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Semi-detached homes: a wise choice for first time buyers?

Semi-detached homes: a wise choice for first time buyers?

People often have the instinct to want to invest in a single-family home when they are ready to settle down and start a family.

This is the case of this reader who asked me: “My girlfriend and I have been saving for years to buy our first home. We are undecided between a single-family home or a semi-detached house. We are leaning towards twins, but those around us are not encouraging us to do so. Is this a wise choice? Why are the opinions On the subject so divided?

Semi-detached houses, also called “semi-detached”, have many advantages that cannot be underestimated. Here are the pros and cons to consider before purchasing a semi-detached unit. I hope they help you in your choice!


The semi-detached unit costs less and saves money.

The strong point of semi-detached homes is that they are, most of the time, less expensive than single-family homes. Not only at the time of purchase, but in the long term as well. It allows, among other things, to reduce energy costs thanks to the common wall. After all, you’re sharing one side of your home with your neighbour: so it’s very likely that heating will cost less.

In addition, it is also possible to share some expenses with your neighbor, such as snow removal or grounds maintenance costs. By the same token, your home will require less maintenance overall than a single-family home, if we consider a smaller yard or a split entryway.

New constructions focus on sound insulation.

This is certainly one of the most common concerns when buying a semi-detached house. In fact, you’re clearly more likely to hear your neighbors there than in a single-family home. On the other hand, you should know that party walls, especially for new constructions, are becoming increasingly thick and provide good sound insulation. Generally speaking, this is not something that should hold you back.

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We are more independent than we think.

Unlike an apartment, for example, semi-detached houses have no (or few) common areas. Moreover, even if you share a wall with your neighbor, they are two separate homes. Each part is managed independently by the owner, except for works that need to be carried out on the common wall or floor, as this work can affect both parts of the building.


There is a risk that you will find yourself at the mercy of your neighbours.

Of course, having noisy neighbors you don’t get along with can have a very negative impact on the experience of living in a semi-detached house. At the time of purchase, you can find out what kind of people your neighbors are, but of course they can move in at any time and then you will not have the opportunity to choose the new owners.

There is less privacy than in a single-family home.

Often we share a yard with other people, or if the yard is very small, the risk of overhearing neighbors’ conversations will be high. Many will choose to separate their yard with a cedar fence, for example, which allows good privacy, but that can’t prevent the risk of being heard closer than in the yard of a single-family home.


It must be admitted that semi-detached houses are a great option for first time buyers. They are often very spacious and cost less than single-family homes, and this aspect should not be neglected. It all depends on what kind of person you are!

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  • Get to know your future neighbors before you buy, for added peace of mind.
  • Learn about divided shared ownership if you purchase a semi-detached property; Independence can be reduced.