Welcome to Florida real estate. Here, we use names for property types that are different from all other regions of the U.S. This week I’ll give you a cheat sheet on the various types of homes you could buy, including town-homes, coach homes, condos, attached villas, detached villas, and single family homes. Here we go:
These are usually side-by-side and are attached to each other. Each townhome has an upstairs and a downstairs. So when inside this type of property, you will have a 1st floor and a 2nd floor, both with living spaces. Town-homes sometimes have a garage.
There are typically four to eight of these units per building. There are units downstairs and units upstairs. Either you own a 1st floor coach home or a 2nd floor coach home. They typically have a one or two car garage. These usually feel like a single family home due to their spacious size. You can pull into your garage and walk in your private entrance, directly into your unit.
These usually are the smallest units. Typically these are in buildings with one to twenty or more floors. You don’t have a yard, there is typically parking around the building or underneath the building in a garage. Condos provide a truly maintenance free lifestyle, the association takes care of all the upkeep to the building and lawn maintenance, etc.
A villa is basically a small house and is one story tall. However, these are attached, side-by-side, to another villa. You would only own one of the two units. There is one (usually sound proof) common wall between them. Typically there is a one or two car garage with each villa too. When inside, they really feel like a single family home.
These are the same as attached villas, just not attached. Meaning you can walk around your entire villa, much like a single family home. However, these are typically smaller homes.
Single Family Home
This is the house with a white picket fence–if anyone had picket fences down here. This is your true, bigger home, typically with a garage and on a standard size lot with a yard. A single family home can be one or more stories tall. You own the land that the house sits on as well as the house.
All of these types of homes will typically offer a screened- in lanai. To you northerners, that is basically a screened porch. That protective layer will be a godsend when mosquitoes come out in the summer! You’ll need to get home owners insurance to cover your belongings no matter what you buy. But ask your Realtor – with a condo, coach home, or town-home, it is typically covered by your HOA fees, but this may vary. So think about what is important to you, and start your search – hopefully with a better understanding of the terms of the trade in the local house- hunting market. Good luck!