Most people are familiar with duplexes and townhomes. However, there's a third type of shared house called a twin home that has characteristics of both but may provide a cheaper way into homeownership. Here's more information about twin homes and why you may want to consider buying one.
A Single Family Home in a Duplex Style
Twin homes are similar to duplexes in that the two homes share a center wall and the building that houses them typically has the same architectural characteristics. However, whereas duplexes share a lot, the land a twin home sits on is divided in two to provide each home with its own lot.
Essentially, a twin home is two single-family houses stuck together and designed to look like one home. This means you still have the freedom to do whatever you want to your house without having to get your neighbor's permission, though you may want to check your deed and homeowner's association for restrictions.
There are quite a few benefits to opting for a twin home. They tend to be cheaper, since constructing them doesn't take much more effort and resources than building a single-family house. They also offer a sense of security, since your neighbor is literally on the other side of the wall, which makes this living arrangement a good option for single people and those who travel often.
Twin homes can also be a good choice for multigenerational families who choose to live together to save money, providing privacy to parents and adult children but still letting them remain close to tend to each other's needs. Lastly, you can further save money by sharing services with your neighbor. For instance, since you're on the same lot, you could pay half the cost of a landscaper who'll take care of both your yards.
Things to Consider
As with any piece of real estate, there are some drawbacks to twin homes. Each home is typically sold separately, so you could end up living next to the best neighbor in the world or one straight out of your nightmares. Additionally, your neighbor will have just as much freedom to customize his or her home as you do, which can be problematic because what they do can have a negative impact your home's market value. And while it's great to always have someone around for safety and security reasons, it may not be so awesome if you like your privacy or are easily bothered by noise.
A twin home can be a great starter home for a couple or a wonderful abode for a millennial with limited funds. If this type of home sounds interesting to you, contact a real estate agent in your area for more information.
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