November 23, 2023

First-Time Homebuyers: What About a Semi-Detached House?

A semi-detached house can be the perfect solution for a first-time homebuyer in search of a cozy nest. Read on to discover its main advantages and help guide your efforts in finding a property suited to your needs.


What is a semi-detached house?

Unlike a single-family home, a semi-detached house shares a common wall with a similar dwelling. From the outside, it looks like two separate houses, each belonging to a different homeowner, have been attached to one other. However, each unit has its own entrance and lot.

As each residence is individually and independently managed, homeowners are free to make their own decisions. The exception is for work which may affect the common wall and lot[1].

Unlike a duplex, it does not classify as an income property[2].

5 advantages of a semi-detached house

Buying a semi-detached house has several advantages that often appeal to first-time homebuyers. Here are the main five.

1. Lower price

As a general rule, the price of a semi-detached house is less than that of a single-family house in a similar location. This difference is primarily due to the fact that both the residence and lot are smaller.

2. Reduced costs

In addition to a lower purchasing price, a semi-detached allows you to save money in the long term thanks to a reduction in energy costs. In other words, the common wall between the two residences reduces the need for heating. Sometimes it is also possible to split various expenses with the neighbour, such as snow removal or lawn maintenance.

3. Less outside maintenance

Since the lot of a semi-detached property is usually smaller, it needs less maintenance, saving you both time and money. This means less work shovelling snow, mowing the lawn, or raking the leaves.

4. More freedom than a condo

Unlike a condo, a semi-detached house has no – or few – common areas. Owners are therefore free to manage their home as they see fit, with the exception of elements that may affect the common wall and lot. Furthermore, a semi-detached house does not involve co-ownership fees and does not require any meeting of co-owners. Moreover, there are no building by-laws or restrictions that could affect your lifestyle [3] .

5. New homes are built to be soundproof

Soundproofing is one of the most common concerns when buying a semi-detached house. Although you are more likely to hear noise from your neighbour than in a single-family home, semi-detached homes are generally better soundproofed than you might think. This is all the more true for new home builds with thicker common walls[4].

Need help finding a property that suits your budget and lifestyle? Team up with a real estate broker and benefit from expert advice on buying your first home with the best conditions possible.

See also:

The pros and cons of buying a foreclosed property

Everything you need to know about selling without a legal warranty

Buying a house with your common-law partner

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