What Is A Patio Home? (Pros, Cons & Should You Buy One)

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

It’s hard to choose between homes when there are so many types. Whether it be a standard single-family home, a ranch, a townhome, condo, or patio home, they all differ in cost and size. With the rise in popularity of patio homes, it’s easy to wonder: what exactly is a patio home?

A patio home is a type of home connected to other houses with shared walls. They are similar to townhomes, but the key difference is that they are often one to one and a half stories tall. Patio homes are generally part of a community and require you to pay Homeowner’s Association dues in exchange for amenities.

You can get a comfortable sense of community from living in a patio home. Let’s take a look at all that goes into patio homes, and what makes them so special.

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Who Are Patio Homes Ideal For?

Patio homes are ideal for first-time homeowners, or buyers looking for a low maintenance house. Because they are affordable and easy to take care of, patio homes are the perfect choice for young homeowners. Patio homes share walls with at least one other house and living in one instills a greater sense of community than even a condominium.

You can often find patio homes in areas with recreational opportunities, such as golf courses and parks. Homeowners looking for a low-cost place to live can enjoy knowing their patio home won’t cost them a fortune in maintenance. The simple minimalism of a patio home provides a comfortable environment and an escape from the repairs of a ranch home.

Patio homes are also ideal for retirees or single, middle-aged people. Retirees enjoy the simplicity and ease of living in a patio home. Patio homes that come with amenities, such as community centers and parks, are particularly ideal for retired homeowners.

Should You Buy a Patio Home?

You should buy a ranch home if you want to spend the least amount of money on maintenance as a homeowner. The simple layout and lack of multiple stories mean that there is less of a chance for things to go wrong. That simple fact is one that you’ll be grateful for when you don’t spend thousands on maintenance throughout your time as a homeowner.

One major benefit of owning a patio home is that it will save you on property taxes. You don’t have a lot of your own when you buy a patio home, and that makes for low property taxes. Despite being small and having shared walls, you can achieve a great sense of privacy in a patio home.

It also doesn’t hurt that patio homes are part of communities, and that often comes along with amenities. Patio home communities sometimes provide recreational areas, dog parks, and even clubhouses. That is not always the case, however, but it’s not difficult to find a patio home community that provides amenities, and that can even include a communal swimming pool.

Pros and Cons of Patio Homes

Owning a patio home comes with both pros and cons, and it’s wise to weigh them before purchasing one. Just like a condo, townhome, or duplex, there are aspects of owning a patio home that is good and bad. Let’s take a close look at the pros and cons of owning a patio home, and what makes doing so worth it.

Patio Home Pros

First and foremost, the low cost of patio homes means that it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. The small size and simple layout also mean that your patio home will not require regular and expensive maintenance. Similar to the dimensions of tiny houses, the less room you have, the more easily you can get by without anything going wrong.

One of the biggest pluses of living in a patio home is that it’s generally part of a community. The community aspect of patio home living creates a comfortable space and provides many conveniences. Amenities such as clubhouses, swimming pools, trash collection, and free lawn care are often included and can save a fortune.

  • Amenities
  • Low-maintenance
  • Community setting
  • Affordable

Patio Home Cons

The biggest downside of living in a patio home is that you often have to pay dues to a Homeowners Association. You will generally make payments each month, and that can be a deterrent to some potential buyers. With that said, those payments are what afford you the many amenities that come along with patio homes.

Another potential downside for some homeowners is the lack of privacy of patio homes. You have privacy in your own home, but the shared walls can make a patio home feel less private. As long as you don’t have thin walls, you should be able to get by comfortably and without feeling intruded on.

Finally, the small size of patio homes can be off-putting to some homeowners looking for more space. Luckily, the small size accounts for the lack of maintenance, but it is not exactly ideal for families. If family life and kids are in your future, maybe consider a townhome or typical family household, such as a ranch home.

  • Monthly payments
  • Shared walls
  • Small size

Patio Home vs. Townhome

Many people have trouble distinguishing townhomes from patio homes, and who can blame them? The difference between patio homes and townhomes ultimately comes down to size, with the latter being larger. Patio homes are generally one to one and a half stories, whereas townhomes are two stories.

Townhomes can sometimes be a single-story, like a patio home, but they generally are two stories at a minimum. You can expect shared walls with townhomes just like with patio homes, but there’s generally less of them near one another. There is not often a community aspect to connected townhomes in the way that there is with patio homes.

Townhomes and patio homes are also similar in that they’re often part of a Homeowner’s Association, for better or worse. In the case of both types of houses, the Homeowner’s Association makes for less maintenance and more support when it comes to problems. With both townhomes and patio homes, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll get support from the HOA when it comes to necessary repairs.

Tips to Buying a Patio Home

Buying a patio home is a great opportunity, but it’s important to do your homework before you do so. The first thing to consider when looking for a patio home is to enlist the help of a real estate agent. A real estate agent can take all of your specific requests into account and find you a patio home that matches your taste.

Do you want a patio home with a sense of community, or one that offers a little bit more privacy? Explain your preference to your realtor and see what kind of options are available to you.


What kind of amenities are you looking for in the patio home of your dreams? There are many amenities that patio home communities can provide, but some offer more than others. Specific amenities to look out for in a patio home include:

  • Trash collection
  • Community pool
  • Gym
  • Free maintenance
  • Trash collection
  • Dog park
  • Clubhouse

You may not be able to find each of the above amenities included in a single patio home, but it’s not unheard of. These amenities come at the expense of Homeowner’s Association dues, but they provide a great quality of life. Look out for amenities that will make you more comfortable, and your life that much easier.


Privacy is key when it comes to any home, and it can be somewhat tricky with patio homes. You will share walls with your neighbors, and sometimes that can cause unease regarding privacy. However, if you pay attention to the thickness of the walls and layout of the house, you’ll get a good idea of how private it will be.

It can be hard to ignore bad neighbors, and that can be even truer when it comes to patio homes. With that said, patio homes do not inherently mean that you won’t have privacy. If the patio home is well built and the layout makes it possible, you can easily achieve privacy in your house.


Financing a patio home can be easier than other homes due to the generally low cost, but it is important. You need to take mortgage rates, the cost of the home, and the Homeowner’s Association dues into account. Mortgage loans are normal when it comes to patio homes, and you must get the best one possible for yourself.

The best way to do that is to compare rates between lenders to get the most manageable loan. Of course, you can pay for a patio home in cash, but that is primarily uncommon and is a lot to spend at once. Mortgage loans can be overwhelming to some, so that’s why it’s important to find a lender with a rate that you can swing each month.


Do you have to commute to work? If so, it’s a great idea to find a patio home community in a location that you won’t mind driving to and from for work. Even if your patio home is not close to your place of work, the extra time in the car may be worth the benefits that the house provides.

Many towns have multiple patio home communities, and you can likely find one in a great area. The proximity to stores, work, restaurants, and fun places can make or break a patio home. Consider the places that you frequent and see if your future patio home is close enough.

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What Did We Learn?

Patio homes are unique in their size, layout, cost, and sense of community. They differ from townhomes in that they are smaller by at least one story. You have to pay Homeowner’s Association dues when you live in a patio home, but that earns you amenities.

Most patio homes are part of large communities. Patio homes are known for being low cost, low maintenance, and extremely simple. Living in a patio home means that you’re part of a community, and you can take comfort in knowing that you’re safe and well-taken care of.

Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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