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Patio homes are an increasingly popular housing option in the real estate market, but many people still don’t know what they are.

To address the most common questions people have, we will explain what patio homes are, what they look like, how much they cost, and more.

We’re drawing on years of experience in the real estate market to provide you with this comprehensive overview.

Let’s jump in!

What Are Patio Homes?

The phrase “patio home” has different meanings. It can mean a single-story residential home that shares a wall with a neighboring home or even a certain type of detached home.

Additionally, a patio home may refer to a home that includes a private outdoor patio space. Strangely enough, though, a patio home doesn’t need a patio. This is because the term “patio home” has changed to more broadly describe housing with a low-maintenance design.

With that said, today, when someone says the word patio home, they usually mean a home attached to another patio home, making it similar to a condo or a townhome!

Patio Homes vs. Condos vs. Townhomes

Patio homes are frequently misclassified on listings as condos and townhomes, but patio homes are unique. See below for a quick comparison of the three types.

Patio Homes:

  • Single-family residence
  • Single-story
  • Shared wall(s) with neighbors
  • Has its own parcel of land
  • Private outdoor space


  • Can be multi-level
  • Shared walls between units
  • The owner owns the interior only
  • The condo complex owns the exterior


  • Multi-story
  • Shared walls with adjacent units
  • Narrow private lots or no lot

The main differences have to do with the number of floors, land ownership, and availability of private outdoor areas.

Patio Home vs. Other Attached Home Types

Some listings can also confuse patio homes with duplexes, but they differ from each other.

Essentially, patio homes operate as independent homes, while duplexes function more like multi-family housing with just two connected units.

Note: Patio homes, duplexes, condominiums, and townhomes each represent a distinct category of attached housing.

What Is Another Name For A Patio Home?

Patio homes also go by other names, which adds to the complexity of the terminology. These include zero-lot-line homes, cluster homes, garden homes, carriage homes, and courtyard homes.

All of these refer to the same genre of housing.

The terminology simply emphasizes different attributes:

  • Zero-lot-line homes – built close to or on the property line
  • Cluster homes – grouping around shared amenities
  • Garden homes – emphasis on landscaping
  • Courtyard homes – shared courtyard
  • Carriage homes – adjoined by a storage room or garage rather than a common wall

What Do Patio Homes Look Like?

Generally, patio homes look somewhat similar to townhomes or row houses, although each patio home will likely have its own small lawn out front. Patio homes may seem small from the outside, but the spaciousness can take you by surprise once you step inside.

Inside, patio homes can be downright gorgeous and diverse, covering a range of styles from ranch to modern and more. They often employ open concepts and vaulted ceilings to make their floorplans feel more roomy.

Features of patio homes include both master bedrooms and laundry on the main level due to the single-story designs. You’ll also frequently find large, open kitchens and contemporary finishes like stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and hardwood floors.

Do Patio Homes Come With An Actual Patio?


It’s not a guarantee that a patio home will have a patio since what is meant by a patio home differs. If a patio home does have a deck or concrete slab, it’ll likely be more modest than what you’d find accompanying a full-sized single-family home.

Do Patio Homes Have a Porch?

Most patio homes do come with some kind of front porch or entryway landing leading into the home. These covered porches tend to be fairly small—large enough for a couple of chairs at most.

Do Patio Homes Have a Garage?

Yes, most patio homes come equipped with a garage, either attached or detached.

Attached one to two-car garages are (by far) the most common type for patio homes. Detached garages are much less common but still available occasionally.

Some patio home garages even feature a separate entrance directly into the home, often leading into a mudroom or laundry area.

How Big Are Patio Homes Typically?

On average, patio homes range from 1,000 to 2,000 square feet. Here’s a breakdown of sizes and common features:

Smaller patio homes (1,000-1,400 sq. ft.):

  • 1-2 bedrooms
  • 1-2 bathrooms
  • Open-concept living and dining areas
  • Compact kitchen
  • Very small outdoor patio or front porch

Medium-sized patio homes (1,400-1,800 sq. ft.):

  • 2-3 bedrooms
  • 2-3 bathrooms
  • Separate living and dining rooms
  • Moderately sized kitchen
  • Outdoor patio or small private yard

Larger patio homes (1,800-2,000+ sq. ft.):

  • 3+ bedrooms
  • 2-3 bathrooms
  • Spacious living and dining areas
  • Gourmet kitchen with modern appliances
  • Outdoor living space, possibly including a landscaped area

How Much Do Patio Homes Cost On Average Today?

As the best approximation, patio homes range from $200,000 to $1M+. They are priced comparably to condos or townhomes of similar size and quality, so there is a broad range.

Since the prices above present such a large range, if you want to find a patio home at a specific price point, contact our real estate team. We’ll be happy to start a search for the perfect fit.

Pros and Cons of Living In A Patio Home

Patio homes have unique benefits and drawbacks that set them apart from other housing options. Below are the key pros and cons.

Pros of Patio Homes:

  • No stairs! Patio homes are a dream come true for retirees, individuals with mobility issues, or anyone who simply prefers to avoid stairs. With all your essential living spaces conveniently located on one floor, you can enjoy a comfortable and accessible lifestyle without sacrificing style or functionality.
  • Less yard work. Love your weekends? Patio homes offer the perfect solution for those who want to spend less time on yard work. With significantly smaller outdoor spaces compared to larger single-family homes, you can bid farewell to endless hours of mowing, weeding, and landscaping.
  • Less house maintenance. Patio homes are a great fit for those who value simplicity and low-maintenance living, thanks to fewer exterior maintenance responsibilities and a more compact living space.

Cons of Patio Homes

  • Privacy issues. Patio homes have less privacy because they are built in close proximity to one another, with shared walls. Homeowners will experience more noise transfer.
  • Tight space. Patio homes have less overall outdoor space compared to larger single-family homes. This may not be ideal for homeowners who enjoy gardening and outdoor entertaining or need ample space for children or pets to play.
  • Pesky HOA. Some patio home communities may have a homeowners association (HOA) that enforces restrictions on exterior modifications, landscaping choices, parking, and pet ownership.
  • Limited customizability. Due to the compact nature of patio homes and their proximity to neighboring properties, there may be limited opportunities for future expansions or additions to patio homes.

So, Who Are Patio Homes Best For?

If you find yourself nodding along to any of these descriptions, a patio home might just be your dream come true:

  • Retirees and Empty Nesters (especially those who want to downsize and simplify).
  • Busy Professionals (especially those who want less space to clean and maintain).
  • Individuals with Mobility Concerns (especially those with trouble walking stairs).

Where Can You Find Patio Homes

Patio homes are most likely to be found in the following developments:

Suburban Developments

Many suburban areas feature patio home communities, usually with a mix of other housing styles.

Active Adult Communities

Patio homes are a popular choice in communities for individuals aged 55 and over.

Urban Infill Developments

In recent years, patio homes have been making their way into urban areas as part of infill development projects.

Resort-Style Communities

Some resort-style communities utilize small, low-maintenance patio homes to cater to retirees.

Contact Us To Begin Your Search For Patio Homes

If patio home living has piqued your interest, it’s time to take the next step and connect with a knowledgeable real estate professional.

Our experts can guide you through the process of finding and purchasing an excellent patio home, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience from start to finish.

Why work with a real estate professional? Here are just a few reasons:

  • Access to exclusive listings
  • In-depth market knowledge
  • Streamlined search process
  • Expert negotiations and guidance
  • Ongoing support and resources
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