What is a Single-Family Home?

by Cora Gold | Updated: Dec 18, 2020

The term “single-family home” applies to millions of properties throughout America, so it’s wise to learn its definition. By doing so, you’ll be able to determine whether single-family homes are the type of home you and your family want to live in.

So, what exactly is a single-family home? Take a look below.

A single-family home, defined

In legal terms, a single-family home is defined as a single dwelling unit. That means only one person, couple or family lives in the property. This setup differs from an arrangement where a third-party owns a building with multiple units to rent to tenants.

These structures stand apart from other homes. As a result, they possess some unique features. They typically have their own entrances, yard, kitchen, utilities and walls. The home’s owners have exclusive legal rights to such properties, otherwise known as “private property.”

You may be able to categorize some townhouses and duplexes as single-family homes. They have to meet specific code requirements, but it’s not uncommon for these buildings to fall under that classification as well.

The difference between single-family and multi-family homes

There are key differences between single-family homes and multi-family homes.

A multi-family home is a building with multiple units. These spaces have their own entrances, kitchens and utilities to accommodate separate individuals. They’re also assigned separate addresses. If your multi-family home has more than four units, it’s a commercial property.

A single-family home houses one family or group of people and only has a single address on its own parcel of land. It has one kitchen and doesn’t share walls or utilities with another unit. The entrance and exit lead directly into the home as opposed to a multi-family home which generally has hallways and a lobby.

The pros and cons of a single-family home

If you're looking for privacy and want to customize your home, it's often better to rent a single-family home instead of a multi-family one. They’re separate from other buildings — as a result, you don’t have to worry about nosey or loud neighbors who live down the hall. You will also likely have more flexibility when decorating your home as well.

That said, you may have more responsibility if you rent a single-family home. The landlord will more than likely address most issues similar to property management companies for multi-family homes. However, the landlord may decide to leave certain responsibilities for you to handle, such as yard maintenance. Some may even require you to provide your own appliances, such as a washer and dryer.

Should you rent a single-family home?

You should consider your personal preferences before renting any property. There’s no “wrong” reason to rent a house instead of an apartment, but it’s always best to ensure your choice makes sense for your needs. 

A single-family home offers you privacy and more autonomy. You won’t have to worry about neighbors nearly as much as living in an apartment, and you don’t have to share the amenities. Additionally, most single-family homes are in neighborhoods that tend to be more family-oriented. These tend to offer more room for children to play outside and more space inside the actual rental for larger families.

A single-family home can be a great home

Single-family homes are often a top choice for individuals, couples and families. Use this information to help you determine if a single-family home is right for you.

Categories: Renters

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