What’s the difference between a town home and a single family home?

Moving to Florida? Congratulations!

The Sunshine State lifestyle is a winner, especially for new residents who haven’t lived near coastlines or in a lovely, temperate climate. But, once the relocation decision is solid, it’s time to assess the housing options. Short of living on a boat — a draw for many water and fishing enthusiasts — you’ll need to choose your residence. For many new Florida home-buyers, downsizing from a larger family home or pursuing a lower-maintenance life means prioritizing a smaller abode. The two common options are a single-family home or a townhouse.

At ICI Homes, we know downsizing isn’t a mandate for all new Florida home-buyers. We’re also Florida’s Custom Home Builder. So, allow us to walk you through some differences and similarities between townhouses and single-family homes. Determining your square-footage, location and price needs will help you decide which housing option fits your new Florida life.



Make space your first consideration. A townhouse has a smaller footprint than a single-family home. It’s attached to other townhouses, so you’ll share walls with neighbors. Lot sizes also are smaller, without yards to mow, shrubbery to trim or other landscaping chores. Even a smaller single-family home will be sited on a larger lot than a townhouse. If you require space for gardening, larger garages or a pool, a single-family home is a better choice. Privacy is the other critical aspect. If you like more of it, choose a single-family home. If you enjoying socializing with neighbors and eschewing yard work, choose a townhouse.


Your next consideration is how many levels you’d like in your new Florida home. Since townhouses are built in clusters, they tend to be more vertical. That means two or three levels of living space and the staircases to access them. If staircases are problematic for older folks or tots, be aware of this townhouse feature. Alternately, a townhouse’s compact layout means utilizing every bit of space. This translates to efficient storage and the potential for fun nooks and crannies. Single-family homes also can have more than one level, but tend to be more horizontal. Wider often means more in terms of storage and spacious interiors. If a one-level home fits your lifestyle, a single-family home is a good option.


It’s a big bugaboo for many new Florida homeowners, especially retirees or folks looking to simply their lifestyles. In a townhouse community, you don’t worry with landscaping and exterior maintenance. However, you will pay homeowners association fees to have these chores done for your neighborhood. Consider whether you’d like to clean out your own gutters or pay homeowners dues to have someone else do it for you. But, opting for a single-family home doesn’t doom you to exterior drudgery. ICI Homes offers several communities where single-family homeowners can choose maintenance-free options similar to those in townhouse communities.


Your fourth consideration in choosing between a townhouse and single-family home is the purchase price. This can be the deciding factor for some new Florida homebuyers whose decision is a toss-up in terms of space, layout and maintenance. Since lot sizes and overall space run smaller for townhouses, they generally cost less than single-family homes. This means a more cost-efficient purchase. Or, townhouse buyers can take that efficiency and splurge on more amenities and add-ons than with a single-family-home.

Debating a choice for your new Florida residence?

A townhouse means less yard work, a more social environment and more bang for your square-footage buck. A single-home gives you more space and privacy as long as you don’t mind exterior chores. Whittle down your priorities using space, layout, maintenance and cost as primary considerations. Then, click here to start your ICI Homes search.