When people speak of purchasing a home, the image that springs to most people’s minds is the standard detached, semi-detached or terraced house with two floors. But there are so many more options out there on the market! So it’s important that you don’t simply follow the norm because you’re afraid to try something new. Different individuals’ needs mean that different properties suit them better than others. So, before browsing the property or rental market, it’s important that you consider the options available to you. Here are a few different types of housing to consider and their respective benefits!
When you first move out of your family home or are looking for a place to live alone, the studio apartment could prove to be the perfect option for you. This type of housing is perhaps the smallest; it is generally composed of two rooms at most. A standard studio apartment is a self-contained unit that features one main room containing a bed and kitchenette, and a small bathroom connected to the side. It’s not surprising that they are generally avoided by couples who require a little more personal space, or families who need extra rooms for their little ones to grow up in. They are also generally avoided by those with pets other than cats. Generally speaking, this type of housing is most common in areas where space is limited, such as major cities. The centres of Paris, London, and New York are full of them. Now, when viewing a studio apartment, you’re likely to be struck by the lack of space. But the saying that “good things come in small packages” can ring extremely true with these types of properties. First off, the small space means that you will spend a whole lot less time cleaning and carrying out maintenance. They are also much easier and cheaper to furnish, as you have to be sensible with what room you have. This suits the lifestyle of young professionals perfectly, as they often have limited cash to spend on decoration and furnishing and work long hours which leaves little time for extensive cleaning and tidying. Studio apartments are also extremely energy efficient, as it takes a whole lot less energy to heat and light two small rooms than an entire large property. So, if you’re just starting out or plan to lead a minimal and simplistic lifestyle, this may be the perfect option for you!
If you’ve spent a little time in a studio apartment and feel the need to upgrade for comfort and extended space, but aren’t quite ready for a whole house, you might want to consider a larger apartment. This type of property is also ideal for people stepping into a new property who have already amassed a lot of personal belongings at home or university accommodation. Alternatively, if you don’t like the idea of living alone and are considering moving in with a partner or roommate of sorts, this could be the perfect place to start out! Larger apartments tend to run on a similar premise to the studio apartment. They are based on one floor and tend to be located in apartment blocks. However, they generally tend to have separate living, dining and bedroom spaces, as well as larger bathrooms. The benefits of living in a studio apartment also tend to be applicable to larger apartments. You have less space to clean and maintain and are energy efficient. It should also be noted that apartment blocks tend to be built in highly desirable locations, such as inner cities or at least in close proximity to plenty of amenities.
Townhouses tend to be built in terraces and are tall, traditional houses with three or more floors. Sure, this might sound the same as a standard terraced house, but they are slim, meaning that overall they generally have a similar amount of floor space but organised in a more vertical manner. This makes townhouses a much simpler option when it comes to maintenance. After all, the slim design means the gardens are smaller (so less lawn to mow, bushes to trim, and trees to prune), and there’s a smaller surface area of roof (which will mean less room for damage and repairs). If you get on well with your neighbours and team up, you could also share costs. As with studio apartments, the Townhouse is more common in cities and heavily populated areas which have less available space: it makes sense to build upwards rather than outwards where land is scarce.
When we consider bungalows, thoughts of the elderly tend to jump to mind. Sure, bungalows tend to be favoured by older age groups, as everything remains on one ground floor which removes the need of climbing up and down stairs (which could prove exhausting for frail individuals). They are also often considered preferable to ground floor apartments, as they are self contained and offer a little more privacy. It’s important to remember, though, that bungalows aren’t solely reserved for older individuals and couples or those with limited mobility. They can also prove to be the perfect home for a whole range of people! You could always think of a bungalow as an in-between ground between an apartment and a standard house. You have the size and space of a standard family home but all spread across one expansive floor. They’re ideal for those with small children and pets, as you remove the stress of installing stair gates and worrying about little ones falling. You will generally also have the benefit of quiet and considerate neighbours as you will most likely be surrounded by other bungalows that are likely to be inhabited by the elderly.
If you’re open to the option of leaving dry land behind and taking to the water, a canal boat is a brilliant, alternative way of living. Not only is it much cheaper to buy a canal boat than the majority of other properties, but you can move your home from A to B as you please. Different licences allow you for mooring permanently in one location or have a free roaming licence, which means you move every couple of weeks. This is an ideal home for the homebirds and the nomadic alike! There are a couple of things that you should bear in mind before taking to a canal boat, especially if you’ve never been on one before. First, you should check whether the canal boat lifestyle will suit you. You can always take a short canal boat holiday or even an extended canal boat holiday to test things out. You might find that it’s perfect and the smaller space suits you down to a tee, or you might find that it’s just not for you. It’s always best to be sure before investing! You will also have to bear in mind that your space will be limited, which could mean significant downsizing if you already have a lot of belongings and large pieces of furniture.
There are so many different types of housing out there. While we’ve covered a few here, there are plenty more out there. So next time you take a look at potential properties on estate agents websites or in their windows, make sure to check all suitable options that are available to you. If you limit your search to standard detached or semi-detached properties, you could potentially miss out on the property of your dreams! So, be flexible and open to new and alternative living arrangements. You never know where you could end up.
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