The differences between semi-detached and detached homes

November 6, 2014

You're sure to see the terms "semi-detached" or "detached" when looking for a home to buy. Although these two styles of homes vary in price as well as availability, what are some of the differences? We'll tell you.

The differences between semi-detached and detached homes

Definitions of the two styles

A detached home is a stand-alone, one-family residence, while a semi-detached house is one that is joined to another by a common wall that they share.

  • Semi-detached properties are often mirror images of each other.

What do you get with each style?

Whether you purchase a detached or semi-detached home, you'll be getting the title deed to the building and the land it is situated on.

  • The title for the semi-detached property only includes your half of the building and the land it sits on.

If you're looking for privacy and your own space, plus room to grow a family, a detached home is preferable.

  • You don't have to consult with neighbours regarding structural alterations or maintenance issues.
  • You're less affected by noise and are less likely to disturb the neighbours, as well.

Because building costs for semi-detached homes are lower than those for detached houses, you tend to get more space for your money.

  • Heating and cooling costs for semi-detached homes are typically lower due to the shared wall.
  • The expenditure on maintenance can potentially be divided into two, as can the actual work involved.

Do prices vary?

If you're financially prepared to buy a home, generally semi-detached properties cost less than detached houses.

  • Semi-detached dwellings often appeal to young couples who are looking for a family home but are unwilling or unable to pay the prices asked on many detached houses.
  • More potential buyers are looking to buy a semi-detached home, according to one recent home-buying report.

As with any property, location is extremely important.

  • You may find that a detached home in a less desirable area costs less than a semi-detached house in a more sought-after neighbourhood.

Which style of home is more easily available?

Depending on where you live, certain housing styles are more readily available.

  • The 2011 Canadian census recorded the number of detached houses throughout the country at over seven million, or 55 per cent of all types of structural dwellings, while the quantity of semi-detached homes was over six hundred thousand, or 4.9 per cent of the total. However, the number of semis in Toronto increased from 139,350 in 2006 to 153,105 in 2011, the latter figure representing 7.7 per cent of the total number of dwellings in the city.

Personal preference

Choosing to buy a semi-detached or detached home is very much a matter of personal preference. It largely depends on what your needs are and how much you can spend on the purchase.

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