The Appeal of Patio Homes: Why People Love Them
Author: Rick Worst | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
When I first heard about "patio homes," I thought the same thing you probably did: a home with a patio. When you try to imagine a patio home without knowing what it's, that is precisely what it sounds like.
The truth is that these homes might have a patio, but they're not named after that feature of the house. Patio homes are clusters or groups of cookie-cutter houses attached to or sitting side by side with one another.
What Is a Patio Home?
What are patio homes? Let us provide our own definition to help you understand. The key to really grasping it is to understand their differences from townhouses and condominiums while understanding the key aspect which is a very small lot size.
Patio home definition: A patio home refers to an individual housing unit that connects to other units with similar characteristics and layouts. Patio homes are similar to townhouses, with some minor differences.
These homes don't have much space outside of the house structure. Patio homes sit on a property with a type of house foundation that is similar in size to the space of the lot itself. Having no yard might sound terrible for some, but it's unneeded space for others.
Patio-style houses aren't for everyone and attract certain types of buyers. Between their exciting characteristics, pricing, and popularity, they could be mistaken for other kinds of homes.
Characteristics of a Patio Home
Patio homes are known as zero-lot line homes. A zero-lot-line house is a house that sits up to the property limit. There's no backyard, front yard, or even side yard.
Homes with property boundaries that don't extend further than the building's construction aren't suitable for all home buyers. This is because the houses are in urban areas with higher population densities.
The idea is to build more homes in a smaller space to maximize available housing. Unlike condominiums and high-rise apartment buildings, patio homes sit next to one another in a line. They're less than two floors on average, with most being one and a half floors.
These homes offer the perfect housing for low-maintenance renters. You don't have to worry about yard work and other outside touch-ups. The home is easily manageable as everything is on one floor. People can live in this one-floor house without having to deal with stairs.
Most patio homes share a wall with other homes but still have plenty of privacy.
Who Is a Patio Home For?
Unlike traditional homes with plenty of space inside and out, patio homes are more minimalistic. They prove to be the perfect living setting for many people.
Patio homes could be ideal living spaces for single families, couples, or one person. A lot of the homes advertise as single-family houses. They're described as single-family structures when they're within an inch or a couple of feet of the next patio home.
If there was a wall between your neighbor's home and your own, and both homes depended on the wall, then it couldn't be a single-family home. When there's a wall between two homes, it's more like a duplex or townhouse.
Many patio homes have become very popular amongst young people looking to buy their first home. This is because they have smaller price tags and catch the eyes of many budget buyers.
Whether someone chooses a one-floor home or one with a half-floor, there's plenty of space for one to two people. As a result, the homes are perfect for couples who don't expect to have children or grow their families.
Also, patio homes are a good option for business professionals who plan to be away from their homes for extended periods. Since business professionals have to travel often, their patio home is a great place to rest before their next trip.
Anyone who retires knows that a smaller place is the best choice. Older people don't have to worry about extra cleaning and maintenance. One-floor homes are better for seniors and provide a comfortable and safe setting.
Patio homes could be the perfect home option for people who spend a lot of time away from their homes. Travelers always on the road and away from their homes desire something smaller.
Big homes are hard to manage when you are away from your house for a long period. Not only is a large house difficult to keep an eye on when you are away, but it can also become an easy target for robberies if not secured properly.
Empty nesters are middle-aged couples who have recently experienced an empty house. Their children have gone off to college and moved out of the house to be on their own.
There comes a time when you feel like you have to downsize. Patio homes are the perfect next-home option for those looking to change it up and live in a smaller space with fewer rooms.
Difference Between a Patio Home & a Condominium
Patio homes and condominiums can be similar but tend to have more drastic differences. There are some low-level condominiums around, but most tend to be in the form of a high-rise.
Typical characteristics of a condominium include:
- Part of a large complex, similar to an apartment building.
- Condos can be low-rise, medium-rise, and high-rise buildings.
- Condos share multiple walls rather than one wall, like between patio homes.
- People who own condominiums only own the unit itself (not the building or property).
- Condos are also part of the HOA, and owners must follow a strict protocol.
Most condominiums will seem very different from today's patio homes. Patio homes offer a more private living space, while condos occupy a more communal area. Condos tend to be noisier, while both can provide significant amounts of interior space.
If we just compare low-rise condos and patio homes, they will seem even more alike. Condominiums are great living spaces for similar people. Whether you are a working professional, couple, retiree, single-family, or business person, both types of homes fit many people's needs.
Difference Between a Patio Home & a Townhouse
Patio homes and townhouses are pretty much identical. As long as both connect to other homes in a row, they will seem the same.
Typical characteristics of a townhouse include:
- One or two stories, with most having two floors.
- Renters can become owners by buying the property and the building.
- There's usually one shared wall with one or two neighbors.
- Each townhouse has its own door and entrance.
Townhouses are in a few different areas and neighborhoods. Some are in areas near single-family homes, while others might be in a particular development. It's common to see townhomes in a place where all the houses were built by the same company.
Many townhouse developments or neighborhoods have a name. Both renters and owners can enjoy similar facilities to those of patio homes. One difference is that townhomes might have more property space and tend to attract all sorts of people, with and without pets.
Pros & Cons of Patio Homes
Each patio home could have pros and cons depending on the architecture, style, design, location, and more. Here are some pros and cons that most patio homes have:
Pros of a Patio Home
Notice that these revolve around convenience, usually financially or based on time-based efforts related to chores and travel.
- A good minimalistic option.
- Great for families living close together.
- Make for a good second home, vacation, and retirement home options.
- Most contain open floor plans with modern designs.
- Affordable for many budgets.
- Might come with community amenities, such as a swimming pool or gym.
You may think these would appeal most to the elderly, and while that's a good argument it's a type of home people of all ages can benefit from.
Cons of a Patio Home
The downsides usually revolve around all of the negatives of apartment, condominium, and townhouse living. To some, these may be benefits, though.
- Very close to other neighbors.
- It may be noisier and less private than other homes.
- Might be part of a Homeowners Association (HOA).
- There's no property space for animals or children.
- High homeowner's insurance since the home is touching another home.
Some of these restrictions can be benefits to those who don't want to hear children and animals screaming at any point during the day and night.
Frequently Asked Questions About Patio Homes
We have collected the most common questions about patio homes since you may have them yourself.
What is Another Name for Patio Homes?
Patio homes are sometimes called garden homes, carriage homes, row homes, or cluster homes. Although they have different names, many characteristics make them alike.
Why are They Called Patio Homes?
The homes' structures pretty much reach the property limits. However, some might have a tiny space in the backyard or side yard. This small space became popular for setting up a patio, thus giving rise to the popularity of a patio home.
When Were Patio Homes First Created?
These small-lot houses came into the presence of the housing market during their building time period in the 1970s. Americans began building neighborhoods that contained gated communities and private spaces. Patio homes have always been ideal private spaces for those on a budget.
What is the Difference Between a Patio Home & a Villa?
A patio home connects with other homes in a row. Most only have one floor, while others will have one and a half or even two. Villas or private homes have more land space. They tend to be surrounded by greenery and make good vacation homes. Some villas may be next to others.
Should You Consider a Patio Home?
A patio home is a great home option for many types of people. Depending on your preferences and living style, it could or could not work for you. They're perfect homes for working professionals, empty nesters, retirees, single families, and couples.
Their similar characteristics to townhouses and condominiums are becoming increasingly popular every year. It would help to consider the pros and cons of patio homes before deciding to buy one.