Oddly enough, a patio home doesn’t have to have a patio. Typically these structures fall under the category of an attached residence – dwellings that share walls with other units. Since the homeowners share walls, there is often a fee collected by an association to cover the upkeep of the building’s exterior and outdoor areas.
Depending upon the association, patio homes can be considered a condo or a townhome. Condos often do not own the land directly under the property, and can share multiple walls similar to an apartment. A townhome does own the land under the property, and often has multiple levels with units sharing the side walls.
Like townhomes, patio homes (also known as garden or cluster homes) do own the land underneath the property and often share only one wall with a neighbor. The main difference between townhome and patio home, is that patio homes are on a single level. (In some parts of the country a patio home can have one and a half stories, but no more.) Therefore the main living space doesn’t have stairs. A patio home can have a similar layout of a ranch home, with smaller square footage.
Since a patio home is on one level, they’re a great choice for buyers who dislike stairs. Those who may have mobility issues or very young children may require a home with no steps that could be a tripping hazard. They’re very popular for those who are downsizing and many 55+ communities have patio homes.
In many communities the association takes care of the landscaping, making patio homes a great “lock and leave” option. No need to spend your weekends cutting grass or asking a neighbor to help out when you’re out of town.
Check out more about Patios Homes here at Bankrate.