It is essential for anyone interested in investing in a property to know the different residential options available. Each residential building type helps provide a solution for different needs. By reading how they differ below, you can shortlist the ones which fit your interests best.

Single Unit Homes

As the name implies, a single unit is a home built for one residential owner. These units are often separate from other homes or units with different owners. Single unit types may have a garage or other structure included with the property.

Single unit types are able to provide more privacy than other residential buildings as there are no shared walls. Home owners are also able to do anything they wish with the property. This includes building other structures, applying paint on the exterior or planting a garden. As an investment, single unit types offer a stable resale value in comparison to other residential buildings.

Maintenance costs and responsibility falls upon the home owner themselves. They need to put in the effort in cleaning and repairing the property when required. They can also choose to hire help to take this burden instead. Although their hiring cost is still handled by the owner.


A condominium consists of a building with multiple residential units. Each unit is separated by a shared wall. This type of residence is often found in dense urban areas due to its compact size. Almost every condominium building has public space for its owners. This could include a garden, pool or playgrounds.

Condominium unit owners are required to pay Body Corporation fees. The money is used to cover expenditures in repair and maintenance work in common areas. Unlike a single unit home, you are free of responsibility in the caring of the building. Condo units are often cheaper than renting an apartment in the long run as well. These buildings also provide the opportunity of having your house near your place of work within a city.

Since the building is shared between multiple owners, there are a number of restrictions each residence must adhere to. This includes possible prohibition on pets, loud noises and certain activities. You are also limited to the services you can avail of in your condo unit, such as cable or internet providers.


Town houses are multiple single unit homes with similar designs attached to each other or on the same property. Each unit may have one or two shared walls to separate each other. There are some which provide a small outdoor space such as a backyard. Some town house communities also provide a public area such as a small park.

Town houses have better privacy than condominiums and less restrictions. This is due to having the unit outside of a singular building. Some communities may provide amenities such as a pool or function hall. Purchasing one within a town house community can provide better security than single unit homes.

The main disadvantage of town houses is its resale value. Many units have a slow increase in price than single unit homes. Others lose value over time. Another issue is the cost of entry for town house units are higher than condominium units. For property investors, this makes town houses a risky investment.

Second Homes

Second homes are often considered as vacation homes. This is due to their close proximity to leisure locations such as beaches or mountainous regions. They can be any a single unit type or a condominium building. The main purpose of a second home is to have a livable property in an appealing location.

The benefits of a second or vacation home are all long term. If you frequent a location for leisure or business, this property can save you money. You also do not need to worry about booking in advance for accommodation within the location of your second home. Most investors are frequently looking to buying a beach house in order to gain a secondary income. They gain this by renting the unit to others.

Purchasing a second home can be difficult. The down payment in applying for a loan to buy a vacation home can be higher than your primary house. The loan may also come with more interest rates. The maintenance cost and efforts can also be higher than your regular house due to its location. For example, properties near a beach are constantly exposed to corrosive salt water. This can be a large burden if you are solely responsible in maintaining your second home.

Study the differences of the residential types detailed above and you should be able to find the one which suits your interest.

Guide to the Various Residential Types
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Barbara Verner

Barbara Verner is a business and finance freelance writer residing in Adelaide, Australia, and writing on behalf of Bluewater - an integrated master plan community designed to be walkable, liveable and sustainable. If you're looking to make the Northern Beaches in Cairns your new home, there's no better choice than Bluewater. Follow @BluewaterBRP on Twitter.

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