An exciting house-hunting mission can quickly become a hot mess if you don’t know much about what type of house you’re looking for. We’ve gone through the main kinds in this guide, so you can get off to a smoother start.
Property varies everywhere in the world. In the UK, we have quite a few different types of houses. Most people have heard the names but couldn’t actually tell you which is which. If you’re not sure, then read on - we explain everything below.
A detached house stands alone, offering more privacy to its residents. These houses sometimes come with sizeable areas of privately-owned land and can be quite large. They’re not all totally removed from the neighbourhood, but they never share a wall with any neighbouring homes. Detached homes are highly sought after and usually more expensive than semi-detached houses because of the heightened privacy.
Semi-detached houses come in pairs. Typically, 2 houses are joined together by a single, common wall. The other walls remain separate from any neighbouring properties. Sometimes, the houses mirror each other in appearance. Semi-detached houses are generally less expensive than most detached ones. They offer a reasonable level of privacy and can sometimes have space to extend at the back.
Terraced houses typically come in rows and each house’s structure is the same. A terraced house is one of the houses in these rows that’s sandwiched between 2 other houses. This means that every room in your house will immediately adjoin your neighbours’ properties. Terraced houses tend to be good value for money, but their situation usually means you’ll have to keep the noise level down or risk disrupting your neighbours.
End of Terrace
The name says it all really: an end of terrace house is at the end of a row of terraced houses. It shares a common wall with a neighbouring house on only one side; the other is detached. They’re like semi-detached houses in this way but are classed differently because they’re attached to terraced houses specifically, rather than another semi-detached house.
Although not technically a house, the flat is one of the most common types of residential property in the UK. Residences typically occupy a single storey within a larger building. A flat can take up part, or all, of a floor. They can sometimes occupy 2 floors however this is less regular. Flats vary greatly in price. Their size and area usually determine how much you’ll pay, with the more luxurious flats in high value areas costing more than some houses. Smaller flats in less expensive areas are usually much cheaper than most other properties.
Cottages typically have thick walls, small windows, low ceilings, structural pillars and thatched rooves. They’re around 1½ storeys tall with 2 floors. The top floor is usually smaller than the ground floor.
Cottages can be detached or terraced. They can come with quite a hefty price tag, despite their modest appearance. You tend to find cottages in rural and semi-rural areas.
Bungalows are sometimes mistaken for cottages – and vice-versa. This is understandable, but it’s also completely incorrect. A bungalow isn’t that tall, as it generally only has one floor. They’re ideal for people who want space, but perhaps can’t use stairs. They can be detached or semi-detached.
The fact bungalows are restrained to one floor can actually make them more, rather than less, expensive. This is because they take up more land for the same square foot area as a house with 2 floors.
Does Your Property Type Affect Your Mortgage?
The kind of mortgage you need – e.g. a fixed rate, tracker, repayment or interest-only – won’t vary depending on the type of house you choose. It’ll need to fit your unique circumstances, as well as the purpose of the property you want to buy. For example, is it a residential or commercial property? A buy-to-let or a second home?
For more information on the different types of mortgages, see our guide: Mortgage Types Explained.
What Kind of Insurance Do You Need?
Everyone needs building insurance. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a modest flat or a 7 bedroom detached house; if you’re purchasing property with a mortgage, you must have building insurance. It’s a mandatory requirement for all lenders.
The ins and outs of your insurance will vary depending on what you need and what you’re able to pay, as well as the type of property you buy. For example, a thatched roof cottage will likely require specialist insurance because of the increased fire risk, as will a home with a timber frame. On the other hand, a terraced house and a detached house could have the same insurance package, but the price would be scaled to suit.
It’s also important that you insure the contents of your property. Contents insurance isn’t compulsory, but it helps you protect the belongings that fill your home.
Our protection team at John Charcol find you bespoke insurance deals. We also make sure that your insurance is set up when it needs to be, alongside your mortgage application. That way, everything falls into place at the same time and you won’t face any hiccups that could stop you from moving into your home.
Are you ready to find somewhere new? Let us walk you through the process in our guide: Buying Your First Home.
You can also call us on 0330 433 2927 to speak with an adviser about the kind of mortgage you need. Or simply make an enquiry and we’ll get back to you.