The Pros and Cons of Living in a Single Family Home

single family home

In 2020, homeownership rates reached an all-time high of 65.5%. While many people own single-family homes, others choose multi-family houses, such as townhomes. But, around 34.5% of people still rent. 

If you need a new place to live and are thinking about buying a house, you might have questions about your options. For example, you might wonder about the pros and cons of purchasing a single-family home.

Single-family homes offer many excellent benefits, but they also have a few drawbacks. 

You can learn about the pros and cons by reading this guide. After learning them, you’ll have a better idea about whether you should buy a house or rent a place to live. 

The Pros of Buying a Single-Family Home

Single-family homes are stand-alone structures. If you’re interested in buying one, you might want to check out these benefits:

Increased Privacy

A single-family home doesn’t share walls with other houses. Additionally, they don’t require sharing common areas, such as entryways, sidewalks, or yards. 

As a result, living in a single-family home provides more privacy. In addition, you won’t have to encounter other people each time you leave or come home, which means you won’t have as much noise at your house.

If you purchase a home with a yard, you can put up a fence around your yard if you have neighbors, helping you achieve even more privacy. 


Freedom is one of the best advantages of owning a single-family home. When you buy a house, you own the entire thing – inside and out. It’s your house, which means you can do what you want to do with it.

For example, if you decide to paint the house, you won’t have to ask for permission from a landlord. Likewise, you won’t need to ask if you choose to add space to the home through an addition. 

Having the freedom to use the house however you’d like is one of the top highlights of owning a home. 


Many people buy a house for the yard. For example, you might want to use it for entertaining. Others like using their yards for gardening or other purposes. 

When you purchase a multi-family home or rent a place to live, you might not have a yard to use. However, if you do have a yard, there might be rules you must follow.

If you’re interested in having a big yard at home, look for houses to buy that have large yards. 

Building Equity 

Another top benefit of owning a single-family home is the equity you build in it. Part of the money goes toward the principal loan balance when you make your monthly mortgage payments. 

Slowly, you build equity in the house, and equity is an investment. You can access the equity by taking a loan or selling it and keeping the profit. 

You can’t build equity when renting. Instead, the payments go to the landlord, and the landlord builds equity. 

More Space

Finally, single-family homes come with more space. In fact, as you begin looking for home buying tips, you’ll discover that you can find homes of all sizes. 

If you prefer a small house, you can filter your searches for smaller homes. If you prefer a larger house, you can look for homes with more square footage. 

The Cons of Single-Family Homes

After reading the benefits of owning a single-family home, you can take it one step further by learning the drawbacks. Here are the main ones:

More Responsibilities

Owning a single-family home comes with many responsibilities. After all, you have a landlord when you rent, and the landlord handles most of the duties. 

When you sign the documents to buy a house, you control these things, leaving you with more to do. 

For example, homeowners must care for their yards. Homeowners must also pay for the costs of repairs and maintenance. They also have to worry about keeping insurance on the property and making every mortgage payment.

As a result, some people look for houses for rent instead. Renting a house comes with fewer responsibilities, which is something many people prefer. 

Increased Costs

If you look at real estate prices, you’ll see that houses cost a lot of money. In fact, home prices continue to rise each year. Buying a house requires putting money down on the purchase, and you might need up to 20% down.

Owning a house requires paying extra bills that renters don’t have. For example, homeowners must pay homeowners insurance and property taxes. They’re also responsible for paying for repairs and maintenance.

Maintenance and Repairs

Owning a home not only requires paying for the repairs and maintenance but also requires hiring contractors to fix things. For example, if you have a plumbing problem, you must find a plumber to hire. 

Likewise, if your washing machine stops working, you must decide whether to fix it or replace it. 

Fewer Amenities 

Finally, owning a single-family home limits your access to amenities. When you choose an apartment or single-family rental, you might be in a community with other rental properties.

As a result, you might have access to a community swimming pool, fitness center, or clubhouse. Unfortunately, most single-family neighborhoods don’t offer these amenities. 

Therefore, you might want to think about these things as you decide how to proceed. 

Search for the Right Home for You

Buying a single-family home has some benefits, but it also has drawbacks. As you read through these, you’ll be one step closer to choosing the right house for your family.

Are you ready to start touring homes for sale? 

Contact us if you’d like to rent or buy a home in Alexandria, VA. We can help you determine which type of home is right for you. We’ll also help you choose the perfect house to buy!