Patio Home Style

patio home is an American term for a type of housing, also called a cluster home. The term tends to imply a suburban setting and a unit of several houses attached to each other, typically with shared walls between units, and with exterior maintenance and landscaping provided through an association fee. Not all of these elements are present in all buildings called patio homes, as the term is used somewhat generically by the real estate industry.

The building may actually be a condo when the building’s owner does not own the land, or it may be sold in fee simple. Targeted buyers are primarily those who do not want to be bothered by external maintenance typically associated with home ownership, sometimes because they only live in the patio home for part of the year.

There is not usually a legal definition of a patio home, and some houses called patio homes may alternatively be marketed as townhouses, garden homes, twin homes, or carriage homes. Most taxing jurisdictions do not have a separate classification for patio homes.

The term was first seen in print in the mid-1970s. In a more generic sense it may refer to a home with a prominent patio, such as some traditional Mediterranean-style homes.

Patio Homes – Pros

  • A patio home is usually less expensive than a single family home
  • Not as crowded (dense) as townhomes or condominiums
  • No neighbors above or below
  • Often only one shared wall
  • A patio home affords an easy lifestyle – HOA often covers roof replacement, exterior maintenance, landscape maintenance, common area maintenance, and other expenses
  • Ideal for “lock and leave” vacation homes
  • No stairs and low maintenance make patio homes popular with seniors
  • Commonly includes amenities such as a community pool

Patio Homes – Cons

  • Noise from neighbors through the shared wall or walls
  • Homeowners’ association fees and politics, and CC&R restrictions
  • Less common than townhouses or condominiums, so the selection of patio homes may be small
  • No yard, just a patio overlooking a common area.

Source: About.com, Wikipedia