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Single-family Home: Is It Right for You?

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

Single-family homes are the most common housing style in the United States. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, from the total number of new privately owned housing units that were authorized in 2016, 78% are single-unit houses, as compared to multi-family homes, which comprise 22% of the total. This figure shows that Americans still prefer bigger yards, more privacy, and more room for stuff and family activities.

If you are in the planning stages of finding or building a home, here are a few questions to ask yourself to find out if a single-family home is the right choice:

  • How much is my budget? A townhouse or an attached unit home is definitely a lot cheaper than a single-family unit.
  • Do I want to live closer to town or in a secluded village? Consider the time it takes for you to travel from/to work. Or your social life. If you are single, you would probably enjoy living near an area where there are a variety of dining and entertainment options. Having a family and kids would need a different perspective of things.
  • Which state do I live in? Based on the chart below, each state quite has a different breakdown of the most common types of housing units. It shows their physical attributes and potential for new housing. The chart is based on the 2014 American Community Survey data about the characteristics of occupied housing.

  • Do I have more time and budget for the upkeep of my home? Some people prefer to live in condos, co-ops, and townhomes because they are low maintenance and would not require the usual more expensive and time-consuming details single-family homes require.

Tip: Having the right policy can pay for basic landscaping, repairs, and property taxes.

Single-family house building has reached its highest level in February 2017 since October 2007. If you are joining the bandwagon and intend to rent out your place, consider getting a comprehensive policy that can ease the burdens associated with marketing and advertising, tenant screening and selection, rent collection, and regular inspections.

  1. John Billows says:

    My wife and I are thinking about moving to a new home that is a bit smaller now that are children have moved out. I like your advice to take into account the time it takes to travel to work for where you should live. I want a smaller home, but I don’t want to have to travel an hour or more both ways to work everyday. Thanks for the great advice.

  2. My husband and I have been looking into getting a single family home for the start of our marriage but we aren’t sure how we know that this is the right option for us. You mentioned how you should ask questions like how is my budget and what area is best for me. I will have to keep those in mind so that me and my husband can ask each other the questions.

  3. My parents are considering moving into a smaller single family home now that their kids have moved out. I appreciate your comment about how you need to plan your budget when moving. Thanks for mentioning how you should think about the type of social life you want near you.

  4. Max says:

    My wife and I want to get into our first single family home, and I think that being able to decide what we want before we start looking would be smart for us. I’m glad that you talked about being able to live closer to town or in a little village type thing. We’re working on growing our family, and I think that being able to consider that while we’re looking for a home could be good for us as well. I’m going to have to look into some different options for single family homes and see what I can find!

  5. Larry Weaver says:

    I appreciate the comment of finding a place that has a lot of dining and entertainment options when looking for a location. My family loves being near options for entertainment such as a movie theater or places for family fun, so we’re thinking of being close to a town. We would really like to find some nice single family homes for sale near a town with things to do for the whole family.

  6. Sam Wilkins says:

    I like how you talked about single people needing a different dynamic than a family. My husband and I are now expecting and were thinking of moving. We’ll have to look into the areas around us to find a quieter area that would work better for us.

  7. I like your point about how your social life should affect your decision. My husband and I are looking at single-family homes because I just found out that I’m pregnant. I do enjoy being close to friends, but I also want my baby to have more space, so maybe a single-family home is still a good choice.

  8. Thanks for helping me learn more about single family homes. I’m glad that you mentioned that you should consider the time it would take for you to travel to work or other social activities. I can definitely see the benefits of this, especially if it can affect your decision on what house to buy. It sounds like it could be good to research and learn more about the surrounding area of a home, so that you can learn more of what the community is like.

  9. Kyle Wayne says:

    I like that you mentioned how you should consider your budget before going with a single family home. My brother is looking to buy a new home but hasn’t made a decision about it yet. I’ll be sure to talk to him about knowing his budget before making a decision.

  10. Sariah says:

    There’s a growing number of single-family homes and so I’m thinking if that’s a better option for our family. I like how you stressed the role time and budget have for the upkeep of the home. I’ll have to think about it as I’m not sure if I will be able to maintain the property with 2 kids that I have to take care of every day.

  11. Interesting to know that single-family homes are currently the most common housing style in the United States. I’ll be sure to take your queries into account. As for now, I would love to get one for us. A secluded life with her seems nice. Thanks for the tips! I’ll try reaching out to a broker for help too.

  12. Dan Moller says:

    Our family is coming from renting an apartment in the city, and I would tell you it’s not the greatest ways of having a home except for a few conveniences. After my wife’s pregnancy, we found that the thin concrete walls that separate us from our neighbors aren’t enough to insulate us from the noise which caused our baby to wake up in the most inconvenient of times. Choosing a single-family type of residence is a matter of getting what’s best for our child’s growth and development. In addition, I’m a man who likes his privacy, and if that comes at a price, I’d still be happy to pay.

  13. It is interesting to hear that single family homes have reached a new high in early 2017. My wife and I are looking for anything that could work for us to move into. This seems like a great option for young couples.

  14. Marcus says:

    I loved when you mentioned how you should take the time to consider how long it takes you to drive to work from the house you want to get. It is important to remember that doing this can help you find a single family home that is the most convenient for you. We are planning on moving to a bigger house for our growing family, so I’m glad I found your post.

  15. Wow, it’s interesting to see that 78% of homes bought in 2016 were single family homes. My wife and I are looking at different options, and have been trying to decide between a townhome or a single family home. Thanks for the information-I’ll be sure to keep it in mind while we work out a decision!