Types Of Homes And How To Choose

What type of home do you live in right now? Do you know the actual official designation? Not everyone does. If you have ever looked for a new home or spoken with a real estate agent about homes you may have heard them use some descriptors that are unfamiliar to some. The truth is there are many different kinds of homes that can be broken up into categories. Some of these designations are not perfect as a home may include some sort of modification from the original design that renders it a sort of hybrid. These designations are important to know because they can help you figure out exactly what type of home you want and allow you to narrow your search easily. 

Single Family Detached Homes

This is one of the most common types of home. This is one of two large categories that offer a variety of different types of structures. Single-family homes can be either attached or detached. A detached structure typically refers to a building that is physically separated from any other building or structure other than a garage. These homes are located on a single lot with no other residential structures. This is also referred to as a stand-alone structure. These homes can vary dramatically in size. Setting a budget while refining your search for a type of home will help you to refine your search and pick the style of home that is right for you. 

Bungalow

Bungalows are one of the most popular types of homes. This type of Ottawa home may be right for you if you are looking to live somewhere with fewer stairs. Many older neighbourhoods will prominently feature this type of home. Bungalows are one-story detached homes with the primary living area being contained to one floor. That means your living room, kitchen, dining room and bedroom are all on the same level. This does not mean that you cannot have a finished basement with additional living spaces. Bungalows can be quite spectacular. One added bonus of living in a bungalow is the ability to have high vaulted ceilings in the living space without impacting other areas of the home as would be the case in a two-storey home. These amazing spaces are called "Great Rooms" and can be some of the most picturesque living spaces anywhere. These are some of the things to think about when considering an Ottawa bungalow. 

Bi-Level/Split Entrance Home

This is a variation of a bungalow. It is entirely possible that you are living in a bungalow and do not realize it is a bi-level/split entrance. The bi-level/split entrance bungalow more effectively uses the lower basement areas by having the main level slightly raised. That means that the basement is raised above grade allowing for larger windows that can make your basement feel a lot less like a basement. Your front door would open to a foyer that is split between the two main levels. There is still less stair maneuvering required than in a traditional two-storey home but slightly more than would be necessary for a regular bungalow. Some of the advantages of this kind of home include large main level living areas and an above grade basement that can have lots of sunlight and ventilation. 

One and One-Half Storey

These are two level homes where about 60% of the total living area is actually on the first floor. This type of home is more cost effective than a bunglaow because it makes better use of the footprint of the building by having more square footage than a bungalow on the same footprint. These homes have high pitched roofs that provide living space with slanted walls/ceilings in the upstairs bedrooms. These homes often have dormers or projections out of the roof that feature a window. These homes can be less expensive than a traditional two storey but still have many of the same benefits. Add this type of home to your list if you are considering a two-storey but are having trouble making the budget work. 

Two Storey

This is probaly the most popular type of home. Two storey detached single family homes typically have the main living area, kitchen, dining room and a bathroom on the ground floor. The upstairs is usually reserved for bedrooms and the main bathroom. Unlike a one and one-half storey home the bedrooms do not have angled walls or cielings. The upper level bedrooms can be quite spacious in homes like this. Residential areas are full of two-storey homes because of their ability to maximize the living space on the land. Because of their popularity there is an abundance of different two-storey homes from many different styles to match any lifestyle and taste. These homes come in many different sizes and can range in price. If you are looking for a two-storey you will also definitely need to select a budget to refine your search results. 

Split Level

This is a less popular type of home but you can still find many of them in older developments or in rural settings. The most common split levels built in Ontario were built in the 1970s and early in the 1980s. There are two types of split-level homes. Back split is where the layout is from front to rear. Side split is when the layout is from left to right. You might see this driving around where a home looks like a bungalow on one side and then a slightly higher part of the opposite side. Split level homes commonly involve 2 or 3 levels but more complicated ones can involve as many as 5 levels. These homes will typically have a few stairs up to a sleeping area making them similar to bungalows but with a bit more division of living and sleeping areas. 

Attached Homes

This is the other main category of homes. People typically think of townhomes when they think of attached homes but there is a lot more variety than that. These homes are typically less expensive because building costs are lowered by sharing common walls and making better use of the land that they are built on by not having seperation between the homes. These homes can also have a high variation in price dependent upon location, size, and quality of finishing. 

Semi-Detached

Tehsea re homes where one of the structure's walls is attached to another structure. These could be side by side units that are still on seperate lots while being attcahed. These can offer a lot of space including great side yards while offering a price advantage compared to a fully detached home. These are often a good option for young families. 

Townhouse

This is one of the most popular types of homes in suburban areas and can be quite spectacular and beautifully finished. A townhouse is defined as being connected to two or more other units. Townhouses typically contain a full basement, main living area and upper level for bedrooms. Townhouses can be located on their own land or as part of a condominium complex. Townhouses in Ottawa can be amazing homes that offer a lot of living space in great locations. The smaller yards can also mean less yard maintenance and snow shovelling which can be a big advantage. 

Condominiums

These are perfect for first time home buyers or real estate investors as a way to get into the Ottawa real estate market. They can range significantly in price as luxury condos exist as well as entry level homes. These are typically in buildings with shared spaces such a front lobby, pool, exercise room or other building ammenities. One thing to consider is that you will have to pay a monthly association fee to live in a condo. Condos are often the best option for someone hoping to live in an urban centre such as Downtown Ottawa. They also require less maintenance and snow clearing in the winter. 

So where do you want to live? What is your prefered type of home? If we can help you find it, please reach out to us via the contact form below!  We hope to hear from you soon. 

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