Major Types of Houses

Monday Jan 30th, 2017


In Canadian real estate there are three major types of ownership: freehold, co-operative and condominium. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. The owner of each type is responsible for maintaining the property and following the bylaws.







Photo: depositphotos. Modern condominium, apartment with white and lot of glass

Condominium is a form of property that can be applied to almost any type of housing. To be an owner of a condo means to own a unit built inside a condominium complex. The unit does not come with the land or any space outside the walls. There are monthly payments to maintain common areas, such as elevators, stairs, parking lots, carpets, entrances, and recreational facilities. Each condominium has its own set of rules and regulations. The price of a condo depends on several factors: location, architecture, infrastructure, maintenance and administration.

Photo: depositphotos. Luxury house

Freehold or detached house is a stand-alone residential property. It does not share outside walls with another house or building.

Detached house tends to be the most expensive type of property due to the land costs. To be an owner of a detached house means to own both the house and the land it stands on. The maintenance of a detached house is a sole responsibility of the owner. The owners pay the monthly bills for water, electricity and heating, as well as all the other bills. Owners can make changes to their houses, but they must follow local bylaws. Detached houses provide more space and privacy than other property types.

Co-operative ownership can be divided into three categories: townhouse, semi-detached house and duplex/triplex.

Photo: depositphotos. Modern townhouse complex

A townhouse is a complex of units that are adjoined to each other, share common walls, and are combined into one building. Usually townhouses consist of 2-3 floors and have a basement. Townhouses are quite popular because they are not too expensive and has low maintenance costs. The price of the townhouse depends on the area, proximity to the subway stations, highways, universities, business centers and other infrastructure.

Photo: depositphotos.Bricky semi-detached house

Semi-detached house is a property attached to another on one side. Owners maintain their own side, like a detached house. To be an owner of a semi-detached home means to own one side of the property and the land it stands on. Semi-detached houses are less expensive than detached houses. The price depends on the area and infrastructure.

Duplex/triplex is a property, which is divided into multiple units. Each household has its separate entrance. The apartments can be two-story and located side by side or one story and located above each other. The owner is responsible for the maintenance of one unit. Types of homes that are divided into several separate living units may include detached homes, semi-detached and townhouses.

The type of the property you need depends on your finances, your needs and your future plans. You can begin with a condo and make your way to the freehold ownership. Condo is the most available and popular property type for someone who starts an independent life in Canada. Co-operative ownership can provide enough privacy for a young family of two or three. Freehold is suitable for a big family with teenagers, grandparents and other relatives.

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