might be more expensive to secure.
- You have the shared wall problem. If your neighbours in the next unit along don’t think much of keeping quiet during the night, then you’re going to know about it.
- There is less space in apartments. This is often why they are so popular in cities, but if you’re looking for lots of rooms and wide, open spaces, then you might be hard pushed to find them.
A bungalow has the same features as a house but is located on a single, ground floor.
- All the benefits of a house – your own entrance, not having to have communal spaces – without the price tag of a full-sized house. It is possible to find an expensive and luxury bungalow, but even so, these will be less expensive than a two-storey house would be in the same area.
- The feel of an apartment, with everything on one level, without having to worry about the downsides of an apartment.
- Plenty of outdoor space and privacy.
- If you have a large family, it might be difficult to find a bungalow that is a suitable size. Many rooms would have to cover a huge square footage without the option of a second floor.
- Bungalows can be expensive as they tend to be preferred by older, wealthier home buyers – so you could have a lot of competition for a home you like the look of.
- Bungalows are actually quite rare, so if you have your heart set on one, it might take some time for you to find one that suits you.
A studio apartment has the same setup as a conventional apartment, but it is without internal divisions. There is one room, which functions as the living space and the bedroom area – the bathroom is usually walled off, but the kitchen is not.
- If affordability is the name of the game, then you can’t go far wrong with a studio apartment. They tend to be the cheapest kind of properties, so you might be able to save a lot of money.
- Well suited to urban environments, especially in major cities where real estate space is at a premium.
- There’s an ease of living in a studio apartment that many find attractive. You can chat with your significant other while they cook dinner, for example – there’s no need for the space to be dividing into little boxes.
- The lack of privacy can be a real concern. It is usually manageable for a couple, but by the time you are thinking about having children, it might not be realistic to keep everything in one area.
- Studios also make it more difficult to entertain guests comfortably; it can feel exposing to have your bed out on show every time someone comes over.
- Studios are popular, but there is always going to be keen competition for them, especially in major cities. They are perfect apartments for those who only live in the city during the week and have their main home outside of the city; people who are likely willing to pay a high price to secure a property. So while a studio should be cheaper than a house, you might find yourself doing battle with some very large wallets – to the point that it prices you out of the market.
Ultimately, the decision about what’s going to work best for you is very dependent on your circumstances. If you have a family, then you’re probably going to want to rule out either type of apartment – but then again, you might appreciate the smaller space to have to keep tidy. Similarly, if you’ve not yet had children, then there might be an argument that you don’t need a big detached house – but will that be enough of a reason to make you not want one?
With the advantages and disadvantages in mind, you should at least have a better idea over which type of homes might be best suited to you.