Whether you should buy a patio home will depend on your financial and lifestyle needs. Purchasing any type of home is a major decision, so it’s important to carefully consider what you want. Patio homes tend to be popular with older homeowners who may want to avoid stairs, or younger buyers who want a more affordable home option.
Before choosing a patio home, consider factors such as location, amenities, homeowners association fees, and whether you’re OK with being closer to neighbors.
Patio homes are generally best for these types of buyers:
- Seniors and retirees. Those in their golden years might not want to maintain a larger home or be interested in homes with multiple levels. With their smaller size, patio homes are a good choice for older adults or retirees.
- First-time homebuyers. Affording a home can be challenging. Patio homes tend to be less expensive, making them a great choice for those looking to buy their first home.
- People who enjoy the perks of having an HOA. HOAs are typically run by fellow homeowners to build and maintain amenities. Many people like the perks, but it’s important to consider the fees and restrictions before determining if joining an HOA is worth it.
- Empty nesters. Those who no longer have children living in their home may find that a smaller space suits their lifestyle better.
- People who use wheelchairs. Patio homes tend to have one story and an open layout, which can be better for wheelchair users or those who have other disabilities.
When buying a patio home, some factors to consider include the types of amenities you want, the ability to customize your home, any HOA requirements, housing costs, and the home’s layout.
“Many patio homes have an open floor plan,” says Troy Robillard, a Realtor with Premiere Plus Realty in Fort Myers, Florida. “The open floor plan of a patio home can be a great feature, but it’s important to make sure that the layout works for your lifestyle.”
What To Consider When Buying a Patio Home
|Factor||What To Consider|
|HOA fees and requirements||You most likely will need to join an HOA when buying a patio home, so take a look at the annual dues and restrictions or requirements it may impose.|
|Access to amenities||Decide what types of amenities you want, like tennis courts, playgrounds, or community pools.|
|Proximity to neighbors||Patio homes can share walls or landscaping with other homes, meaning you’ll be close to your neighbors. Consider how much privacy you want.|
|Maintenance costs||Though patio homes are smaller, there are still costs you will need to pay to maintain and repair your home. These should be factored into your budget.|
|More difficult to upgrade||HOA restrictions and shared walls with neighbors could make it more difficult to make changes or upgrade your home.|
|Potential for customizations||If you’re purchasing a new-construction patio home, you could work with the developer to customize your space.|
|Home price||Though patio homes may cost less than larger properties, you’ll still want to make sure you can afford the purchase price. Don’t forget other fees you’ll pay, like closing costs when taking out a mortgage to finance your purchase.|
|Insurance costs||Purchasing homeowners insurance is key to protecting one of your largest assets. Besides, most mortgage lenders will require you to have a homeowners insurance policy.|
Although there are many perks to purchasing a patio home, there are drawbacks as well. Consider the following pros and cons of buying a patio home:
Pros and Cons of Buying a Patio Home
|Patio homes are more accessible because they often have only one story.||Patio homes often have limited outdoor space.|
|They are more affordable compared to single-family homes.||You might have to pay dues and follow HOA guidelines.|
|They are often easier to maintain.||You may have less privacy due to the proximity of your neighbors.|
|You could foster a sense of community, given your proximity to neighbors and if your HOA sponsors events.||It may be harder to customize your space if you’re purchasing an existing home.|
How To Finance a Patio Home
A patio house is a large purchase. Here are some common options you can pursue to finance a patio home:
- Conventional loan. In most cases, applicants will need at least a 620 credit score and a 3% down payment. The loan limit is typically $726,200, though the exact amount will depend on your location.
- Veterans Affairs loan. VA loans don’t have set down payment or credit score requirements. However, these loans are only available to qualifying active-duty service members and veterans.
- Federal Housing Administration loan. FHA loans have less stringent requirements. You’ll need at least a 580 credit score and a 3.5% down payment.
A patio home could be a great fit if you’re looking for an affordable home and you want to do less maintenance on your property. It could also be great for those who are looking for a community, don’t mind the proximity to neighbors, and want access to amenities like a swimming pool.
However, a patio home might not be for you if you want a larger outdoor space, aren’t interested in being part of an HOA, or prefer a more rural or suburban location.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about patio homes.