Detached, Semi-Detached, Luxury or Stacked? Here Are The Benefits Of Different Home Types
By Digital Aptech - Nov 22,2022
A detached home is a “freehold” home that does not share a wall with another home or any other living space. Owning a detached home tends to be a priority for a family or other household that prioritizes privacy, peace and quiet. A fully detached home is something of a status symbol in the General Toronto Area and the most expensive homes of this type can be found in central Toronto and other long established neighborhoods in the city. That said, less expensive fully detached homes can be found in more outlying areas, especially the so called “inner suburbs” of Scarborough and Etobicoke. New pre-construction fully detached homes can mostly be found in still further outlying areas like Brampton and Pickering. Despite the criticism of “sprawl” that is often levied against this housing type, there’s a reason developers still build them: people want them. A final upside of fully detached homes is that they appreciate well during a good housing market.
A semi-detached home is a family home that shares a wall with a neighbouring home. This type of real estate is increasingly rare and is primarily found in longer standing urban environments like downtown Toronto. The benefits of a semi-detached home include relative affordability compared to a fully detached home and the promise of greater community and neighbourliness. From a builder’s perspective, semi-detached homes are a way to share a prime location while saving on building costs which means that buying one of these homes may capitalize on a great local setting. Shared infrastructure and possible cost-sharing with neighbours are other considerations with semi-detached homes. On the whole, semi-detached means “best of both worlds”.
Luxury homes are larger than average pieces of real estate that typically come custom built with high quality features. The large format of luxury homes means that there is more room for changes and customization. Luxury and custom homes tend to make use of the most highly skilled and specialized labour as builders prioritize craftsmanship for this building type. Common features of luxury homes include premium construction materials, large and unique open areas like kitchens with the best appliances and “lifestyles of the rich and famous” goodies like home theaters and indoor pools. The most infamous example of a luxury home in the entire General Toronto Area is Drake’s mansion in the Toronto neighbourhood of Bridle Path.
Bungalows have a funny name but the basic definition is simple: a bungalow is a one story fully detached home. Bungalows are not common in downtown Toronto and are more often found in “inner” and “outer” suburbs of the city like Etobicoke and Scarborough. Bungalows were popular in the mid to late 20th century and are now far less common. With all that said, bungalows are worth a second look as the upsides of this type of real estate are significant. The lower square footage of a bungalow means easy maintenance and the open layout typical of bungalows makes it a highly customizable building type. Bungalows are ideal for families as young children are kept to one floor (the only floor). Structurally, bungalows allow for big windows and lots of natural light. Because bungalows are increasingly rare they may benefit from this scarcity in terms of holding their value.
The most consistent feature of luxury townhomes is that they almost always have a larger square footage than “regular” townhomes. Townhomes are a building type where home units are built in rows with the result that units typically share walls with other units on both sides. Luxury townhomes will typically come with high end interior features like quality modular kitchens, premium brand appliances and designer furnishings. A luxury townhome is effectively an attempt to elevate a townhome unit from the “ordinary” to justify a higher price point . Townhomes are becoming much more common as land is scarce in the General Toronto area and builders are encouraged to build more dense housing types. One benefit of a townhome development is the possibility of a greater community feel especially if the builder has designed the project in a manner conducive to this outcome.
Condo townhomes are townhomes in a development where maintenance or “condo” fees contribute to the upkeep of the surrounding area or “grounds” of the wider project. The benefit of this type of townhome is that maintenance is taken care of in comparison to a regular townhome and certainly in comparison to a fully or semi-detached home. Building features like windows and roofs as well as outdoor considerations like lawn maintenance and snow clearing are possible benefits for home buyers who want peace of mind. Because of their combined nature, condo townhomes hold the prospect of providing a greater sense of community than other home types. Finally, because condo fees are calculated into the overall carrying cost, buyers put less money down. On the whole, a condo townhouse may be best for buyers who want an affordable option with highly predictable future expenses.
Stacked townhomes are effectively a cross between a condo and a townhome. Stacked townhomes come attached or “stacked” with another unit while each unit still has its own entrance. The typical two storey design of a stacked townhouse means that there is greater choice in a given development as the “top” townhome may have different features. Townhomes in general are an affordable building type and stacked towns take further advantage of limited space through their “stacking”. New pre-construction stacked townhomes are now a common development type in the General Toronto Area. This is an interesting building type worth consideration for buyers who want a compromise of built form.
Freehold townhomes are typically attached on both sides like typical townhomes but they do not demand a management fee and are otherwise like a freehold home. Freehold townhomes are desirable for their low overall and monthly cost. Perhaps the greatest selling point of a freehold townhome is that owners of this type of real estate have greater right to modify their unit without permission from a development body.