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A townhouse, townhome, town house, or town home, is a type of terraced housing. A modern townhouse is often one with a small footprint on multiple floors. In a different British usage, the term originally referred to any type of city residence (normally in London) of someone whose main or largest residence was a country house.
Historically, a townhouse was the city residence of a noble or wealthy family, who would own one or more country houses in which they lived for much of the year. From the 18th century, landowners and their servants would move to a townhouse during the social season (when major balls took place).
In the United Kingdom, most townhouses are terraced. Only a small minority of them, generally the largest, were detached, but even aristocrats whose country houses had grounds of hundreds or thousands of acres often lived in terraced houses in town. For example, the Duke of Norfolk owned Arundel Castle in the country, while his London house, Norfolk House, was a terraced house in St James's Square over 100 feet (30 meters) wide.[ citation needed ]
In the United States and Canada, a townhouse has two connotations. The older predates the automobile and denotes a house on a small footprint in a city, but because of its multiple floors (sometimes six or more), it has a large living space, often with servants' quarters. The small footprint of the townhouse allows it to be within walking or mass-transit distance of business and industrial areas of the city, yet luxurious enough for wealthy residents of the city.
Townhouses are expensive where detached single-family houses are uncommon, such as in New York City, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Montreal, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.
Rowhouses are similar and consist of several adjacent, uniform units originally found in older, pre-automobile urban areas such as Baltimore, Philadelphia, Richmond, Virginia, Charleston, South Carolina, Savannah, Georgia and New Orleans, but now found in lower-cost housing developments in suburbs as well. A rowhouse is where there is a continuous roof and foundation, and a single wall divides adjacent townhouses, but some have a double wall with inches-wide air space in between on a common foundation. A rowhouse will generally be smaller and less luxurious than a dwelling called a townhouse.
The name townhouse or townhome was later used to describe non-uniform units in suburban areas that are designed to mimic detached or semi-detached homes. Today, the term townhouse is used to describe units mimicking a detached home that are attached in a multi-unit complex. The distinction between living units called apartments and those called townhouses is that townhouses usually consist of multiple floors and have their own outside door as opposed to having only one level and/or having access via an interior corridor hallway or via an exterior balcony-style walkway (more common in the warmer climates). Another distinction is that in most areas of the US outside of the very largest cities, apartment refers to rental housing, and townhouse typically refers to an individually owned dwelling, with no other unit beneath or above although the term townhouse-style (rental) apartment is also heard for bi-level apartments.
Townhouses can also be "stacked". Such homes have multiple units vertically (typically two), normally each with its own private entrance from the street or at least from the outside. They can be side by side in a row of three or more, in which case they are sometimes referred to as rowhouses. A townhouse in a group of two could be referred to as a townhouse, but in Canada and the US, it is typically called a semi-detached home and in some areas of western Canada, a half-duplex.
In Canada, single-family dwellings, be they any type, such as single-family detached homes, apartments, mobile homes, or townhouses, for example, are split into two categories of ownership:
Condominium townhouses, just like condominium apartments, are often referred to as condos, thus referring to the type of ownership rather than to the type of dwelling. Since apartment style condos are the most common, when someone refers to a condo, many erroneously assume that it must be an apartment-style dwelling and that only apartment-style dwellings can be condos. All types of dwellings can be condos, and this is therefore true of townhouses. A brownstone townhouse is a particular variety found in New York.
In Asia, Australia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, the usage of the term follows the North American sense. Townhouses are generally found in complexes. Large complexes often have high security, resort facilities such as swimming pools, gyms, parks and playground equipment. Typically, a townhouse has a strata title; i.e., a type of title where the common property (landscaped area, public corridors, building structure, etc.) is owned by a corporation of individual owners and the houses on the property are owned by the individual owners.
In population-dense Asian cities dominated by high-rise residential apartment blocks, such as Hong Kong, townhouses in private housing developments remain almost exclusively populated by the very wealthy due to the rarity and relatively large sizes of the units. Prominent examples in Hong Kong include Severn 8, in which a 5,067-square-foot (470.7 m2) townhouse sold for HK$285 million (US$37 million) in 2008, or HK$57,000 (US$7,400) per square foot, a record in Asia, and The Beverly Hills, which consists of multiple rows of townhouses with some units as large as 11,000 square feet (1,000 m2). Commonly in the suburbs of major cities, an old house on a large block of land is demolished and replaced by a short row of townhouses, built 'end on' to the street for added privacy.
An apartment, flat, or unit is a self-contained housing unit that occupies part of a building, generally on a single storey. There are many names for these overall buildings. The housing tenure of apartments also varies considerably, from large-scale public housing, to owner occupancy within what is legally a condominium, to tenants renting from a private landlord.
A housing estate is a group of homes and other buildings built together as a single development. The exact form may vary from country to country.
A semi-detached house is a single family duplex dwelling house that shares one common wall with the next house. The name distinguishes this style of house from detached houses, with no shared walls, and terraced houses, with a shared wall on both sides. Often, semi-detached houses are built in pairs in which each house's layout is a mirror image of the other's.
A condominium is an ownership regime in which a building is divided into multiple units that are either each separately owned, or owned in common with exclusive rights of occupation by individual owners. These individual units are surrounded by common areas that are jointly owned and managed by the owners of the units. The term can be applied to the building or complex itself, and is sometimes applied to individual units. The term "condominium" is mostly used in the US and Canada, but similar arrangements are used in many other countries under different names.
A terrace, terraced house (UK), or townhouse (US) is a kind of medium-density housing that first started in 16th century Europe with a row of joined houses sharing side walls. In the United States and Canada these are known as row houses or row homes, commonly found in older cities such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Toronto.
A studio apartment, or studio condo also known as a studio flat (UK), self-contained apartment (Nigeria), efficiency apartment, bed-sitter (Kenya), or bachelor apartment, is a small dwelling in which the normal functions of a number of rooms – often the living room, bedroom, and kitchen – are combined into a single room.
A housing cooperative, or housing co-op, is a legal entity, usually a cooperative or a corporation, which owns real estate, consisting of one or more residential buildings; it is one type of housing tenure. Typically housing cooperatives are owned by shareholders but in some cases they can be owned by a non-profit organization. They are a distinctive form of home ownership that have many characteristics that differ from other residential arrangements such as single family home ownership, condominiums and renting.
A single-family detached home, also called a single-detached dwelling,single-family residence (SFR) or separate house is a free-standing residential building. It is defined in opposition to a multi-family residential dwelling.
A three-decker, triple-decker triplex or stacked triplex, in the United States, is a three-story (triplex) apartment building. These buildings are typically of light-framed, wood construction, where each floor usually consists of a single apartment, and frequently, originally, extended families lived in two, or all three floors. Both stand-alone and semi-detached versions are common.
A duplex house plan has two living units attached to each other, either next to each other as townhouses, condominiums or above each other like apartments. By contrast, a building comprising two attached units on two distinct properties is typically considered semi-detached or twin homes but is also called a duplex in parts of the Northeastern United States, Western Canada, and Saudi Arabia.
Housing in Japan includes modern and traditional styles. Two patterns of residences are predominant in contemporary Japan: the single-family detached house and the multiple-unit building, either owned by an individual or corporation and rented as apartments to tenants, or owned by occupants. Additional kinds of housing, especially for unmarried people, include boarding houses, dormitories, and barracks.
In real estate, a condominium conversion or condo conversion is the process of entitling an income property or other lands currently held under one title to convert from sole ownership of the entire property into individually sold units as condominiums. Such entitlement is generally derived from approvals granted by state/provincial and/or local municipal authorities.
Multifamily residential is a classification of housing where multiple separate housing units for residential inhabitants are contained within one building or several buildings within one complex. Units can be next to each other, or stacked on top of each other. A common form is an apartment building. Many intentional communities incorporate multifamily residences, such as in cohousing projects. Sometimes units in a multifamily residential building are condominiums, where typically the units are owned individually rather than leased from a single apartment building owner.
A housing unit, or dwelling unit, is a structure or the part of a structure or the space that is used as a home, residence, or sleeping place by one person or more people who maintain a common household.
Medium-density housing is a term used within urban planning and academic literature to refer to a category of residential development that falls between detached suburban housing and large multi-story buildings. There is no singular definition of medium-density housing as its precise definition tends to vary between jurisdiction. Scholars however, have found that medium density housing ranges from about 25 to 80 dwellings per hectare, although most commonly sits around 30 and 40 dwellings/hectare. Typical examples of medium-density housing include duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, row homes, detached homes with garden suites, and walk-up apartment buildings.
Howard County Housing is the umbrella organization for the Howard County Department of Housing and Community Development and the Howard County Housing Commission. The Department is Howard County Government’s housing agency, and the Commission is a public housing authority and non-profit. Both have boards that meet monthly.
Real estate is property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as growing crops, minerals or water, and wild animals; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this (also) an item of real property, buildings or housing in general. In terms of law, real relates to land property and is different from personal property while estate means the "interest" a person has in that land property.
Housing in Florida consists of apartments, condominiums, hotels, retirement communities, and houses. Common types of housing in the state include Cracker style homes, Ranch-style homes, Caribbean style homes, and Condominiums with styles including Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, Victorian architecture, Mediterranean Revival architecture, Art Deco, Modern architecture, and Pueblo Revival architecture.