A single-family home (SFH) or a single-family residence (SFR) is a legal description for a structure that is maintained and used as a residence for one family or household.
It is also commonly referred to as a “single-family detached home.” This reinforces the definition that the unit is a stand-alone detached property from other homes. In other words, this home does not share common walls or a roof with any other dwelling.
An SFH or SFR has its own private and direct access to the street. It also maintains its own set of utilities, including heating, electricity, and water. Additionally, the home has a single kitchen. An additional kitchen to an in-law suite or carriage house may modify the home’s zoning classification.
What’s the difference between a single-family home, a semi-detached single-family home, and a townhouse?
A single-family is on its own, a parcel of land with no shared walls; a semi-detached house shares one common wall. Finally, a townhouse may have homes sharing a common wall on one or both sides.
The most significant advantage of a single-family dwelling is the extra privacy. Since the home is built on its own lot, you have more distance from your neighbors. You do not need to worry about your upstairs or downstairs neighbors stomping around or your neighbor next door playing loud music.
Additionally, a single-family residence may enjoy extra storage space, such as the use of an attic or a garage. You may also have the use of a front and back yard since most homes are situated on lots slightly larger than the house itself.
This private yard is vastly different from other types of residences. For example, a townhouse community may view a yard as a common area for all tenants maintained by the association. As a result, you may not be permitted to plant a garden or put up a shed on the common area.
Owning your own home, independent of a condominium board or a co-op board, also means that you have more say in the appearance and maintenance of your property. Of course, if you purchase a home in a community governed by a Homeowners Association, you may be subject to other rules and bylaws.
As with the responsibility of owning a home, a single-family home has its share of maintenance costs, which fall solely on the shoulders of the homeowner.
The price of a single-family home tends to be more expensive because you are purchasing an entire lot. This also means a larger down payment and closing costs due upfront. In addition, homeowners will need to budget for more considerable recurring expenses such as homeowner’s insurance and property taxes.