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What is a Single Family Home?

What is a Single Family Home?

What Is a Single-Family Home? Let us define it!

People often ask, “What is a single-family home?” The answer to what is a single-family home may seem easy enough to understand on the surface. This article takes the question “What is a single-family home, and breaks it down to specific characteristics. The phrase “single-family home” is something you’ll see a lot when browsing the real estate market on the internet looking for homes, such as homes for sale in Corpus Christi. A single-family house seems easy to define: It’s single-family housing, right? Well, not exactly. There are specific requirements that a structure must meet to be classified as a single-family home. Let us take a closer look behind the question, “What is a single-family home?”

What are those requirements? Let’s take a look.

What is a single-family home?

The proper legal description for this type of home is “a certain structure used and maintained as a single dwelling unit.” So what, in fact, is a single dwelling unit? A single dwelling unit has these characteristics in common:


Related Article: Condo vs. Townhouse


 Land: A single-family home is built on its’ own parcel of land and does not share the property with any other dwellings. The land around the structure can only be used for “private use” by the owner.

what is a single family homeSingle Family Homes have no common walls: The home must stand-alone, unattached from any other property. For a home to be classified as a single-family home, the home can’t share any interior walls or a roof with other dwelling type structure.

Utilities: The home can be serviced only one set of utilities—and may not be shared in any way with another dwelling or residence. The utilities include electricity, heating, and cooling, water, or any other necessary service. 

Entrance and exit: What is a single-family home is further defined by having its own direct and private access to a street. If we take an apartment, for example, it has a lobby and hallways which lead to street access. This is yet another characteristic that answers the question “What is a single-family home.”

A Single Family Home has a single kitchen: A SF home has only one kitchen. The homes’ zoning classification may be altered if a kitchen were added to a mother-in-law suite. Be sure to understand the zoning laws of your local area.

One owner:  The owner of a SF home must have an undivided interest that represents a singular family, person, or household. Multiple families can not have a permanent interest in the home or the functions it provides. The home is built as the residence for one family, person, or household, whose owner has an undivided interest in the unit.



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What are the benefits of buying a single-family home

Your budget and needs will determine the type of house you will buy. SF  homes are perfect for those who want to enjoy privacy. Because single-family homes are built on its’ own parcel of land, there will be varying amounts of distance between you and your neighbors. 

Another benefit that a SF home has to offer is more storage space or the ability to create more storage space. It may have a storage shed or at least a place to put one. It also may have an attic and garage for your private use. Condos and apartments, as well as other types of multi-family homes, share these spaces. 

More single-family home benefits

what is a single family homeThese types of homes are built using a variety of architectural styles with different living emphasis and floor-plans. They include ranch style, Colonial, Cape Cod, Modern Contemporary, just to name only a few.

Town homes, apartments, and condos are all fairly straightforward as they have to be for their intended applications and offer little in the way of architectural diversity. 


Though many people prefer or wish to aspire to SF home living, it does also have its’ downsides. While owning a SF home will allow you to live more independently, there are a few factors that can be seen as downsides. Condos, townhouses, or multi-family properties may come with amenities such as pools or gyms, open and available to the various owners; SF homes generally don’t have these types of community amenities.

 These homes tend to cost a little more, mostly because you are purchasing a lot or parcel of land. So you can expect to need a bigger down payment as well as paying more for things such as property insurance, property taxes, general interior and exterior maintenance, and higher closing costs. 

Searching for Single-Family homes

When you begin a search of real estate listings on Zillow for you and your family, you’ll notice a zoning letter in the house description.

A single-family house will be zoned “R,” which means “Residential,” followed by a number. An R1 rating indicates that the land only allows for one home.

Multi-family residences generally have an R2 rating, which in turn means two residential dwellings can be on the same property. These are also known as a duplex. The R3 rating allows for multi-family units such as condominiums or apartments.


Conclusion: Owning a home has always been a part of the American dream. If you are looking to buy a home or have more questions about residential real estate don’t hesitate to contact Benjamin Ross Realtor at We hope you have found this article both interesting and informative.

What is a Single Family Home?
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What is a Single Family Home?
Have you ever asked exactly "What is a single family home?" This article will give you the breakdown of what is a single family home. Very interesting read!
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