If you are not from this area, you may be confused by some of the terminology used in Southwest Florida to describe the various housing options available. Don't stress, it's not that complicated - and before you know it, you will have it all mastered. In the meantime, we are her to make your search process easier and more enjoyable. Below is your very own "cheat sheet" that you can refer to whenever you need a little more clarification as the buzz words get tossed about.
- Attached Villa - Attached Villas are single story buildings with 2 to 6 units per building sharing common walls with separate and attached one or two car garages with access from the interior of the home. Their primary advantage is that they have the feel of a single family home and are on one level. These homes range in living area from 1,600 to 2,000 square feet. This type of home is typically found in master planned, master planned golf and bundled golf communities.
- Detached Villa - Detached Villas are single or 2 story detached homes, which typically range in living area size from 1,200 to 4,000 square feet. These homes are designed to offer all the amenities of a single family home, the major difference being a smaller lot frontage. Lot depth is typically large enough to accommodate a private pool. Many developments that offer these homes provide standard floor plans from which to choose.
Coach Home - Coach homes are 2 story walkup buildings with 4 to 12 units per building. The building design provides access to each home from the ground floor with a distinct entrance. Unlike a town home, these units are two-story but you live either upstairs or downstairs. They often range in living area size from 1,400 to 2,400 square feet. The upstairs units normally have more square feet of living area as they usually extend above most of the garage space. In addition, most upstairs units have cathedral or vaulted ceilings. Parking is a 1 or 2-car attached garage with access from the interior of the home or from a covered walkway, allowing easy access between the garage and the entrance of the home.
- Carriage Home – Carriage homes are very similar to coach homes, and in many cases the terms are often used interchangeably. When there is a distinction, carriage homes are usually designated by their larger size, and there are often less units found within each building. Because of these factors, carriage homes tend to be more expensive than coach homes.
- High-Rise Condo – To be considered a high-rise condo, the building must have at least eight or more floors. Condos of this size nearly always provide elevator access to their residents, and usually come in quite luxurious options. Because high-rise condos offer the best views of the Gulf of Mexico below, they are also usually the highest in price, sometimes reaching into the tens of millions for a single penthouse unit.
- Low-Rise Condo – Low-rise condos are those condo buildings that have two or three levels and at least six units per building. What separates them from smaller attached villas is that they usually lack individual exterior entrances and instead have common hallways, or in Southwest Florida what we call “breezeways.” Low-rise condos are usually the most affordable of condo options, but because they are so low to the ground, they don’t always offer the most competitive views.
- Mid-Rise Condo – Mid-rise condos must have at least four levels but no more than seven to be considered such. Within mid-rise condo communities you’ll oftentimes find a lot of variation – for instance, lower level units may be more moderately priced whereas the highest level units may be quite luxurious and expensive. You’ll also find a lot of variation across mid-rise condo communities – some may offer elevators and individual carports or enclosed garages to residents, while others may only offer stairs and an uncovered parking lot.
Single Family Home – Single family homes are stand-alone homes on their own lots, but within this category there is an extreme amount of variation. This home type can be single level or with multiple floors, can be modest to luxurious in size, and while they are often found in master planned communities, this is not at all always the case. This type of home is ideal for families who are looking for a little more privacy and included exterior spaces.