7 Different Types Of Homes You Should Know About

From single-family homes to micro-lofts, there are different types and options of homes to consider for your home-buying journey or real estate investment opportunity.

Here's a round-up of seven different home types, some of which have been introduced to accommodate cities with increasing density.

Single-family homes
Single-family homes are also called ‘detached’ or 'ground-oriented' homes. Single-family homes are freestanding homes, primarily having only one address and are not attached to any other buildings.

Condominiums and apartments
This type of dwelling allows for high-density homes, contains multiple addresses within a building, and can be found in every major metropolis across the globe. The difference between a 'condominium' or 'condo' and an 'apartment' stems from ownership, not physical differences.

Apartment buildings are typically owned by one corporation that is then rented out to individual people; which means all tenants in an apartment building are renters, not owners. The units in condominiums are owned by individuals and managed by a strata corporation. If you’re renting in a condominium, you’re renting from an individual, not a corporation.

Townhomes are individual homes situated side-by-side, where either one or two walls are shared between the adjacent homes. Townhomes have ground floor access, sometimes incorporate their own parking garage, and typically span vertically two to three floors. Townhomes often appeal to young families who are transitioning from condo living.

Many condominiums will incorporate townhomes at ground level. This means that residents living in townhomes can use the building’s amenities, which could be a selling factor over a single-family home, where they wouldn’t find the same offering. 

Duplexes are also called semi-detached homes. They’re houses that are divided into two with a separate entrance and address for each. You’ll find that each part of a duplex is often mirror images of each other. Duplexes are often able to produce strong rental income and sell for a lower price than a single-family home. 

Laneway Homes

A laneway home is a smaller, detached home located on a single-family home lot that can accommodate it, and often face a lane or alley. Laneway homes are relatively new and have started to pop up in dense Canadian cities. They are currently most popular in Vancouver, and part of the City of Vancouver’s plan is to increase density in pre-existing neighbourhoods. Laneway homes differ from coach homes because they cannot be stratified and, therefore, cannot be sold individually. For homeowners looking for rental income, a laneway house could be a good investment.

Coach Homes
Similar to laneway homes, coach homes are part of a single-family home lot, usually at the rear of a single-family home. The main difference from a laneway home is a coach home can be stratified and sold on its own. Coach homes are typically larger and require a yard, where laneway homes do not. Coach homes can also provide good rental income for homeowners and, on the flip side, provide an option for reasonably priced homes in dense cities where affordability is a concern.

Micro-lofts can also be called micro-condos. Introduced to Vancouver in 2009, micro-lofts are small condos or apartments averaging around 300 square feet. They’ve garnered popularity in dense cities for those looking for an affordable living space. Since they were first introduced in Vancouver, micro-lofts have popped up in Victoria, Surrey, and are now moving out east. Because of their size, micro-lofts are forced to maximize square footage by incorporating pull-down wall beds, foldable tables, and compact appliances.

Our rennie advisors specialize in every neighbourhood across the Lower Mainland and can help you find the home best suited to you. 

advisor insight

We look at the performance of Vancouver's private secondary schools as ranked by the Fraser Institute.

advisor insight

Check out our round-up of the top 10 homes in the Tri-Cities under $800,000.

advisor insight

Meet Stephanie, a new member of our growing Advisor team. #teamrennie