What is a Patio Home? Pros & Cons, Cost, Size, & More

By: ROS Team

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If you are searching for an affordable house, you definitely want to consider all of your options. You’ve likely heard of condos and townhomes, but have you considered moving into a patio-style home? The first question that may come to mind is whether a patio home is suitable for you. Also, is a patio home different from average homes, and how do they compare price-wise? In this article, we’ll explore what makes a house a patio home and why this type of property may be just what you’re looking for.

What is a Patio Home?

People usually assume patio homes are just standard homes that have a patio, but this is not true. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that most patio homes don’t have patios. There really is no distinguishing feature that makes a house a patio home. Patio homes are usually smaller than average duplex-type homes and are also single story.

Are Garden Homes and Patio Homes the Same Thing?

Garden home and patio home are often used interchangeably; this is often because both are zero-lot-line homes. A zero-lot-line home is a part of residential property in which the structure comes up to the edge of the property line.

Both house types are structures with at least one shared wall. Some other common names for patio homes are cluster homes, courtyard homes, and carriage homes.

What is the Difference Between a Patio Home, Condo, and Townhouse?

Although there are some similarities in patio homes, condos, and townhouses, they are structurally different. In townhouse and patio homes, the main difference is size. Most of the time, patio homes are single-story homes, whereas most townhouses have at least two stories.

There is not much difference in size when it comes to condos and patio homes, so what makes them different? The main difference is that the homeowner doesn’t own the lot on which the condo sits. In contrast, patio homeowners own both the lot and the physical structure, walkway, and fence.

patio home vs townhome vs condo
Image Source: Thehome.blog

What are the Pros and Cons of Owning a Patio Home?

Pros:

  • Low Maintenance: Patio homes are much smaller than average single story houses, so that naturally means less square footage to maintain and clean. Moreover, patio homes are usually located in neighborhoods governed by a homeowner’s association, and the association takes care of the patio homes’ exteriors. Apart from lawn maintenance, you won’t need to worry about removing snow or trash disposal.
  • Affordability: Patio homes are not only smaller–they’re affordable. Although the exact price of a patio home will vary, an average patio home is typically priced in the low to mid $100,000s.
  • Community: Patio home communities offer lots of amenities like a swimming pool, gym, garden, and social clubs. These spots make great places to meet new neighbors or hang out with your current ones. In addition, some communities host special events year round for all to enjoy.

Cons:

  • Lack of Privacy: Patio homes usually lack privacy thanks to the wall shared between the houses. That makes it difficult to drown out a noisy neighbor.
  • Small Size: The size of patio homes can be a blessing and a curse. Most patio homes are smaller than single-family homes.
  • Homeowners Association Fees and Rules: Almost all patio homes are part of a homeowner’s association, so you must follow the association’s rules and regulations. You also have to pay monthly or annual fees, which are used on community maintenance.

How Much Does a Patio Home Cost?

A traditional patio home can cost around $100,000. More luxurious options can have a price tag closer to $1 million.

What is the Average Size of a Patio Home?

The average size of a living room in a patio home is 16 feet by 18 feet. Again, patio homes are usually single-story.

average size of a patio home
Image Source: Goldenreblog.com

Who Should Buy Patio Homes?

Patio homes are great for families as well as people of any age. They are also ideal for people who love to socialize within their neighborhood and community.

How to Find a Patio Home

Patio homes are not so common, so it is slightly harder to find one for sale. However, there has been an uptick in the number of patio homes across the country. The process for finding a patio home is no different than the process you would follow to find an apartment, condo, or townhouse. Since patio homes are rare, it may be worth your while to partner with a real estate agent to find some.

How to Finance a Patio Home

If you don’t have enough cash to buy a patio home outright, financing the purchase is an option. If you’ve ever taken out a loan for a condo, townhouse, or single-family property, you’ll find the process for patio homes to be quite similar. In addition to the lender ensuring that you can pay back the loan, the lender will also verify that you are able to pay the community’s HOA fees before approving you for a loan.

How Private is a Patio Home?

Although patio homes share walls with other patio homes, they are still relatively private. Of course, the level of privacy you experience will ultimately depend on how loud or quiet your neighbors are.

What are Insurance Premiums like for Patio Homes?

Patio homes share walls, so the risk of damage increases. If a fire breaks out in your neighbor’s house, it’ll directly affect yours. Your insurance company will explain this risk in more detail and assess the risk accordingly. In some communities, home insurance is included in the HOA fee; you’ll need to inquire about whether this is included in your HOA fees.

Final Thoughts

Patio style homes are great options if you’re considering buying a house on a lower budget. We’ve covered some of the main questions related to patio homes, but take the time to do some additional research or consult a real estate agent before deciding whether a patio home works for you.