Property Types

property types explained

When it’s time to buy a new home, it helps to know not only where you want to live, but also what type of home you’ll choose.

From single family homes to condos and townhouses, each property type has unique characteristics to understand before you buy.

Below you’ll find the differences between seven common property types. After reading through each you’ll have a better idea of which one best suits your lifestyle and needs.

Let’s start with Single family homes.

Single Family: single family home

A single-family home, or stand-alone house, is the most common and popular type of home. Some single-family homes are in subdivisions or communities that fall under the governance of a homeowner’s association (HOA). If applicable, buyers should become familiar with the HOA's rules and covenants prior to deciding to purchase.

Ownership is by deed, and you own the land, the dwelling, additional structures, and any improvements made to them.

Multi-Family: multi family home
Multi-family housing can refer to anything from a two-family home up to an apartment building with hundreds of units.

Ownership is by deed. Typically, one owner will hold the deed for the land, all units, and any additional structures, common areas and amenities. The owner will often occupy one unit and lease the remaining units to renters. Conventional residential financing is available only on properties up to 4 units. Additional units typically require commercial financing.

Condo: condo living ehl

Condominiums, or condos, can take many forms but are typically residential living units like apartments.

Ownership is by deed. Rather than owning a building and the land, you own only your unit and a percentage of the common areas like hallways, the grounds, and amenities.

P.s. If you’re buying for the first time, condos make a great first choice!

Co-Op: co-op

Co-ops (cooperatives) are similar to condos in that they are usually like an apartment unit. More rarely, there are versions more like single family homes.

However, the ownership is unique. Rather than having a deed, you own shares appropriated to an individual unit, including an interest in the common areas and amenities.

Townhouse:townhouse living ehl

A townhouse is one unit in a series of attached city rowhouses where dividing walls can be shared. The term can also refer to the style of home rather than to the type of ownership. The style is often part of a condominium community.

Ownership of a true townhome property type is by deed, which will describe the exact bounds or dividing lines and land owned. The experience will typically be similar to owning a single-family residence.

Townhouses are another great option for first-time buyers!



Land, often called a lot in residential areas, is property with no structures. Land is easier to finance when you plan to use a construction loan to build a home on it.

Ownership is by deed. Many residential lots are in subdivisions that have a homeowner’s association (HOA). If applicable, buyers should become familiar with the HOA's rules and covenants prior to deciding to purchase.

Commercial: commercial building

Commercial properties are designated for business uses, including retail, services, offices, etc. Financing is different than for residential properties.

Ownership is typically by deed, but commercial properties can also be part of a condo association.


Bottom Line:

If you have questions about properties or any aspect of home financing, please reach out. The EHL Team is here and ready to help!

Contact Emerald Home Loans

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