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Single-Family Attached vs. Detached Home: Advantages and Disadvantages

10 mins read
a beautiful detached house with a yard and garage

Buying a home is a huge investment, and families that want to purchase a home of their own will have to decide which type of home is best for their needs.

Many factors (things to consider when buying a new home)  come into play when deciding on a home, such as price, location, size, and maintenance. But one of the most popular choices for families is between a single-family attached home and a single-family detached home.

To help you decide which type of home is best for your family, here are some advantages and disadvantages of each:

What are single-family attached homes?

Let’s start with single-family attached homes. These units typically share one or more walls with another unit in the same building. For example, townhomes, duplexes, and triplexes are all considered single-family attached homes.

Single-family attached homes are built as part of a larger development, which often comes with common areas like playgrounds, pools, and clubhouses that residents can use.

These homes also tend to have lower maintenance costs since the homeowners association or HOA typically takes care of the exterior.

Advantages of single-family attached homes

1. Common areas and amenities:

As we mentioned, one of the main advantages of single-family attached homes is that they often come with common areas and amenities that residents can use. These amenities can include:

  • Playgrounds
  • Pools
  • Clubhouses
  • Fitness centers

Families that appreciate these amenities will find that single-family attached homes offer a great way to enjoy them without leaving the community.

2. Lower maintenance costs:

Another advantage of single-family attached homes is that they typically have lower maintenance costs. This is because the home’s exterior is usually taken care of by the HOA, which can save families money on things like painting, repairs, and landscaping.

3. More affordable:

Compared to single-family detached homes, single-family attached homes are often more affordable. This is because they tend to be smaller and have less land associated with them.

Families that are looking for a more budget-friendly option may find that single-family attached homes are the way to go.

Disadvantages of single-family attached homes

1. Little to no privacy:

One of the main disadvantages of single-family attached homes is that they offer little to no privacy. Since these homes are built close together, often, there are shared walls, which can make it difficult to have any type of privacy.

2. More noise:

Another downside of single-family attached homes is that they tend to be noisier than their detached counterparts. 

This is because sound travels easily between units, so if your neighbor is throwing a party or has a young child, you may be able to hear it. Check out home-buying red flags to learn more. 

3. Less space:

Because single-family attached homes are built close together, they tend to have less space than single-family detached homes. This can be a problem for families that need more room or enjoy having a yard or outdoor space.

What is a detached single-family home?

Now that we’ve covered single-family attached homes, let’s look at single-family detached homes. These homes stand alone and are not connected to any other units.

Detached single-family homes usually come with more land than attached homes, giving families more privacy and space. Types of detached single-family homes include:

  • Houses
  • Condos
  • Villas

Since these homes are not connected to other units, they often have more features and amenities than attached homes. For example, a detached single-family home is likelier to have a garage or a private pool.

Advantages of single-family detached homes

1. More privacy:

One of the main advantages of single-family detached homes is that they offer more privacy than attached homes. This extra privacy can be a major perk for families that appreciate their space and want to avoid hearing their neighbors.

2. More space:

Unlike single-family attached homes, single-family detached homes usually come with more space. This extra space can be great for families that need room to grow or enjoy having a yard or outdoor space. This extra space can also be used for things like:

  • Entertaining guests
  • Parking cars
  • Storing belongings

3. Quieter:

Ah, peace. Because single-family detached homes are not attached to any other units, they tend to be much quieter than their attached counterparts. Your kids can play outside without worrying about disturbing the neighbors, and you can finally get tranquility when you want it.

4. More control:

When it comes to single-family detached homes, families have more control over things like:

  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Yard work and landscaping
  • Decorating and personalizing the exterior of the home

Single-Family detached homes offer a level of control that attached homes simply cannot match. If you’re the type of person that likes to be in charge, a single-family detached home may be the right choice for you.

Disadvantages of single-family detached homes

real estate agent holding a for sale sign in front of a house

1. More expensive:

The main disadvantage of single-family detached homes is that they are usually more expensive than single-family attached homes. They can cost 20-30% more, which can make them unaffordable for some families.

2. More maintenance and upkeep.

Just like anything else, single-family detached homes require maintenance and upkeep. This can include things like painting the exterior, fixing the roof, and doing landscaping. And since you’re the only one responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of your home, it can be a lot to handle.

3. Not as convenient:

When it comes to single-family detached homes, they’re not as convenient as single-family attached homes. This is because they’re usually farther away from schools, shopping centers, and restaurants.

In fact, most single-family detached homes are located in the suburbs, while single-family attached homes are usually located in urban areas. So if you’re looking for a home that’s close to all the action, an attached home may be a better option.

FAQs

Q: Which is a better investment, single-family attached or single-family detached?

A: While both offer a great return on investment, single-family detached homes have increased in value at a faster rate than single-family attached homes. 

This means that single-family detached homes are usually a better investment than single-family attached homes.

Q: Which costs more to insure, single-family attached or single-family detached?

A: Single-family detached homes usually cost more to insure than single-family attached homes. This is because single-family detached homes are usually larger and have more land than single-family attached homes. 

More land means more potential for flooding and wildfires, which can drive up the cost of insurance.

Q: Can single-family detached homes be located in urban areas?

A: No, single-family detached homes are usually located in suburban or rural areas. Single-family attached homes are usually located in urban areas because they’re smaller and require less land.

Q: What size family is single-family detached homes best suited for?

A: Single-family detached homes are a great option for families of all sizes. They offer more space than single-family attached homes, which makes them ideal for families that plan on growing.

The Bottom Line: Which is Better?

The jury is still out on whether single-family attached or single-family detached homes are better. It depends on your budget, preferences, and needs. But one thing is sure, both offer a great investment for families.

A detached home may be the right choice if you can afford it, have a growing family, and prefer more control over things like maintenance and repairs.

Meanwhile, an attached home may be a better option if you’re looking for something closer to urban amenities and don’t mind sharing maintenance and repair responsibilities with your neighbors.

No matter which type of home you choose, make sure to do your research so you can find the perfect fit for your family.

Louie Missap

I'm a real estate blogger and writer. I love helping people learn about the home buying and selling process. I've been through the process myself, and I know how confusing it can be. I'm here to help make it easier for everyone!

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