My First Property

Different Types Of Property Explained

There are various standard types of property on the market. Whilst these will be familiar to many, for first-time buyers, the distinction may not necessarily be clear or known. So here are the main types of housing and how you might hear them referred to:

Flat: Also called an apartment. These are the cheapest of the main property types, as of course they have (generally) the least space and are large communal properties where you have lots of neighbours, often above, below to the left and to the right.

Bungalow: A bungalow is a property that is all on one level - in other words there is no staircase and no upstairs. The plot of land a bungalow is on may therefore be larger than that of other housing in the same area, although that is not necessarily the case. Bungalows are great for those who have mobility issues and so would not be able to tackle stairs. Bungalows are often detached, although they may also be semi-detached (see below for details on these terms).

Terraced House: These are usually the cheapest of the three main types of housing in the UK. A terraced house is one that has a property on both the right and left side attached to it (the same bricks and mortar). As such there is quite a distinction between a mid-terrace house: one in the row of terraced houses, and an 'end of terrace' property which is at the right or left and therefore only has one adjoining neighbour: these are usually more expensive than mid-terrace properties.

Semi-detached House: A semi-detached house is one that is connected to a single other property. Therefore you will have one neighbour that is sharing the other half of the building. Semi-detached houses are usually more expensive than terraced houses, as the less neighbours you have the better, in terms of house prices at least! And, of course, there is more likely to be room to extend, and potentially larger grounds, with a semi than a terraced house.

Detached House: Detached houses are the most expensive of the main four types, and as the name implies, they are fully detached (separate) from other properties. As such you have no direct neighbours to worry about, and also detached houses tend to be on a larger plot of land than the other property types, and are often larger inside too. As a result of the above, detached houses are the priciest and normally outside the reach of the first time buyer in a given area, with people aspiring, one day, to own a detached house! Indeed, people often work in order from flat --> terraced --> semi-detached --> detached house as they "climb the property ladder", perhaps skipping out one of those steps along the way.

Of course, there are other types of property you might come across too - such as a maisonette (defined as "a set of rooms, typically on two storeys of a larger building and having a separate entrance" by the Oxford English Dictionary)... but if you know what the five above are, then you will have sufficient knowledge of the different house types in most instances when starting the exciting search for your first property.

Last update: 26 Mar 2015

More first-time house buying articles:

  1. Different Types of Property Explained
  2. The Downside of Renting versus Buying
  3. Buying Your First Home In London
  4. Saving Money Whilst Renting
  5. Renting with People you Don't Know


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