5 Popular Types of Houses in Canada

There are various types of houses that you can buy or rent in Canada. This article is basically for me. In my previous post here, I talked about how we are newbies in Canada. You can read more about that here. Since our arrival, I have been watching, observing and seeing a lot. One of the things I noticed is that the types of houses here are a little different from what we were used to in Sweden and Nigeria. My little curious mind decided to do some research as usual and BOOM, I got a wealth of information online. I decided to write about this on my blog so that I don't have to keep searching online all the time and I know for sure that this article would also be useful to any newbie like us in Canada or just anybody interested in knowing more about the different types of houses in North America. 

So basically, there are 5 major (or popular) types of houses in Canada. Disclaimer: There may be more or less. All the ones I wrote here, were just from online resources but please do your own research or speak to a professional if you want to know more about this topic. I'm just documenting the popular ones that I know/ have seen so far.

  • Condominiums (also referred to as condos)This type of housing system is a form of ownership that can apply to almost all types of housing. While condominiums are generally found in apartment buildings, other types of properties, for example, townhouses, may also have a condo ownership model. You own the unit, or “condo”, but you do not own the land it is built on or any common space outside your unit. You are charged monthly “condo fees” to maintain indoor and outdoor common areas shared by the condo owners, including parking areas, elevators, carpets, front entrances, and any recreation facilities. These monthly fees can vary widely and are in addition to your mortgage payments. Each condominium property has rules the owners of each unit must follow.  Source: Genworth

Image from Millards.com

This is a high-rise building which is also a Condo. Image from here

  • Town Houses: A townhouse is a unit in a row of other units that look like houses, attached to each other. In each unit, you share a wall on either side with the people who live beside you. Often, especially in cities, there may also be a smaller unit above each townhouse, so there could also be someone living above you or below you. Townhouses (sometimes called row houses) are usually 2 or 3 levels tall (each level is called a ‘storey’). Source: Genworth & Live in Canada

  • Image from hereAl Jazera

  • Semi-detached Houses: This is a home joined to another on one side. Owners are only responsible for the care and maintenance of their own side, just like a detached house. Owners of semi-detached homes own their side of the property, including the land it is on, and are responsible for its care and maintenance, according to local bylaws. Semi-detached houses are the perfect option for homebuyers who have a tighter budget as they are generally less expensive (depending on the area) when compared to fully detached houses. However, with this comes a responsibility to be a quiet neighbour. The image below is actually two different houses attached together. Source: Genworth & Readvice

Image from NilayErtemur

  • Detached Houses: Detached homes as the name says are simply detached homes that doesn't require sharing walls with neighbours. This is a house that stands on its own. It is often referred to as a ‘detached’ home and tends to be the most expensive type of home to purchase due to the land costs. You own both the house and the land it is on. When your house needs repair or maintenance, you must pay for it yourself. House owners must also pay the monthly bills for water and heat, as well as their other bills (like telephone and cable television). Owners are free to make changes to their houses, inside and out, but they must obey local bylaws and apply for renovation and building permits when necessary. Source: Prepare for Canada

Image from Virtual Tour GTA

  • Duplex: A duplex/triplex is a building that is divided into multiple units. Like semi-detached houses, each household has its separate entrance and is responsible for the care of its own unit. Typically, you would buy the entire property and rent a unit to help offset your mortgage payments. Types of homes that are ‘duplexed’ or divided into two or more separate living units may be detached homes, semi-detached or even row houses. Source: Genworth 

Image from Houseplan Hunters

According to Nilay Ertemur, the top 5 things to consider when buying a home are:
  • Cost - what is your pocket like?
  • Location - how close is it to the city centre? or how close is it to the riverside? or how close is it to your place of work? Is it a good neighbourhood? (this depends obviously on your preference)
  • Size- how many bedrooms and washrooms do you want?
  • Features - what are the things that are important to you? such as a swimming pool, fireplace, backyard, etc
  • Family & Friends - Do you want to stay close or far away from family and friends?

I hope this article will be useful to a curious mind like me out there. I enjoyed putting this piece together. Until next time...💋