The name sounds deceiving. You’d assume a patio home has a patio, right? That has nothing to do with it. Instead, patio houses are attached homes, similar to a townhouse or condo, but they’re different. They typically only have one story, whereas condos and townhomes have two or more stories.
Keep reading to learn more about patio homes.
Defining the Patio Home
Patio homes are typically smaller. Not only are they on one story, they have less square footage too. They may or may not have a yard. If they do, it’s a small one. The homes are generally very close together, if not attached. The idea is to save land/space and provide a large number of homes for first-time homebuyers as well as empty nesters.
Most patio homes are part of a homeowner’s association. Many developments have common areas for recreation, increasing the cost of the HOA dues. The HOA typically takes care of the external maintenance on the property too, making it an attractive option for those nearing or in retirement.
What Should you Consider When Buying a Patio Home?
Just like buying any home, you should consider a few factors including:
- How much are the HOA dues?
- What does the HOA do/cover?
- What common areas/recreational activities are included?
- How large is the lot?
- How close are your neighbors?
- What is the layout of the home?
- What is the size of the home?
Just like buying any other home, you need to be sure the patio home will suit your needs. Just because it costs less doesn’t mean it’s the right answer. Make sure you are comfortable with the closeness to your neighbors or the cost of the HOA dues, for example.
The Pros and Cons of the Patio Home
All home purchases have pros and cons. The patio home’s pros include:
- Low maintenance – Typically the HOA handles the exterior maintenance, which decreases the work you must do year-round. This can be good for first-time homebuyers as well as retired homeowners.
- Low cost – Compared to single-family homes and larger townhomes, patio homes are typically much more affordable (depends on the location)
- Access to a community – Homeowners of adjoined homes with common areas often have a larger sense of community and togetherness.
Patio homes do have some cons including:
- Less space – Patio homes are compact. You won’t find large versions as that defeats the purpose of the type of home.
- Less yard space – Some patio homes have no yard space and those that do have little space available. It’s typically enough for a small slab of concrete or small grassy area in the backyard.
- Homeowner’s association dues – You’ll usually have HOA dues, which increase the cost of homeownership.
Fortunately, getting a loan for a patio home is the same as getting a home for a single-family home. It’s no more difficult than securing financing on a townhome or condo. If the HOA is in a secure financial position and most of the homeowners are on time with their association dues and not in foreclosure, you should have an easy time securing financing.