What Is a Patio Home?

4 Min Read
Published Aug. 28, 2023
Patio homes line a suburban street.
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A patio home is a type of home that typically shares a wall or landscaping with neighbors. Patio homes tend to be smaller compared to single-family homes and usually have one story, making them appealing for older homeowners. They commonly belong to homeowners associations, and may have various amenities depending on the property developer.

“The fact that they’re smaller and have no stairs make them a good option for people who want a low-maintenance home or who have difficulty with stairs,” says Troy Robillard, a Realtor with Premiere Plus Realty in Fort Myers, Florida.

Here’s a look at patio homes and what makes them unique.

Patio Home Features

Common features of patio homes include:

  • Amenities. Patio homes can offer various amenities that homeowners share, including pools, playgrounds, and tennis courts.
  • A homeowners association. Patio homes tend to be housed within communities, where the amenities need to be maintained. As such, owners of patio homes may have to pay HOA fees. 
  • Less privacy. Since patio homes typically share walls or landscaping with other homes, residents tend to be much closer to their neighbors.
  • Lower home prices. Due to smaller home sizes and outdoor areas, patio homes generally cost less compared to other types of properties, making them more affordable.

Here’s a look at patio homes compared to other home types:

Characteristics of Different Types of Homes

Home TypeNeighborsTypical Number of Floors Ownership
Patio homeTypically shares walls or landscaping with neighbors.One.Own both the land and the building.
CondominiumShares walls and common areas with neighbors. Several. Homeowners don’t have land rights, but they own the unit.
TownhouseShares at least one wall with neighbors.Two.Own their purchased portion of the land and building. 
BrownstoneTypically shares walls with neighbors on both sides, unless it’s a corner home.At least two levels. Own their purchased portion of the land and building. 
ApartmentShares common areas and walls with neighbors. More than one level.For renters only.
Single-family homeDetached buildings with no shared walls or outdoor areas. Varying number of levels.Own the land and the building.
Multifamily homeUp to four units housed within a single building.Varying number of levels. Homeowners own the land and building. Other units can be rented out.
Co-opTypically varies.Varies. A business holds the deed to a multifamily home. The residents buy shares of the business and gain equity in the property. 
Villa Can share a wall with neighbors or no walls.One.Own both the land and the building.

Patio Home Layout

Patio homes typically have a single story, a large living room, and enough space for a dining room. Other features include two to three bedrooms and a garage. You usually won’t find a backyard that separates the home from neighbors, though you may have a deck or small patio as outdoor space.

Otherwise, the layout of a patio house can vary quite greatly, though you will usually find an open floor plan.

“The living room, dining room, and kitchen are all connected, which creates a sense of spaciousness,” Robillard says. 


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about patio homes. 


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