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Northumberland Realty (1987) Ltd.


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What is a SINGLE FAMILY HOME? The phrase single family home is used and everyone takes for granted that they know what it means, but while you may know what it means generally, a home for one family, there are legal definitions too.

Generally a single family home is defined as “a structure maintained and used as a single dwelling unit” and additionally has the following characteristics.

  • No common walls or roof
  • Built on its own legal building lot or land parcel
  • Private entrance
  • Its own single set of utility accounts
  • A single kitchen



  • Privacy: built on its own land, you will likely have some space between you and your neighbours. Additionally you may build a fence if required, remember “good fences make good neighbours.”
  • Extra Space: you will likely have extra space for storage. Your home may have an attic or basement.
  • Freedom to Renovate: while it is possible to renovate townhomes and condos, these buildings will usually have an extra layer of bureaucracy – an HOA or Home Owners Association. Some subdivisions also have HOA’s but they generally only have a say in renovations if they affect the outside of the home. If you have a single family dwelling you can most likely renovate with only certain building permits and inspections required by your city.



  • Maintenance: single family home ownership means that you are solely responsible for all home maintenance.
  • Price: generally single family homes are more expensive to purchase than condos as a single family home sits on its own property, and does not share this cost or the cost of roofing, walls and other structural elements.
  • Common Amenities: some condo property have common amenities such as pools, gyms, clubhouses etc. Single family homes do not generally have these and if they do the owner is solely responsible for their upkeep, unlike a condo where the condo association will manage the upkeep and divide the cost.