Man holding keys to his new home

Home Sweet Home: A Guide to Choosing the Right Type of House

February 20, 2024

Learn about several housing options and which one might be right for you.

Are you thinking about buying your first home? With so many options available, it’s important to carefully consider your needs and financial situation in order to make the best choice. Whether you’re looking for a single-family home, a townhouse, or a condo – or even a green home – we’ll give you the information you need to make a confident and informed decision. We’ll also look at the pros and cons of buying, building, and fixing up a house.

3 Types of Housing

Do you enjoy doing yardwork or prefer the ease of condo life? Maybe you’re looking for a fixer-upper? Here are six popular types of homes to choose from.

  1. Single-Family Houses

These one-unit structures have open space on all four sides and are not attached to any other building. Single-family houses come in many different styles and sizes, giving you more options when searching for the house that suits you best.

Single-family houses typically come with more living and outdoor space, allowing you to spread out and enjoy more privacy. What’s more, you will have more control over the property, so you can make almost any changes or renovations you see fit. Because they have the potential to appreciate in value, these types of houses are a good investment.

While detached houses tend to offer the highest level of independence in terms of enhancing the buildings or the property that comes with them, these houses may not provide you with access to many of the features and facilities commonly found in condo and townhouse communities. In addition, prices of detached houses vary widely depending on size and location.

  1. Condominiums

Condos are living spaces that may be detached or attached to one another to make up a larger building. They may offer amenities like a pool and gym. The condominium or homeowners association – COA or HOA – is made up of all of its owners and determines rules, regulations, and monthly assessment fees. When living in a condo, owners must pay monthly condo assessment fees, which are in addition to the monthly mortgage payment and which may be higher than those for townhouses.

Condominiums offer a low-maintenance approach to homeownership and resemble rental apartments in appearance. They tend to be more cost-effective than townhouses because they do not come with the land on which they’re built and generally cost less than a detached house.

  1. Townhouses

A townhouse is typically two stories tall and connected to similar houses in a row. It may also come with an attached garage and a yard. When you purchase a townhouse, you not only own the dwelling itself but also the land it stands on. It’s important to note that the responsibility for maintaining the exterior of the townhouse falls on the homeowner. This type of house is ideal for people who want to be involved in maintaining their property, but don’t want the added burden of caring for a large plot of land.

Townhouses offer more living space than a condo, but less space and privacy than a single-family house. Like condos, townhouses are generally more affordable than detached houses and can be a good choice for first-time buyers.

3 Homebuying Strategies

If you’re a first-time buyer looking to purchase a home, it’s essential to determine the kind of property that best meets your needs. Let’s look at some advantages and disadvantages of buying a move-in-ready house, constructing a new home, or renovating a fixer-upper.

  1. Buy a Move-In-Ready House

As the name implies, a move-in ready house is a home that is ready for immediate occupancy without requiring any major repairs or renovations. The main advantage of this type of home is convenience, as you can move in quickly and easily without having to deal with the hassle and stress of living in a construction zone. Additionally, the condition of the house is already known, so there are no surprises or unexpected expenses.

However, move-in ready houses are generally more expensive than fixer-uppers and may not offer as much customization. There may also be less potential for return on investment because the home is already in good condition.

  1. Build a Custom House

Building a custom house allows you to create a home that is uniquely tailored to your preferences and needs. The main advantage of this type of house is personalization, as you have full control over the design and layout of the home. Additionally, you can incorporate energy-efficient features and appliances, and no major repairs or renovations should be required for many years.

On the downside, building a custom house can be more expensive than buying an existing home, and the construction process can take longer and may be subject to delays due to various factors.

  1. Fix Up an Existing House

Renovating a fixer-upper can be a cost-effective way to create a personalized living space while potentially increasing the home’s value. The main advantage of this type of property is the lower cost, since fixer-uppers can be more affordable than move-in ready homes or new construction. Additionally, renovating a house allows for customization to your exact preferences and can provide a potential return on investment.

But keep in mind that unforeseen costs may arise during the renovation process, such as for structural issues or outdated electrical or plumbing systems. Renovating a house can also be time-consuming and stressful, particularly if major renovations are required and you have to live under construction.

Green Homes

Green homes are environmentally friendly homes that are designed and built with sustainability in mind. They aim to minimize their impact on the environment through the efficient use of resources, such as energy, water, and materials.

According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a green home is built out of materials from recycled products that are quickly renewable. These homes may use less water and other natural resources and less energy because they generate power from photovoltaic cells (solar panels) or wind turbines.

Green homes also have well-insulated windows and doors, and the paints and carpets used are all made without VOCs, volatile organic compounds. In addition, green households come with Energy Star-qualified lighting and appliances, and showerheads and toilets that use less water that ultimately save you more money. To ensure that the home you are purchasing meets sustainable construction standards, look for the USGBC’s LEED certification in a green home.

There are lots of benefits to owning a green home: Lower energy and utility costs, improved indoor air quality, reduced environmental impact, and increased home value and market appeal. However, they come with higher initial costs than traditional homes, they aren’t available in all areas, and your selection can be limited.

Continue Your Journey

Ready to take the next step toward homeownership? Contact us at to chat with one of our ENB Mortgage Experts and learn more about choosing the right house – and the right loan.