This page is designed to clearly explain the various types of property classifications you see in advertising and MLS so the buyer can narrow down their search to match their lifestyle and usage requirements.
This is the most commonly accepted description of a detached home, sometimes known by the Europeans as a villa. Single-family homes can be 1 storey or 2 storeys+, i.e. the home has an upstairs also. Generally, Fort Myers-Cape Coral homes are 1 storey and incredibly spacious compared to their European counter-parts. 2 Storeys are becoming more popular as families seek more living space but they are not generally the norm in this area of Florida.
Single-family homes can be located in a private residential street in a neighbourhood or within in a designated gated community governed by a Home Owner’s Association which is managed and run by the home owners as a private community with its’ own rules and regulations.
A condominium, or condo for short, is the term generally used to describe an apartment building containing multiple dwellings. Each home is owned by an individual owner and the shared common elements such as the elevators, gardens, pool etc. are jointly owned by all owners in the building.
The home owners manage the community much like a business with a board of directors made up of home owner elected residents who oversee the upkeep of the community and administer the yearly budget. Condo homeowners pay a set monthly fee to the community to cover the running costs of owning a home in the community. This monthly fee usually covers standard home owner bills such as cable TV service, water, sewer, trash collection, garden/pool maintenance, etc. Also included in the monthly fee will be insurance for the building structure and roof of each building.
Condominiums can be as low as 2 storeys high and increase to skyscraper heights
With the typical bills associated with home ownership being paid for by the community monthly fee, the home owner only has to pay their personal bills such as electric and internet personally and separate from the monthly fee. This ease of ownership makes condo living a great choice for home owners looking for property that pretty much takes care of itself.
Due to ownership within a condominium community being of the shared type, condominiums are subject to specific home owner rules and bylaws which are usually extensive and must be adhered to by all homes owners and their guests/tenants.
This type of home seems to be gaining popularity among buyers as a coach home is almost a hybrid between a house and a condominium. It can also be a bit confusing for buyers when searching for this type of property as they are sometimes known as a detached villa in MLS and agent marketing descriptions. A coach home is a 2 storey building usually combining anywhere from 4 to 8 units, equally distributed across each storey. Each unit comes with its’ own private front door entrance and garage so it is very like living in a single family home. Coach homes are usually larger too in terms of interior living space so ideal for buyers wanting a bit more room to reside in.
Coach homes are usually located in private gated communities where the common areas and elements are shared and owned by all the home owners. This makes the coach home living lifestyle very much like living in a condominium community with rules, monthly fees and bylaws for everyone to adhere to.
A relative newcomer to the Florida property market. Townhouses are terraced in design with the dwelling usually spanning 2 or more storeys, although not usually more than 3. Townhouses are great at providing lots of living space, usually at a lower cost than a single-family home. They are typically situated within gated communities with shared common areas and subject to Home Owner Association rules and bylaws.
If you come across a property described as a duplex, it usually means a property divided into 2 residences, each with their own private entrance. Duplexes can be located in a residential street in a neighbourhood or within a gated community, although it is more common to find them in a residential street.