Real Estate Terminology - Condo, Plex, Semi Detached or Detached?

Like any industry, the Real Estate industry has their own terminology. When considering investing in Real Estate, either in purchasing a home of your own, or as a rental, it’s wise to become familiar with the terms. In this and next month’s blog, we focus on the types of homes.

CONDOMINIUM: A form of strata ownership where you own the unit you live in (eg: highrise or low-rise) and share ownership rights for the common areas of the building. In some cases, such as a resort or mixed commercial and residential development, you may co-own common areas with the development’s other owners that don’t actually live there.  

NOTE: We will cover strata ownership in next month’s blog but we wanted to share a bit of the information here to provide clarity to the following terms. Be sure to ask for the estoppel certificate or the certificate of status that outlines a condominium corporation's financial and legal state. “Condo Fees” or “Strata Fees” will vary depending on the services the strata covers such as garbage disposal, water, heat, etc. Pay attention to the rules around rentals whether buying with the intent to live in it, or as an investment to create rental income. In some cases owners are not allowed to rent, or a limited percentage can be rented and that limit may have already been reached. Some units have age limits such as for “seniors”.

ROW HOUSE or TOWNHOUSE is one unit of more than two similar single-family homes, side-by-side, joined by common walls. Properties located outside the home may be owned in Fee Simple or owned and managed by a Strata Counsel.

SEMI-DETACHED HOME: A duplex is a building containing two single-family homes, located one above the other where the ceiling in one unit is part of the construction of the floor of the unit above both having direct access from the outside. Alternately a duplex is two single-family homes located side by side sharing a common wall with independent access from the outside and often their own private yards and driveways.


STACKED TOWNHOUSE or PLEX: Two two-story homes are stacked one on top of the other. The buildings are usually attached in groups of four or more. Each unit has direct access from the outside. The term “Plex” is short for “Building Complex”. While the term can be used to describe a host of “complexes” for the purposes of this blog we are referring to single family home complexes.


SINGLE FAMILY DETACHED HOME: Free-standing home for one family, not attached to a house on either side. These may be located on a single lot, or located in a gated community or development site where the properties are owned and managed by a Strata Counsel.



Call us, we will help you sort out and clarify what exactly you are looking at.

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