Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange => Topic started by: Snooks on September 01, 2013, 01:40:14 PM

Title: Types of houses
Post by: Snooks on September 01, 2013, 01:40:14 PM
Following on from a question in the "This might be a stupid question" thread I was wondering whether different styles of house are just called different things in different countries (try and I might I cannot work out what a duplex is)

In the UK you tend to get detached houses which can vary from a house on it's own plot of land with no neighbours to something in a residential street, like this:
(https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQmxUahfNd66MrVKfi41EK2xYW3gRQy1mCJZ6o2EJxIF3j-3qVMEA)

Then there are semi-detatched houses which are houses which share a common wall with one neighbour, like this:
(https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSnYQ1ail3FPwIm56L9qJBj9-nwv0JN8lWJe03wxaxQvdEECscR)

And terraced houses which are a row of houses all attached to each other, like this:
(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSt6hE6nFh6JgE8gRQZk-Tye1XR2V8xG3pqYO_iqhv3Re4dL-rdgw&reload=on)

There are also back-to-back houses which are like two rows of terrace houses stuck onto each other at the back (so you don't have a rear exit in the house).

I've left off flats (apartments) because I couldn't think how to find pictures to illustrate the different types.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Bellantara on September 01, 2013, 01:55:11 PM
Just a quick post. . . our US "duplex" is your UK semi-detached house. :)
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Snooks on September 01, 2013, 02:03:49 PM
Thanks!  I was thrown because I was sure I'd seen people talking about people having the upstairs of a duplex but maybe I just got confused.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Outdoor Girl on September 01, 2013, 02:21:16 PM
Canada here.  Detached, semi-detached, townhomes would be our terminology.  Duplex might be used but it is often more for a house that is split horizontally, rather than vertically.  So the ground floor is one unit and the upstairs is another.

There is also another type of home here called 'linked'.  These homes share a foundation but not walls.  Or if they share a wall, it is a garage wall, not a living space wall.  It is almost a cross between detached and semi-detached.  They are sometimes done to fit more homes into a neighbourhood that they are able to charge more for because they don't share walls but they are cheaper because the foundations aren't completely separate so there is less back filling to do.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on September 01, 2013, 02:38:39 PM
What you call terraced or townhouses, we call rowhomes.  I live in one, and I swear to FSM, I never will again.  All the downsides of home ownership AND apartment living.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Snooks on September 01, 2013, 03:58:09 PM
Diane - any silver lining in the fact it's not a back to back?
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Hmmmmm on September 01, 2013, 04:04:51 PM
Canada here.  Detached, semi-detached, townhomes would be our terminology.  Duplex might be used but it is often more for a house that is split horizontally, rather than vertically.  So the ground floor is one unit and the upstairs is another.

There is also another type of home here called 'linked'.  These homes share a foundation but not walls.  Or if they share a wall, it is a garage wall, not a living space wall.  It is almost a cross between detached and semi-detached.  They are sometimes done to fit more homes into a neighbourhood that they are able to charge more for because they don't share walls but they are cheaper because the foundations aren't completely separate so there is less back filling to do.

In Texas, we have the same definitions. The only other is condo. Here a town home means you own the land that the structure is built on. Condo means you don't own the land.

I've never heard of a linked house. That is interesting.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: camlan on September 01, 2013, 04:31:52 PM
Duplexes in the US can be split either horizontally or vertically. I live in a duplex--I have the entire second floor, plus a laundry room and storage area in the basement.

The house next door to mine is also a duplex, but split vertically.

In and around Boston, there are tri-plexes. I have no idea what the correct name for them is, as everyone just calls them "triple deckers." They are a three-family home with each "house" being one complete floor of the building.

(http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af241/TheLadyMacduff/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg) (http://s1012.photobucket.com/user/TheLadyMacduff/media/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: camlan on September 01, 2013, 04:34:23 PM
You will find a lot of row houses, or terraced houses, in the larger, older cities. New York City, Boston, Philadelphia.

A lot of the newer row houses are condos, or townhomes, and you'll find them anywhere a developer had enough land to put them on.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Snooks on September 01, 2013, 04:48:17 PM
Duplexes in the US can be split either horizontally or vertically. I live in a duplex--I have the entire second floor, plus a laundry room and storage area in the basement.

The house next door to mine is also a duplex, but split vertically.

In and around Boston, there are tri-plexes. I have no idea what the correct name for them is, as everyone just calls them "triple deckers." They are a three-family home with each "house" being one complete floor of the building.

(http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af241/TheLadyMacduff/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg) (http://s1012.photobucket.com/user/TheLadyMacduff/media/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg.html)

How do they access their house? It looks a bit like the large terraces here which are split into flats or purpose built flats which often have communal hallways.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: menley on September 01, 2013, 05:05:02 PM
Just a quick post. . . our US "duplex" is your UK semi-detached house. :)


Not always. It's one house, divided into two separate living spaces for two separate tenants. It may share a common entrance or it may have two separate entrances.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: camlan on September 01, 2013, 05:13:21 PM
Duplexes in the US can be split either horizontally or vertically. I live in a duplex--I have the entire second floor, plus a laundry room and storage area in the basement.

The house next door to mine is also a duplex, but split vertically.

In and around Boston, there are tri-plexes. I have no idea what the correct name for them is, as everyone just calls them "triple deckers." They are a three-family home with each "house" being one complete floor of the building.

(http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af241/TheLadyMacduff/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg) (http://s1012.photobucket.com/user/TheLadyMacduff/media/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg.html)

How do they access their house? It looks a bit like the large terraces here which are split into flats or purpose built flats which often have communal hallways.

If you look carefully at the front of the house under the porch, on the ground floor, you will see two front doors. One door will lead directly into the ground floor house, and the other will lead to a stairway that will allow the residents of the other floors entry.

I think the reason these weren't called apartments back in the day was that a good many of these buildings were owned by one of the residents. They'd either house family members on the other floors, or rent the other floors out. But they didn't have the feeling of an apartment, because of the separate entrances and they had windows on all four sides and because they were on their own tiny plot of land.

Most of these houses would have porches on the back of the house, with another stairway, either inside or outside. The porch would be used for hanging out laundry, and the back stairs would give the ice man a way to get the blocks of ice into the kitchens without it dripping all over the place.

Another variation on these was a two family house, with the ground floor being one "house" and the top two floors being the second "house." I lived in one of these for a while, but the top, or attic, floor had been made into its own space, being rented out as an apartment.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on September 01, 2013, 05:23:38 PM
Around here, the duplexes are often much older homes (late 19th, early 20th century) that have been altered.  In fact, when we were buying our realtor told us the county was offering an incentive to anyone who wanted to buy a duplex and convert it back to a single family home. 

In college I lived in an apartment that was a Victorian converted to a vertical duplex.  I loved it, because I love Victorians. :)

As for detached homes, I've also heard them called "Single family homes."
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: PastryGoddess on September 01, 2013, 05:32:46 PM
I live in an 80 year old Baltimore rowhome.  We've been fairly lucky with our neighbors as they are very quiet on both sides..

Out in the suburbs rowhomes are called townhomes, and their walls are a lot thinner than ours
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Thipu1 on September 03, 2013, 05:04:46 AM
There can be a slightly different meaning for some of the terms that have been discussed.

In Brooklyn, a duplex refers to an apartment with two floors and an interior stairway.

'Terrace houses' here are 'row houses'. The most common sort around here is the brownstone although these are also made of brick or limestone.  Some are single family homes and others are divided into apartments. These date from the later 19th or early 20th century.

We also have co-ops and condos.  These are usually in larger apartment buildings.  In a condominium, the occupant has purchased the physical apartment and can often make (legal) alterations to the space or sell it without approval from the board.

A co-op is a bit different.  Instead of buying the physical space, the occupant buys shares allocated to a specific apartment.  The size of the apartment decides the number of shares.  This means that the occupants of larger apartment have a little more say in things than the occupants of smaller apartments. In a co-op, occupants must clear renovations with a board elected from the occupants.  Also, if a resident decides to move, the new buyer must be approved by the board. 



Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: jilly on September 03, 2013, 08:35:44 AM
Duplexes in the US can be split either horizontally or vertically. I live in a duplex--I have the entire second floor, plus a laundry room and storage area in the basement.

The house next door to mine is also a duplex, but split vertically.

In and around Boston, there are tri-plexes. I have no idea what the correct name for them is, as everyone just calls them "triple deckers." They are a three-family home with each "house" being one complete floor of the building.

(http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af241/TheLadyMacduff/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg) (http://s1012.photobucket.com/user/TheLadyMacduff/media/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg.html)

In the UK these would be a masionette, a flat would have a shared front door, an apartment would be an upmarket flat. I have also seen a split level maisonette which was the top two floors of a three storey building with a private entrance.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: camlan on September 03, 2013, 08:40:35 AM
Duplexes in the US can be split either horizontally or vertically. I live in a duplex--I have the entire second floor, plus a laundry room and storage area in the basement.

The house next door to mine is also a duplex, but split vertically.

In and around Boston, there are tri-plexes. I have no idea what the correct name for them is, as everyone just calls them "triple deckers." They are a three-family home with each "house" being one complete floor of the building.

(http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af241/TheLadyMacduff/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg) (http://s1012.photobucket.com/user/TheLadyMacduff/media/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg.html)

In the UK these would be a masionette, a flat would have a shared front door, an apartment would be an upmarket flat. I have also seen a split level maisonette which was the top two floors of a three storey building with a private entrance.

Thank you so much! I now know what Agatha Christie and many other writers of her era were talking about when they describe someone as living in a "masionette." It was clear it wasn't a stand-alone house, but I had no idea what it was exactly.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Thipu1 on September 03, 2013, 09:55:18 AM
Maisonette also applies to semi-detached homes in the Midwest of the USA.  We have friends who live on Maisonette Street in Lansing, Michigan.   

In Brooklyn, these side-by-side homes who share a common wall are called semi-detached.  The open side usually has a driveway leading to a garage in the rear.  Most of these were built in the 1920s.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: K_Bear on September 03, 2013, 11:24:45 AM
Single family home. I grew up in one.

Duplex or twin or "Father-Daughter" houses (I heard this term while living in one in Lancaster, PA.). I have heard semi-detached for 2, 3, or 4 houses connected. A short row of homes connected.

And a row of connected either a rowhouse/home or townhouse. To me a rowhouse are the old, very narrow connected rows of homes in a city/town. I lived in one that is 100 years old and 13 feet wide for 15 years. I currently own a modern townhouse condo, only 12 years old. With a garage on the ground level floor. Much wider, modern, open, quieter, and more private than the rowhouse.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: WillyNilly on September 03, 2013, 03:26:19 PM
Maisonette also applies to semi-detached homes in the Midwest of the USA.  We have friends who live on Maisonette Street in Lansing, Michigan.   

In Brooklyn, these side-by-side homes who share a common wall are called semi-detached.  The open side usually has a driveway leading to a garage in the rear.  Most of these were built in the 1920s.

Hahahaha! In Queens we call them "attached" or "semi-attached" instead of detached.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: jedikaiti on September 03, 2013, 03:38:14 PM
I've heard townhomes and rowhouses used interchangeably. Usually no yard, but perhaps a little bit of fenced-in private space in back.

If it's one house split into 2 separate residences, or 2 houses with a common wall, I think of those as "duplexes".

I've lived in a "foursquare" - it's like 4 rowhomes, but in a square, rather than a row. Ours was something like this:

  __________
  |        |         |            Each unit had a "front door" on one side (Where the D's are in the pic).
D|        |         | D        The other exterior wall had a door and patio with access to our yard.
  |---------------|            I think the neighbors in back each had their own, but we shared the "front" yard
D|        |         | D        with the front neighbors.
  |____|_____|

Parking Area

      Road


In New Orleans, some folks have a "double shotgun" - it's a duplex in the shotgun house style. I think of a "single family home" as one that is fully detached from all residences, and typically has at least a token yard, but in my house hunting I've seen plenty of condos (like an apartment, but you own instead of renting) referred to as "single family homes".
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: hobish on September 03, 2013, 03:53:21 PM
There can be a slightly different meaning for some of the terms that have been discussed.

In Brooklyn, a duplex refers to an apartment with two floors and an interior stairway.

'Terrace houses' here are 'row houses'. The most common sort around here is the brownstone although these are also made of brick or limestone.  Some are single family homes and others are divided into apartments. These date from the later 19th or early 20th century.

We also have co-ops and condos.  These are usually in larger apartment buildings.  In a condominium, the occupant has purchased the physical apartment and can often make (legal) alterations to the space or sell it without approval from the board.

A co-op is a bit different.  Instead of buying the physical space, the occupant buys shares allocated to a specific apartment.  The size of the apartment decides the number of shares.  This means that the occupants of larger apartment have a little more say in things than the occupants of smaller apartments. In a co-op, occupants must clear renovations with a board elected from the occupants.  Also, if a resident decides to move, the new buyer must be approved by the board.

This. Condos and co-ops denote a form of ownership, not a style of home. A home can be a condo and be a townhouse, which is something I get to explain to people who should know better at least once a week.

Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: shhh its me on September 03, 2013, 04:46:27 PM
There can be a slightly different meaning for some of the terms that have been discussed.

In Brooklyn, a duplex refers to an apartment with two floors and an interior stairway.

'Terrace houses' here are 'row houses'. The most common sort around here is the brownstone although these are also made of brick or limestone.  Some are single family homes and others are divided into apartments. These date from the later 19th or early 20th century.

We also have co-ops and condos.  These are usually in larger apartment buildings.  In a condominium, the occupant has purchased the physical apartment and can often make (legal) alterations to the space or sell it without approval from the board.

A co-op is a bit different.  Instead of buying the physical space, the occupant buys shares allocated to a specific apartment.  The size of the apartment decides the number of shares.  This means that the occupants of larger apartment have a little more say in things than the occupants of smaller apartments. In a co-op, occupants must clear renovations with a board elected from the occupants.  Also, if a resident decides to move, the new buyer must be approved by the board.

This. Condos and co-ops denote a form of ownership, not a style of home. A home can be a condo and be a townhouse, which is something I get to explain to people who should know better at least once a week.

A completely detached home can be a condo.  There are everything from "Air space condos"* you own the paint and the air space enclosed y the walls but not the actual walls* to "site condos" * you own everything but the land your condo is on* and possible more that I'm not aware of.  And condos  can have a deed clause needed approve purchasers as well and/or ban renters.

In my area the top bottom homes are called 2 family and side by side with a shared wall are called duplexes.  About 1/2 the time each side of a duplex is owned by separate people I have never seen a 2 family homes upper/lower owned by 2 people.  There are condos built as uppers and lowers though.

One tv apartment I wondered about is the one from "Everybody hates Chris" the family talks about go upstairs but it looked like they went to the buildings public hallway then upstairs to their bedrooms?  have I just been perceiving  that wrong?
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: hobish on September 03, 2013, 05:04:41 PM

^^^ Oh, those, too; but people don't seem to want to argue about them as much. Any condo is a form of ownership; it has nothing to do with the kind of house it is. For some reason, though, we hear a lot of, "It's not a condo, it's a duplex!"  :D
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Thipu1 on September 03, 2013, 06:27:59 PM

^^^ Oh, those, too; but people don't seem to want to argue about them as much. Any condo is a form of ownership; it has nothing to do with the kind of house it is. For some reason, though, we hear a lot of, "It's not a condo, it's a duplex!"  :D

Where do you live?  Here, I have never heard of a condo that is a detached, single family home. They're always apartments. 

Also, I've never heard a two story building divided into two apartments called a duplex.  If there's one apartment on each floor, they're called 'floor-throughs'.

That's one of the things I love about E-Hell.  There's always something interesting to learn.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: rosegirl on September 03, 2013, 06:40:45 PM
Canada here.  Detached, semi-detached, townhomes would be our terminology.  Duplex might be used but it is often more for a house that is split horizontally, rather than vertically.  So the ground floor is one unit and the upstairs is another.

There is also another type of home here called 'linked'.  These homes share a foundation but not walls.  Or if they share a wall, it is a garage wall, not a living space wall.  It is almost a cross between detached and semi-detached.  They are sometimes done to fit more homes into a neighbourhood that they are able to charge more for because they don't share walls but they are cheaper because the foundations aren't completely separate so there is less back filling to do.

That's a bit misleading. I don't know what part of Canada you're in, but I'm guessing Ontario? There's a very big chunk of Canada that calls them duplexes, regardless of how they're split.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: PastryGoddess on September 03, 2013, 06:41:19 PM
I think hobish is trying to say that the people she works with should know that a condo is a type of ownership and a duplex is a type of home.  They don't mean the same thing although can can be used to describe the same home.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: shhh its me on September 03, 2013, 06:56:03 PM
I think hobish is trying to say that the people she works with should know that a condo is a type of ownership and a duplex is a type of home.  They don't mean the same thing although can can be used to describe the same home.

I was just added a few other ways people get confused.   
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: hobish on September 03, 2013, 07:00:19 PM
I think hobish is trying to say that the people she works with should know that a condo is a type of ownership and a duplex is a type of home.  They don't mean the same thing although can can be used to describe the same home.

I was just added a few other ways people get confused.

Right. I didn't mean to make it more so! :)

I am in New Jersey, but work for a national company. Single family homes can sometimes be condos, they are not common except in Michigan and more recently in California. It's just that a lot of people assume connected housing = condo and it isn't really the case. I hope that makes more sense.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Outdoor Girl on September 03, 2013, 07:13:26 PM
I used to live in a condo townhouse, as opposed to a freehold townhouse.  The advantages were that the buy in price was less, but you had to pay monthly condo fees and you didn't own the land the house was on.  If the condo board was good and proactive, it was great.  If it wasn't, not so much.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: perpetua on September 04, 2013, 04:24:47 AM
Interesting thread, especially about the duplexes; I've often wondered what constituted one of those. I had in my head some kind of arrangement like our semi-detached houses.

I live in a large Edwardian house (UK, so about 100 years old I guess) which while originally would have been one dwelling for probably a well-off person/family, has later been divided into four flats. Two on the ground floor and two on the first floor. It has a shared front door to the street and a communal hallway, with the internal doors to flats A&B on the ground floor then the doors to flats C&D on the first at the top of the stairs. This kind of place is very common here especially in cities.  What would this kind of building be called in the US? I get the feeling they wouldn't be "apartments", because they're not in a block. When I think "apartment block" I think like the place they lived in Friends. Purpose-built, in other words, rather than a house converted into two or more dwellings. We just call them 'flats'.

There are different kinds of flats though - the one I live in are 'converted flats', often referred to in sales particulars as 'ground floor conversion' or 'first floor conversion' etc. There are also purpose built flats in developments or tower blocks. 'Apartment' hasn't really made it over here, except to describe very high end luxury flats.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Thipu1 on September 04, 2013, 06:36:30 AM
This is where things get interesting. 

In our building, most of the units are duplexes (an apartment on two floors with an interior stairway).  Our particular apartment is all on one floor.  That's a flat.  You can't really call a unit like a duplex a 'flat' because it isn't flat. 

Real Estate ads will mention if a unit for sale or rent is a conversion.  Sometimes, they will specifically mention a 'Parlor Floor Conversion'.  When a brownstone was first built as a single family home, the parlor floor was the formal section of the house.  It usually had higher ceilings and more elaborate woodwork than the rest of the building.  That often makes it more desirable as a conversion. 
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: camlan on September 04, 2013, 07:11:06 AM
Interesting thread, especially about the duplexes; I've often wondered what constituted one of those. I had in my head some kind of arrangement like our semi-detached houses.

I live in a large Edwardian house (UK, so about 100 years old I guess) which while originally would have been one dwelling for probably a well-off person/family, has later been divided into four flats. Two on the ground floor and two on the first floor. It has a shared front door to the street and a communal hallway, with the internal doors to flats A&B on the ground floor then the doors to flats C&D on the first at the top of the stairs. This kind of place is very common here especially in cities.  What would this kind of building be called in the US? I get the feeling they wouldn't be "apartments", because they're not in a block. When I think "apartment block" I think like the place they lived in Friends. Purpose-built, in other words, rather than a house converted into two or more dwellings. We just call them 'flats'.

There are different kinds of flats though - the one I live in are 'converted flats', often referred to in sales particulars as 'ground floor conversion' or 'first floor conversion' etc. There are also purpose built flats in developments or tower blocks. 'Apartment' hasn't really made it over here, except to describe very high end luxury flats.

I've lived in a large, old house converted to apartments. At least in my area, there's no real specific term for that type of building. We just called it a "house converted to apartments." And the individual units were called apartments, because in general in the US, "apartment" is used for any individual dwelling unit contained within a larger building with multiple dwelling units. (That's a dwelling unit that is rented. The same dwelling unit in a larger building where the unit is owned and not rented is usually called a condo.)

In the New England area, the only "apartments" that don't always get called apartments would be two and three family homes. But a house converted to three apartments wouldn't be called a three family home, but a house converted to apartments.

I think it is because the two and three family homes tend to have an entire floor for each unit, and there is more space and they feel more like a house than an apartment. In my area, the two and three family homes tend to be older, built before 1930 or 1940, so they have large kitchens, pantries, laundry rooms, separate living and dining rooms, built-in china closets, things like that. While most apartments tend to have combined living/dining rooms with an open kitchen stuck in a corner of the room, few to no built-ins, no laundry hook-ups and less storage space overall.

To further muddy the waters, you wouldn't call a house converted to apartments an "apartment building." That is used for a building that was specifically designed to have multiple apartments in it.

I've also lived in an "apartment complex" that was a series of small buildings, each building having 4 apartments in it.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: camlan on September 04, 2013, 07:16:41 AM

In my area the top bottom homes are called 2 family and side by side with a shared wall are called duplexes.  About 1/2 the time each side of a duplex is owned by separate people I have never seen a 2 family homes upper/lower owned by 2 people.  There are condos built as uppers and lowers though.

One thing I've recently seen in the greater Boston area is that the two and three family homes are starting to be divided up for sale. That's the upper/lower situation you mention.

So it's a sort of condo situation in that you aren't buying the entire building, just one floor and probably a bit of the basement for storage and a laundry room. But the 2 or 3 owners would have to deal with things like the roof and some of the plumbing and electrical as a group. They'd have to share the driveway (there's no on-street parking in the winter in a lot of Massachusetts towns), and work out who owns the yard and is responsible for its upkeep.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: scotcat60 on September 04, 2013, 08:08:03 AM
We also have bungalows in the UK, detached houses with no upstairs, "chalet bungalows" which have a room upstairs, studio flats, livingroom/ bedroom in one with a separate kitchen and bathroom, and bedsits, a single room for sleeping, eating, cooking, and access to a bathroom/loo outside of that room.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Thipu1 on September 04, 2013, 09:35:10 AM
In NYC, a small unit, basically a single room with a galley kitchen and separate bathroom, is called a studio. 

Just out of curiosity, would something like this be called a 'bed-sitter' in the UK?
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: perpetua on September 04, 2013, 09:43:56 AM
In NYC, a small unit, basically a single room with a galley kitchen and separate bathroom, is called a studio. 

Just out of curiosity, would something like this be called a 'bed-sitter' in the UK?

If the kitchen/bathroom are in the same unit as the bedroom/living area, ie behind your front door, and for your use only then yes, that's a studio here too. If you have to go outside your living area to shared facilities then that would be a bedsit.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Outdoor Girl on September 04, 2013, 12:20:02 PM
I've heard those called 'Bachelor's apartments' here.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: shhh its me on September 04, 2013, 12:39:40 PM
Interesting thread, especially about the duplexes; I've often wondered what constituted one of those. I had in my head some kind of arrangement like our semi-detached houses.

I live in a large Edwardian house (UK, so about 100 years old I guess) which while originally would have been one dwelling for probably a well-off person/family, has later been divided into four flats. Two on the ground floor and two on the first floor. It has a shared front door to the street and a communal hallway, with the internal doors to flats A&B on the ground floor then the doors to flats C&D on the first at the top of the stairs. This kind of place is very common here especially in cities.  What would this kind of building be called in the US? I get the feeling they wouldn't be "apartments", because they're not in a block. When I think "apartment block" I think like the place they lived in Friends. Purpose-built, in other words, rather than a house converted into two or more dwellings. We just call them 'flats'.

There are different kinds of flats though - the one I live in are 'converted flats', often referred to in sales particulars as 'ground floor conversion' or 'first floor conversion' etc. There are also purpose built flats in developments or tower blocks. 'Apartment' hasn't really made it over here, except to describe very high end luxury flats.

In this area they are calling multifamily homes.  The happened differently here for the most part there are mini mansions in declining areas so the conversion can be really quirky. Ive seen a "private kitchen" at the top of the stairs outside of the apartment. I the areas where costs are rising the mini mansions tended to to converted into offices or shops because they are on/very close to main st.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: WillyNilly on September 04, 2013, 04:42:13 PM
One thing I've recently seen in the greater Boston area is that the two and three family homes are starting to be divided up for sale. That's the upper/lower situation you mention.

So it's a sort of condo situation in that you aren't buying the entire building, just one floor and probably a bit of the basement for storage and a laundry room. But the 2 or 3 owners would have to deal with things like the roof and some of the plumbing and electrical as a group. They'd have to share the driveway (there's no on-street parking in the winter in a lot of Massachusetts towns), and work out who owns the yard and is responsible for its upkeep.

In NYC this would be a co-op (short for cooperative). Each person/family owns their space (apartment) but they collectively own the building together. Many co-ops are proper apartment buildings with tens to dozens to hundreds of apartments, but its not all that uncommon for there to be only 2-4 apartments because its a smaller converted building. While uber technically a co-op owner doesn't own their apartment specifically but rather shares in the building the reality is each person owns their apartment, then each owner is cooperatively responsible for the overall plumbing, heat, building upkeep, landscaping, etc.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Snooks on September 05, 2013, 04:16:27 PM
Duplexes in the US can be split either horizontally or vertically. I live in a duplex--I have the entire second floor, plus a laundry room and storage area in the basement.

The house next door to mine is also a duplex, but split vertically.

In and around Boston, there are tri-plexes. I have no idea what the correct name for them is, as everyone just calls them "triple deckers." They are a three-family home with each "house" being one complete floor of the building.

(http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af241/TheLadyMacduff/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg) (http://s1012.photobucket.com/user/TheLadyMacduff/media/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg.html)

In the UK these would be a masionette, a flat would have a shared front door, an apartment would be an upmarket flat. I have also seen a split level maisonette which was the top two floors of a three storey building with a private entrance.

I think the definition of a maisonette (for housing benefit type things) is a residence with a private internal stairway.  So a my friend and I both lived in maisonettes, my friend's maisonette was open the front door from outside (no shared entryway), go up stairs then all the rooms were on one level.  There was a flat underneath my friend's flat which had it's own entrance.  My maisonette has the same deal with the downstairs flat but you come in my front door, go straight up the stairs then my living room, kitchen and bathroom are on one floor with the bedrooms upstairs again.  A maisonette could also be on the ground floor with a second floor via private stairs but then with another residence on top of it (who have to go up two storeys to get to their flat or maisonette).
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: jilly on September 06, 2013, 02:40:04 PM
Duplexes in the US can be split either horizontally or vertically. I live in a duplex--I have the entire second floor, plus a laundry room and storage area in the basement.

The house next door to mine is also a duplex, but split vertically.

In and around Boston, there are tri-plexes. I have no idea what the correct name for them is, as everyone just calls them "triple deckers." They are a three-family home with each "house" being one complete floor of the building.

(http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af241/TheLadyMacduff/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg) (http://s1012.photobucket.com/user/TheLadyMacduff/media/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg.html)

In the UK these would be a masionette, a flat would have a shared front door, an apartment would be an upmarket flat. I have also seen a split level maisonette which was the top two floors of a three storey building with a private entrance.

I think the definition of a maisonette (for housing benefit type things) is a residence with a private internal stairway.  So a my friend and I both lived in maisonettes, my friend's maisonette was open the front door from outside (no shared entryway), go up stairs then all the rooms were on one level.  There was a flat underneath my friend's flat which had it's own entrance.  My maisonette has the same deal with the downstairs flat but you come in my front door, go straight up the stairs then my living room, kitchen and bathroom are on one floor with the bedrooms upstairs again.  A maisonette could also be on the ground floor with a second floor via private stairs but then with another residence on top of it (who have to go up two storeys to get to their flat or maisonette).

estate agents take a wider view then as they showed me loads of ground floor maisonettes that were on one level, each unit just had a private entrance. My Dad is still convinced they are flats and a maisonette is actually over two floors  with another unit above / below and can have communal entrances. estate agents call that a split level flat  ::) I go with estate agent definitions when home hunting.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Bethczar on September 06, 2013, 07:07:19 PM
Having grown up in a ranch house, I have to ask: how common are they overseas? I never see/hear references to them. Are they an American thing?
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: jilly on September 07, 2013, 10:01:22 AM
Having grown up in a ranch house, I have to ask: how common are they overseas? I never see/hear references to them. Are they an American thing?

what are they? what do they look like?
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: PastryGoddess on September 07, 2013, 11:21:05 AM
Having grown up in a ranch house, I have to ask: how common are they overseas? I never see/hear references to them. Are they an American thing?

what are they? what do they look like?

A ranch house is a 1 story house that has most of the common areas up front and the private areas in the back.  I grew up in a ranch house with a walk out basement.  It may or may not have an attached garage at the side of the house

(http://www.thehouseplanshop.com/images/house-plan-images/Ranch-House-Plan2.jpg)
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: jilly on September 07, 2013, 11:41:43 AM
That sounds / looks like a nice bungalow http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-38461430.html Do you have bungalows in the US?
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: PastryGoddess on September 07, 2013, 12:03:44 PM
Yes but here bungalows can be 1 story, 1.5 stories, or 2 stories.

This is a typical bungalow in the US (http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/images/stories/large/2009/01/13/bungawa.jpg)
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Thipu1 on September 07, 2013, 05:16:26 PM
Having grown up in a ranch house, I have to ask: how common are they overseas? I never see/hear references to them. Are they an American thing?

what are they? what do they look like?

A ranch house is a 1 story house that has most of the common areas up front and the private areas in the back.  I grew up in a ranch house with a walk out basement.  It may or may not have an
attached garage at the side of the house

(http://www.thehouseplanshop.com/images/house-plan-images/Ranch-House-Plan2.jpg)

I wouldn't call that a Ranch house.  Ranch Houses are all on one floor.  They're long and low.  The house in the picture is perky and sweet but it wouldn't be considered a Ranch House.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: PastryGoddess on September 07, 2013, 10:56:09 PM
^^^ I just picked the first thing I saw.  Although this house is all on one level. 
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: jilly on September 08, 2013, 07:55:05 AM
Bungalows in the UK can have rooms in the roof space making them 2 stories, not sure about 1.5 though  ???. So a ranch house is a very specific type of bungalow?
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Thipu1 on September 08, 2013, 09:27:43 AM
Bungalows here tend to be rather boxy while a ranch house is very low.  Even the windows tend to be horizontal. 

A common type of bungalow is known as the Cape Cod or Saltbox. 
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: PastryGoddess on September 08, 2013, 12:26:30 PM
Bungalows here tend to be rather boxy while a ranch house is very low.  Even the windows tend to be horizontal. 

A common type of bungalow is known as the Cape Cod or Saltbox. 

Yeah,

A ranch house tends to be long and low to the ground. From the front they look longer than they are tall.
A bungalow tends to be boxy.  From the front they look just as tall as they are wide, so more like a square. 
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: jilly on September 08, 2013, 12:45:40 PM
We don't have that distinction in the UK they are all just bungalows.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: MummyPumpkin83 on September 08, 2013, 09:48:19 PM
on realestate.com.au the types of property you can select are
House
Apartment/Unit
Townhouse
Villa
Acreage
Rural
Retirement Living

A house would be what in the UK is a bungalow, they could be single level, split level, or double storey.

An apartment/unit would be in a block of units/apartments. Usually with shared laundry facilities - though many now have a small internal laundry

Townhouse and Villa tend to be used interchangeably. Though Technically I think a townhouse is more like a row house, and villas are a groups of houses. At the moment we live in a 2 storey "Villa" we are joined by the garage wall to our neighbour, and they are joined to their neighbour (ie: a row of 3 houses) and across the driveway is another row of 3 houses. So we all shared the one driveway for 6 villas (some people would call these townhouses).

Retirement living is a small complex of villas, usually single storey, that may or may not be joined to one neighbour. Usually you have to be over 55 to live/purchase in one of these complexes.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Thipu1 on September 09, 2013, 09:35:18 AM
In the US retirement living can have any number of configurations.

In our neighborhood, there are two.  Both are apartment buildings. 

Where MIL lives, there are several apartment buildings of four floors.  There are also individual one floor units with space between.  These are connected by a common, covered walkway. 

In places like 'The Villages' in Florida, 'retirement living' can mean unconnected individual houses and can spread over a considerable distance.  In 'The Villages' a common way of getting around is the golf cart.     
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Snooks on September 10, 2013, 05:45:57 AM
<snip>
A house would be what in the UK is a bungalow, they could be single level, split level, or double storey.
<snip>

In the UK a bungalow is a single story building.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Hmmmmm on September 10, 2013, 07:56:30 PM
This is where things get interesting. 

In our building, most of the units are duplexes (an apartment on two floors with an interior stairway).  Our particular apartment is all on one floor.  That's a flat.  You can't really call a unit like a duplex a 'flat' because it isn't flat. 

Real Estate ads will mention if a unit for sale or rent is a conversion.  Sometimes, they will specifically mention a 'Parlor Floor Conversion'.  When a brownstone was first built as a single family home, the parlor floor was the formal section of the house.  It usually had higher ceilings and more elaborate woodwork than the rest of the building.  That often makes it more desirable as a conversion.

Back onto duplex, because the other defintions were so different for me.

In my area, I've always thought of a duplex as as a single house that is divided into two apartments and each has it's own exterior entrance. A triplex has 3 apartments and 3 separate entrances, and a quadplex has four. And most duplexes in my city are one story. There might be a few two story duplexes but they would usually be divided vertically so both have 2 stories and ground floor exterior entrances.

Here, most condos have some type of interior hallway that is used to access the apartment, but some have exterior entrances. The apartment owners do not own the land underneath and have less control over what changes can occur.

Patio home and townhomes here normally have shared walls, and small private patios. There is an association that owners pay dues to to pay for common areas, exterior landscaping and even things like repainting all of the exterior units.  I always thought of patio homes being one story and townhouses being 2 but that could have been my quirk.

There is one area in our town with single story homes, with no shared walls and each has a very small garden. But they are marketed as condo's because the owners do not own the land and can not make changes to the exterior and they pay a high monthly maintenance cost of exterior landscaping and care.

Another popular type home here is a Zero lot line home. Basically, a single family residence with no shared walls but the home takes up most of the lot. There is also no common association.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: silvercelt on September 12, 2013, 04:06:23 PM
Here is a picture of a typical ranch house.  They can be longer, and deeper, but in Ohio where I grew up (and even in VA where I am now), this is a pretty standard ranch-style house.

(http://0.tqn.com/d/architecture/1/0/4/k/000001111986Small.jpg)
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: jaxsue on September 26, 2013, 11:49:24 PM
I think hobish is trying to say that the people she works with should know that a condo is a type of ownership and a duplex is a type of home.  They don't mean the same thing although can can be used to describe the same home.

I was just added a few other ways people get confused.

Right. I didn't mean to make it more so! :)

I am in New Jersey, but work for a national company. Single family homes can sometimes be condos, they are not common except in Michigan and more recently in California. It's just that a lot of people assume connected housing = condo and it isn't really the case. I hope that makes more sense.

I am in NJ, too (hi, neighbor!). I call homes that aren't owned, but rented, as rentals. I don't recall single-family homes being called condos in MI (grew up there) at all. Is this relatively new?
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: jaxsue on September 26, 2013, 11:51:25 PM
Interesting thread, especially about the duplexes; I've often wondered what constituted one of those. I had in my head some kind of arrangement like our semi-detached houses.

I live in a large Edwardian house (UK, so about 100 years old I guess) which while originally would have been one dwelling for probably a well-off person/family, has later been divided into four flats. Two on the ground floor and two on the first floor. It has a shared front door to the street and a communal hallway, with the internal doors to flats A&B on the ground floor then the doors to flats C&D on the first at the top of the stairs. This kind of place is very common here especially in cities.  What would this kind of building be called in the US? I get the feeling they wouldn't be "apartments", because they're not in a block. When I think "apartment block" I think like the place they lived in Friends. Purpose-built, in other words, rather than a house converted into two or more dwellings. We just call them 'flats'.

There are different kinds of flats though - the one I live in are 'converted flats', often referred to in sales particulars as 'ground floor conversion' or 'first floor conversion' etc. There are also purpose built flats in developments or tower blocks. 'Apartment' hasn't really made it over here, except to describe very high end luxury flats.

IME we would call those apartments. Apartments don't have to be those big developments. YMMV.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: camlan on September 27, 2013, 06:39:36 AM
I think hobish is trying to say that the people she works with should know that a condo is a type of ownership and a duplex is a type of home.  They don't mean the same thing although can can be used to describe the same home.

I was just added a few other ways people get confused.

Right. I didn't mean to make it more so! :)

I am in New Jersey, but work for a national company. Single family homes can sometimes be condos, they are not common except in Michigan and more recently in California. It's just that a lot of people assume connected housing = condo and it isn't really the case. I hope that makes more sense.

I am in NJ, too (hi, neighbor!). I call homes that aren't owned, but rented, as rentals. I don't recall single-family homes being called condos in MI (grew up there) at all. Is this relatively new?

It's new to me. I recently found out that some condo developments have single family houses in them. It's still a condo, because you only own the house and not the land it is built on, and you pay condo fees for upkeep and maintenance of the grounds. I'm not completely sure how it all works, but yes, there are single family condo buildings out there.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: jaxsue on September 27, 2013, 12:49:27 PM
I think hobish is trying to say that the people she works with should know that a condo is a type of ownership and a duplex is a type of home.  They don't mean the same thing although can can be used to describe the same home.

I was just added a few other ways people get confused.

Right. I didn't mean to make it more so! :)

I am in New Jersey, but work for a national company. Single family homes can sometimes be condos, they are not common except in Michigan and more recently in California. It's just that a lot of people assume connected housing = condo and it isn't really the case. I hope that makes more sense.

I am in NJ, too (hi, neighbor!). I call homes that aren't owned, but rented, as rentals. I don't recall single-family homes being called condos in MI (grew up there) at all. Is this relatively new?

It's new to me. I recently found out that some condo developments have single family houses in them. It's still a condo, because you only own the house and not the land it is built on, and you pay condo fees for upkeep and maintenance of the grounds. I'm not completely sure how it all works, but yes, there are single family condo buildings out there.

I have heard of that setup for some retirement places. Interesting how housing has evolved!
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: perpetua on October 04, 2013, 03:46:45 AM
OK, here's one loosely related to the thread title but I didn't want to start its own thread. I see this crop up all the time.

When I read here about people who live in a flat (apartment) having a complaint about one of the neighbours, the stock reply is always 'if it's a rental, complain to their landlord'. But how on earth do you know who their landlord is? I know who *my* landlord is, ie, the person who owns the flat in which I live and to whom I pay rent, but I don't have the first clue who owns any of the other flats in my building, in which these hypothetical problem tenants might live. The person who owns my flat wouldn't know who owned all the others either, so complaining to him would do no good.

I don't understand how this works in the US. Can someone explain? Is a landlord a different thing, like perhaps a 'freeholder' is in the UK (a freeholder is generally a company or individual who owns the outsides of the building but not the flats in it, and is responsible for the upkeep of the exterior etc) ? Do flats in apartment blocks have the same landlord? Are they owned by the same people (and how can anyone afford that?!) It really puzzles me.



Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on October 04, 2013, 03:49:38 AM
OK, here's one loosely related to the thread title but I didn't want to start its own thread. I see this crop up all the time.

When I read here about people who live in a flat (apartment) having a complaint about one of the neighbours, the stock reply is always 'if it's a rental, complain to their landlord'. But how on earth do you know who their landlord is? I know who *my* landlord is, ie, the person who owns the flat in which I live and to whom I pay rent, but I don't have the first clue who owns any of the other flats in my building, in which these hypothetical problem tenants might live. The person who owns my flat wouldn't know who owned all the others either, so complaining to him would do no good.

I don't understand how this works in the US. Can someone explain? Is a landlord a different thing, like perhaps a 'freeholder' is in the UK (a freeholder is generally a company or individual who owns the outsides of the building but not the flats in it, and is responsible for the upkeep of the exterior etc) ? Do flats in apartment blocks have the same landlord? Are they owned by the same people (and how can anyone afford that?!) It really puzzles me.

Typically, a single building full of apartments (around three to six or so) will be owned by a single entity.  Individual apartments aren't typically owned, just rented by the building's owner, so it's no more expensive than owning any other building of its size and location (with the exception of any licenses needed to run an apartment building, of course.)
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: perpetua on October 04, 2013, 04:01:19 AM
Right. Yeah, it's completely different here, mostly. There are four flats in my house and they're all individually owned by different people. It's very common to buy a flat rather than rent it (you may then rent it out to someone else, of course; renting is common, but you're often renting from the person who owns that individual flat). We generally don't tend to have 'building management', because the flats in a building are usually separate entities. Some of the larger purpose built blocks of flats might do but in most there isn't and there certainly wouldn't be a caretaker (super) like you see in American apartment blocks. There'll probably be a freeholder who owns the outside of the building but not having bought a flat myself I don't know how this works.

I did once live in a street where one huge corporation had bought up almost all the houses in it and owned all the flats (there were three flats in each house), so we all had the same corporate landlord. That's a very rare exception though.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on October 04, 2013, 04:11:25 AM
Right. Yeah, it's completely different here, mostly. There are four flats in my house and they're all individually owned by different people. It's very common to buy a flat rather than rent it (you may then rent it out to someone else, of course; renting is common, but you're often renting from the person who owns that individual flat). We generally don't tend to have 'building management', because the flats in a building are usually separate entities. Some of the larger purpose built blocks of flats might do but in most there isn't and there certainly wouldn't be a caretaker (super) like you see in American apartment blocks. There'll probably be a freeholder who owns the outside of the building but not having bought a flat myself I don't know how this works.

I did once live in a street where one huge corporation had bought up almost all the houses in it and owned all the flats (there were three flats in each house), so we all had the same corporate landlord. That's a very rare exception though.

I should note that for my teenage years, I lived in three different apartments, and we didn't have supers, nor was the landlord a common sight.  Heck, I only even met one of the landlords, and that's just because he also happened to be Mom's boss (he also owned an eatery, and she worked there.)
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: camlan on October 04, 2013, 05:40:18 AM
In general, in the US, "apartment buildings," however many individual units there are, have rental units. Could be a two-family house where both units are owned by the same person and rented out, could be a high-rise apartment building with hundreds of units owned by a big corporation and managed by a property management company. In an apartment situation, you and the other tenants have the same landlord.

If the units are individually owned, they are condos. Some people live in the condo they own, some people rent them out. I think the key difference is that in the US, a condo building will have a condo association, or homeowners' association. So if you are renting and there is a problem, you contact your landlord, and the landlord should contact the condo association in your behalf. If you own and live in your unit, you can contact the condo board directly.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: lowspark on October 04, 2013, 09:46:52 AM
OK, here's one loosely related to the thread title but I didn't want to start its own thread. I see this crop up all the time.

When I read here about people who live in a flat (apartment) having a complaint about one of the neighbours, the stock reply is always 'if it's a rental, complain to their landlord'. But how on earth do you know who their landlord is? I know who *my* landlord is, ie, the person who owns the flat in which I live and to whom I pay rent, but I don't have the first clue who owns any of the other flats in my building, in which these hypothetical problem tenants might live. The person who owns my flat wouldn't know who owned all the others either, so complaining to him would do no good.

I don't understand how this works in the US. Can someone explain? Is a landlord a different thing, like perhaps a 'freeholder' is in the UK (a freeholder is generally a company or individual who owns the outsides of the building but not the flats in it, and is responsible for the upkeep of the exterior etc) ? Do flats in apartment blocks have the same landlord? Are they owned by the same people (and how can anyone afford that?!) It really puzzles me.

Usually it's a company that owns and manages a large apartment complex. Here in Houston, you could rent an apartment in a complex with maybe a couple hundred (or more, or less) apartments that is owned, along with several other aparment complexes, by a large company.

And yes, they own the entire thing, outside grounds and all the apartments. In this case, when someone says "talk to the landlord" what you would really do is talk to the people in the office whose job it is to manage the complex. They are employed by the company and their job entails showing and renting apartments in addition to scheduling repairs, managing maintenance workers, etc. And handling tennant complaints.

Here's an example complex I just chose at random but it should give you an idea of how an apartment complex might be set up.
http://gables.com/find/apartment/71-gables-citywalk-waterford-square-houston-tx (http://gables.com/find/apartment/71-gables-citywalk-waterford-square-houston-tx)
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: lowspark on October 04, 2013, 09:59:25 AM
Regarding condos (condominiums) they are relatively new here (Houston) depending on what you mean by relatively.   ;D

Back when I was in high school I took a bus tour on a trip to New York City and I remember the tour guide noting that people actually owned (as opposed to rented) the apartments they were living in in some of the more exclusive high rises.

Own an apartment! Never heard of such a thing! (This was late 70s.)

Some time in the mid 80s, the condo craze here in Houston went viral. Suddenly it was The Thing To Do to own an apartment (which was now called a condo or sometimes, a townhouse) instead of renting it. A bunch of apartment complexes (most of which were having trouble getting renters) suddenly turned into condos and were selling off each individual residence. And people bought! It was crazy as many of these were places that you wouldn't want to rent but the idea of owning it! well, that was a completely different prospect.

In the end, so many of those ended up getting foreclosed on and many got turned back into apartments. However, the ultimate result was that condos were here to stay. There were/are plenty of nice ones and I know people who live in some.

So, 70s, never heard of it. 80s, all the rage. 90s & beyond, common, representing a certain percentage of available housing along with free standing houses, apartments, duplexes, etc.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Thipu1 on October 04, 2013, 01:01:10 PM
Co-op here in a fairly large NYC building. 

The building is owned by the people who have bought the shares alloted to the apartment but administration of the property is entrusted to a management firm.  Our monthly maintenance payments are sent to the management firm but the checks are payable to the Tenant's Association.

Every complaint goes through a board of Tenant-Owners.  Problems of behavior are addressed directly by the board. Structural problems are directed by the board to the management firm.

Under certain circumstances, tenant-owners may sub-let apartments but they need the approval of the board to do so.  Everyone who lives here knows exactly where to go with a complaint. 
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: exitzero on October 04, 2013, 01:22:49 PM
Duplexes in the US can be split either horizontally or vertically. I live in a duplex--I have the entire second floor, plus a laundry room and storage area in the basement.

The house next door to mine is also a duplex, but split vertically.

In and around Boston, there are tri-plexes. I have no idea what the correct name for them is, as everyone just calls them "triple deckers." They are a three-family home with each "house" being one complete floor of the building.

(http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af241/TheLadyMacduff/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg) (http://s1012.photobucket.com/user/TheLadyMacduff/media/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg.html)

I just came across this thread, and I need to correct you. Around here they are called "triple deckahs"! :)
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: camlan on October 04, 2013, 05:46:14 PM
Duplexes in the US can be split either horizontally or vertically. I live in a duplex--I have the entire second floor, plus a laundry room and storage area in the basement.

The house next door to mine is also a duplex, but split vertically.

In and around Boston, there are tri-plexes. I have no idea what the correct name for them is, as everyone just calls them "triple deckers." They are a three-family home with each "house" being one complete floor of the building.

(http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af241/TheLadyMacduff/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg) (http://s1012.photobucket.com/user/TheLadyMacduff/media/bee80375-5423-4463-91b5-d9363b7a2222_zps45ab346c.jpg.html)

I just came across this thread, and I need to correct you. Around here they are called "triple deckahs"! :)

I was translating for the non-Bostonians amongst us.  ;)
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: EllenS on October 04, 2013, 06:18:32 PM
Many rental properties (single family homes or apartment complexes) in the US are managed under contract to a "Management Company" that serves one or many properties. 

This makes sense for an individual property owner, if you do not have the skills to physically maintain the property yourself, or live far away.  For a large building or complex that may have individual units owned by different people, or which is owned by silent investors, the Management Company will do all the day-to-day stuff for a % of the rent.

In that case, any complaints or problems about neighbors would be directed first to the management company, rather than your or the neighbor's landlord.
Title: Re: Types of houses
Post by: Snooks on October 06, 2013, 04:31:45 PM
I own a flat in the UK and DH owned one before we moved in together and they've both had the same set up.  We have a management company that runs the "Residents Association" which collects our ground rent and management fee (which is collected monthly, ours is very low but my old boss was paying 100+ a month for hers), as the owner of the property you get invited to the AGM where you decide how that money is going to be spent - in reality they send out a budget and you agree it.  The budget covers things like gardening, general maintenance such as painting the outside of the block, insurance etc.  As the management company holds information for all the landlords so if you want to complain you go to them and they investigate the issue and contact the other landlord where necessary.  So if we were renting we'd go to our landlord (or letting agent) they'd go to the management company with the complaint and it would come back down the chain.

The management company also deals with general maintenance (repointing brickwork, fixing paving stones), currently there's talk of seeing if we can go through the management company to get a good deal on double glazing if enough owners want to contribute.  That wouldn't come out of company funds but they would centralise the process.