Do you ever find yourself daydreaming about the perfect home, one where everything is in its right place and designed to your exact specifications? Do you like the feeling of community that comes from living among other people, or do you prefer your privacy? These are questions only you can answer, but it may help to have some background information on what makes a house a single-family home.
What is a Single-Family Home?
A single-family home is one that is lived in by only one family or household. This means exactly what it sounds like; no renters, boarders, or other non-related individuals are permitted to live on the premises. While there may be rare exceptions (such as elderly relatives who come to live with an owner in the later years of their life, or children over 18 who are living independently but still under the same roof), this is not considered standard in most areas.
A single-family home is also one that sits on its own piece of property and has its own private or semi-private access to the street. A free-standing building, a single-family home is legally described as "a structure maintained and used as a single dwelling unit."
Who are Single-Family Homes Best Suited for?
Single-family homes are perfect for those who want to live the American Dream, from having a front yard with space for a garden to single-family house pool parties on the weekends. In addition, they're ideal for those who place a high value on privacy.
Most buyers who are looking for single-family homes are ones that are looking for a place to put down roots and grow into. You'll often find them in places known as "good neighborhoods" with good schools and low crime rates, although this is not always the case. Some might be interested in the luxury of living near their workplace or other amenities, which may mean sacrificing space and proximity to others so they can have a shorter commute.
Many times families are most interested in single-family homes as they generally offer more interior space than apartments, townhomes and condos as well as a private yard for children to play in and enjoy. That being said, there are many couples and even singles who enjoy having the extra space and private yard as well.
What are the Potential Drawbacks of Buying a Single-Family Home?
While single-family homes offer a lot of advantages, they also have some disadvantages as well. The biggest drawback of a single-family home tends to be the maintenance required for the home as well as the property. Some things that can need constant maintenance are the roof, landscaping, exterior paint, driveway and walkway.
It is important to note that this drawback is typically cited by those whose lifestyle doesn't necessarily jive with suburban homeownership. For those who enjoy traveling or spending their free time doing other things, or perhaps working longer hours, single-family homes may not be the ideal living situation.
Another notable disadvantage is location. For those who are seeking to live in thriving, urban settings, there are very few single-family homes available. As a result, the competition for these homes is fierce and many potential buyers may be priced out of certain desirable areas.
What Factors Should You Consider When Buying a Single-Family Home?
While there are some potential pitfalls to buying a single-family home, they certainly don't have to be deal-breakers. There are some very important factors, however, that you should take into consideration before putting an offer on a house.
How much space do you require?
The first question you should ask yourself is how much space do you need. Will your home be used to entertain guests, or will it primarily serve as a private retreat? Are there children involved? If so, think about whether the yard is large enough for them to play in and enjoy.
What is your lifestyle like?
It is important to think about your lifestyle and how you plan on using your home. If you spend a lot of time away from home, perhaps you should reconsider purchasing a single-family home in favor of something with less maintenance.
Of course, the most important factor is whether you can afford the home in question. It's best to compare single-family homes in your area to each other in addition to looking at possible alternatives. It is important to remember it is not just the initial price of the home but also the costs of ongoing maintenance that you should be prepared for.
So, before you jump into the market for a single-family home, take some time to consider all of the factors involved. Weigh the pros and cons and think about what is important to you. Talk to your family and friends about their experiences with homeownership and see if it's right for you. Don't forget that there are many alternatives out there - from apartments and townhomes to condos - so don't be afraid to explore your options. When you find the right one, we'll be here to help make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.