Patio homes have become increasingly popular as a single family housing option that combines elements of a stand-alone property and a townhouse. Patio homes offer many of the same conveniences of a townhome, such as lower maintenance, with a few key differences.
Patio Home vs Townhome
Patio homes are also known as “carriage” or “row” houses. They are single-family houses that typically share one or two walls with another unit. Contrary to the name, this style of house does not need to have a patio in order to be considered a “patio house.” Some do, indeed, have porches or patios, but that is not what distinguishes them from other attached homes, like townhomes.
The primary difference between a townhouse and a patio home is the floorplan. A townhome typically has two or more levels, each with living space and a bathroom. A patio home, on the other hand, has no more than 1.5 levels, with the upper half generally being a loft space with enough room for a bed or desk.
Despite the layout difference, townhomes and patio homes are generally comparable in square footage. Single or 1.5 level patio homes have a wider and more open floor plan to account for the lack of additional upstairs living space.
Some patio homes also include a small attached garden or backyard. This is not a typical feature of most townhouses, although some may have a patch of grass and garden in the front.
Pros of a Patio Home
One of the primary draws of a patio home is cost. They tend to be more affordable than other single family homes, although the price varies significantly with location.
Smaller living space means less maintenance for the home and a smaller price tag when repairs are needed.
Active Homeowners Association
Like townhomes, patio homes are also usually part of a very hands-on Home Owners Association. In exchange for monthly dues, the HOA will take care of things like routine landscaping, trash removal, snow plowing, roof replacement, and more.
HOA fees are also often used to fund amenities for a patio home community, such as a pool, tennis courts, or clubhouse.
Sense of Community
Patio homes, by definition, are close quarters. You will be sharing a wall or two plus your driveway with neighbors, so you can count on seeing each other fairly often. This can be a drawback for some, but many individuals find a tighter knit community very appealing.
Cons of a Patio Home
Lack of Privacy
Again, patio homes entail a close proximity with your neighbors. You may have to deal with added noise or a general lack of privacy in certain situations, such as when you are grilling or gardening.
While the HOA has many benefits, some associations are quite rigid with regards to what community members can and cannot do with their homes. You might find you have to run things as simple as Christmas decorations past your board beforehand, which may be a dealbreaker for some.
HOA fees for patio homes are also significantly higher than traditional, stand-alone homes. They can range anywhere from $100 to $400 per month, depending on what services they cover. Again, though, this may be worth it for the convenience.
Who Should Buy a Patio Home?
Patio homes can be an attractive option for many buyers looking for a middle ground between an apartment and a traditional house. Their manageable size, sense of community, access to amenities, and HOA support makes them ideally suited to senior citizens. They are also a good option for young couples looking for their first home, or empty-nesters who no longer need quite as much space.
Patio Homes in Colorado
Colorado is home to some beautiful patio home communities, many of which have been designed specifically with senior citizens in mind. If you are interested in buying one of these unique homes, contact Brenda Kellogg Meyer with Exit Realty. As a Senior Real Estate Specialist, Brenda has years of experience matching seniors to their perfect community and forever home. Contact Brenda to get started today.