New Home Construction Terms and Residence Types

New Home Community

A new home community is a community of homes that are being built brand new. Any homeowner moving in to a new home community will be the first owner of their home. New home communities are sometimes called subdivisions. Within a new home community, several building companies may contribute, resulting in homes with a variety of architectural styles and sizes.

Master Planned Community

A master planned community is unique in the fact that the housing community offers a wider spectrum of amenities than most other housing communities. Master planned communities usually offer fitness and recreation amenities, but may also include onsite stores, restaurants and schools. Master planned communities generally occupy a larger plot of land and will also include walking trails, lakes, golf courses and ponds.

Single-Family Home

Also known as a single-detached dwelling, a single-family home is a free-standing residential building that is not attached to another residence. Most single-family homes are located on a plot of land slightly larger than the house, creating a privately owned yard. Single family homes are commonly seen in suburbs, subdivisions and master planned communities. An owner of a single family home can make any renovations or expansions to their home as it is privately owned, as long as they are in compliance with regulations determined by their state or homeowner association.

Town home

Town homes are homes that are attached to other homes on either side but generally do not have a residence above or below them. Town homes are usually multiple story dwellings with two stories. Town homes are commonly seen in cities and suburbs. Each town home is individually owned, and unlike a condominium or an apartment there is no owner of the primary building the town home is located in.


A condominium is similar to an apartment, but a condominium is traditionally owned and not rented. Condominiums are individually owned but the building they are located in is privately owned by a company or a separate owner. All common facilities in the building, such as a pool, hallways, elevators and stairs are controlled by the owner of the building.

Row Home

Similar to a townhouse, a row home is part of a series of homes attached to one another and joined by common walls. Row homes may be single or multiple story dwellings. Row homes are commonly seen in major cities.


There are several types of housing that are commonly referred to as “villas.” A villa may refer to a privately owned apartment or hotel suite that is rented out to travelers on vacation. The owner may live in the villa seasonally or may own the property exclusively as a means of income.

A villa also refers to a series of attached homes residing on a landscaped plot of land. These homes generally are attached by a central, outdoor corridor and are commonly seen along the West coast, especially in California.

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