Types of Residences: Single-family homes, apartments, and multi-family homes

Townhomes, Condos, Duplexes/Quadplexes, Single-Family Homes, Apartments, and Multi-Family:
Part 3

We will be going over single-family and multi-family homes in this article, previously we went over condos, apartments, townhomes and duplexes.

Single-family homes

Single-family homes are the norm in real estate and property ownership. These are detached units that do not share anything like A/C or heating, yards or other necessities. While there can be condo townhomes and condo apartments, there cannot be condo-style single family homes. Single-family homes also can be placed on any size of property, which means that single-family homes come in all shapes and sizes. Single-family homes must however have direct access to a street or roadway, meaning that unlike apartments where your unit lets out into a parking lot, a single-family house must always be on a street or road of some kind. These homes are a type of structure, but legally speaking it does not refer to who lives there or the occupants.

In fact, it is illegal under fair housing law to advertise the type of occupants that the property is for, i.e. you can’t say it is perfect for a nuclear family. But still, you are limited under city ordinance to having 2 or less last names in the residence. For anyone who values privacy, a serious advantage is that the entire property that the structure is built on is private, and the protections that come with that apply. Most other types of structures do not have that level of privacy for the yard and the property.


For apartments the cost of upkeep and repairs are always paid for by the landlord and not the tenant. Condos with HOA’s will also sometime pay for maintenance. The apartments will cover things like A/C, heating, windows, dishwashers, washer/dryers and anything else that is essential to the function of the home. The cost for these repairs tend to be quite a bit, meaning that before buying single family homes you should look into the quality of these items. But on the flipside, the apartments and HOA’s only make those repairs because they make more money than they spend on the whole, otherwise they wouldn’t do it.

So you take the risk, but you also don’t have to pay even when they don’t break. There are also quite a few different types of homes. There are cottages, villas, bungalows and mansions. Cottages are smaller cozy buildings, and sometimes refer to older buildings. Mansions have specialty rooms (theatre, library, etc.), servant quarters, multiple bedrooms, and in general are luxury units. Bungalows are single story buildings. There are a lot more than just those however.

Multi-family homes

Multi-family units do not just refer to the structure, unlike single-family. Multi-family units come in all shapes and sizes. In San Marcos, multi-family homes can refer to anything that does not have ordinance restrictions. But generally multi-family would refer to something like a duplex, triplex or quadplex. For the most part anything that has multiple units and is a rental is technically a multi-family, because it will have no restrictions on occupancy, and multiple units on the property. Apartments also qualify as multi-family. It is mainly just a qualification for the different types. Mainly rentals, because an owned property would not have any kind of restrictions on who can live there. It can be a townhome as well, or a semi-detached building that only shares one wall or an amenity or two.

If you’re looking for houses for sale and rent in San Marcos TX, consider visiting our residential listing page to see what we have to offer!
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