What Are the Common Types of Homes?

Understanding Different Housing TypesWhen people think about buying a home, one of the first things they must choose is the type of property that is most appropriate for them. There are many unique styles of dwellings, from single-family homes to twin homes, townhomes, condominiums, and more. With this information, potential home buyers will understand the basic differences between these property types, to help aid in their decision-making process.

Single-Family Home

One of the most common housing types nationwide, the single-family home features a house on one lot for a single owner. Homeowners and residents get the benefit of privacy and the supreme ability to make changes to the dwelling as they see fit. Since no one else shares any responsibility for the lot or the structure, they are also entirely in charge of its upkeep. Owners of single-family homes usually do not have to consult anyone on upgrades, unless they live in an area with an HOA or other limitations, like a historic housing district.

Twin Home

The twin home offers the most flexibility of any attached housing unit. This type features two houses on two lots connected by a shared wall. It is sometimes confused with a duplex, but it is not the same. With a twin home, each homeowner is responsible for their half of the structure, and their own lot. They can often make as many choices as they like about the look or function of the structure. These units usually cost less than a single-family dwelling. However, owners have to live with the other owner's choices for their half of the structure.

Multi-Family Housing

Multi-family housing features a single building with more than one unit on a single lot. In the case of a duplex, there may be one owner or two owners. For lots with 3-4 units, typically one person owns it and rents the remaining units to tenants after running tenant background checks. This is a common choice for investors. Anything with more than four units is typically considered a commercial enterprise. With a shared lot, owners divide responsibility for maintenance and necessary upgrades.


The classic townhome features at least three units on a single lot. Sometimes called rowhouses, these units tend to run vertically and look very similar or identical. Some townhomes are stacked, meaning that there are units above and below. Townhomes can be similar to condos in some ways, mostly in that there is a shared responsibility for upkeep of the building and lot. Owners of townhomes may also have a small portion of the lot that is exclusively theirs.


Buying a condominium means taking ownership of a single unit in a larger building. As a general rule, condo owners do not own the land. They usually pay fees for upkeep of the building and maintenance of the grounds, as well as access to certain amenities available on the property. This type of building often has a single owner of the land, who holds a stake in decisions about upgrades and management. Some are owned as a co-op, which means that everyone owns a share of the building and the land.

Buying an Edina home often starts by making a choice through the variety of housing types. The right choice depends on a person's budget and what they expect from the property. By knowing the various benefits and disadvantages of each type, home buyers can be better prepared to go through the home buying process.

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