Canadian Home Builders Association
Are you thinking about buying a new home? Are you trying to understand the difference between each type?
The Canadian Home Builders Association has some information to help you make an informed decision about what type of housing best suits your needs.
Freehold ownership means you own the land and house outright, with no space co-owned or co-managed with owners of adjacent homes. You are also solely responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of your property, and the property taxes associated with it.
Detached and semi-detached homes, duplexes and townhouses are usually owned freehold.
Condominium (called strata in the province of British Columbia)
Condominium ownership means you own the individual unit you live in, and share in the ownership of common spaces. Common spaces can be within the building (e.g. corridors and foyers), the grounds around the building, and any shared amenities (e.g. swimming pools, recreation rooms).
You are responsible of the upkeep of your unit, including property taxes, and pay a monthly condo fee toward the costs of maintaining common spaces and amenities.
You and the other owners of units within your building manage the common areas through an owners’ association. The association makes decisions about using and maintaining the common space, and sets your condo fees.
Types of homes Single-family detached
A single-family detached home is one dwelling unit that stands alone, on its own lot. These are normally freehold.
A semi-detached home is a single-family home that is joined on one side to another home. It can offer many of the advantages of a single-family detached home but is usually somewhat less expensive to buy and maintain. These are normally freehold.
Row house (townhome or townhouse)
Row houses (also called townhomes or townhouses) consist of several similar single-family homes, side-by-side, joined by common walls. They can be freehold or condominiums. They offer less privacy than a single-family detached home, although each usually has a private outdoor space. These homes come in a wide range of sizes, configurations and price points.
Stacked towns are usually two-storey homes stacked one on top of the other. The buildings are usually attached in groups of four or more. Each unit has direct access from the outside. They are usually condominiums.
A modular home is a factory-built, single-family home. The home is typically shipped to a location in two or more sections (or modules) and then completed. Any of the above types of homes could also be modular homes.
Condominium (strata) apartment
A self-contained housing unit located in a building that includes other similar condominium units. Condo apartments are built in a wide range of sizes, from bachelor units to multi-bedroom suites. Each condo apartment includes its own kitchen and bathroom facilities, and often has its own heating and air conditioning system.