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5 reasons patio home popularity is skyrocketing

There are many people who want the benefits of apartment or condo living but also need the space and flexibility provided by single-family homes. For people in this category, patio homes might be the perfect option.
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Home ownership offers some exciting benefits. You build equity, you can decorate and style your home any way you want and you might qualify for some significant tax savings. For all the perks, however, there are also negatives.

With traditional home ownership, the homeowner bears the expense of maintenance, repairs and upkeep, according to government home agency Freddie Mac. There are also additional taxes, insurance costs and sometimes home association dues.

Today, there are many people who want the benefits of apartment or condo living but also need the space and flexibility provided by single-family homes. These include retirees who want freedom to travel, and younger families who want to spend their free time doing something other than yard work.

For people in this category, patio homes might be the perfect option. While patio homes have been around for decades, changes in lifestyles have made them more desirable than ever before.

In a New York Times article, Anthony DePalma writes that the patio home combines the best features of a single-family house with the convenience normally found in townhouses or condos.

“Patio homes are fully detached single-family houses that are laced together in their clusters by small yards or patios,” he explains.

Here are some of the reasons more homebuyers are choosing patio homes.

No exterior maintenance

If the responsibility of yard work keeps you from doing things you enjoy, a patio home could be a great option. Chores like weeding, mowing and shoveling the driveway are done for you. The yards are manicured, and you don’t have to worry about a neighbor whose yard is really a weed patch. The result is a neighborhood that is beautiful and symmetrical.

Shared amenities

For many buyers, bonus features are among the more appealing aspects of patio home communities. Most offer combinations of open spaces, parks, playgrounds, gardens, trails and paths, pools, and more. Like condos, members of the development are sharing the cost of these features that would otherwise be unaffordable to many.

Open floorplan variety

Today’s buyers expect open concept kitchens that connect to living and dining spaces, and patio homes deliver. The basic floorplan for patio homes starts as a ranch but with a variety of options — from lofts with an additional bed, bath and rec room, to finished basements with extra space some buyers need.

The floorplans are comfortable enough for a small number of people and big enough for large gatherings of family and friends. The loft or basement is an ideal space for grandchildren or guests staying over. They can also be made into craft rooms, yoga rooms, offices, dens and so on.

Stylized exteriors

Patio homes feature the latest in exterior designs, with all of today's popular choices in colors and combinations of materials. Unlike most condos and townhouse developments, where every unit looks pretty much like the one next door, patio homes offer greater variety. Designs range from coastal to craftsman. Whether you like stone, brick, siding or some other type of exterior finish, you can find a combination you like, adapted to your lifestyle.

Save time and money

The average U.S. homeowner spends about 10 minutes each day on lawn care, according to information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s more than time spent on homework, volunteer work or even phone calls and email. In addition, billions of dollars are spent on lawn care equipment like mowers and trimmers. Owners of patio homes can devote that time and those financial resources to more productive and enjoyable activities.

Expect to see more Americans living in patio homes, in the future as they opt for the flexibility, convenience and amenities these homes offer.

Flint Stephens has a master's degree in communication. He writes regularly on business, financial and medical topics.

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