Types of Real Estate Properties Explained


It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you’re ready to start looking for a new place to live. There are many different kinds of properties listed in many different kinds of ways. You could spend hours trying to figure out how to narrow down your options!

Instead of wasting time looking at residences that don’t match exactly what you’re looking for, take a few minutes to learn about the different kinds of real estate properties and what they’re called. It will help you figure out exactly what it is you’re looking for so you can use that term in your search.


A villa can be a surprisingly complicated term.

When browsing available villas in Dubai on Bayut, for example, you’ll notice that some of them look like they would be right at home in Italy. That makes sense because the term villa originally referenced an upper-class Roman country house. However, the term has taken on its own meaning over the centuries. When you continue browsing the site, you’ll discover there are plenty of villas that feature modern architecture.

Today, villa is a much broader term than it once was. It can reference an owned property, but it is also often used in conjunction with senior and rental properties. They are often one-level properties with shared walls, but they can also be two or three stories high and built in a compound of smaller, single-family dwellings.

No matter what kind of villa you choose, it’s a great option for people who want to feel a bit like they’re on vacation when they’re home.


Condos and townhomes are two terms that get confused a lot. It helps to know exactly what sets these two terms apart, as well as what sets them apart from other kinds of properties.

A condo is owned by its occupant. However, only the unit itself is owned by the person dwelling inside.

People who live in condos pay an association fee. This fee goes to pay for things like:

  • Cleaning and maintenance of hallways
  • Mowing and maintenance of the lawn
  • Upkeep on exterior features, like siding
  • Maintenance of parking logs
  • Access to workout facilities and pools
  • Ability to use communal areas

The only area of a condo that can be altered is the interior of the unit. Everything else is maintained by the condo association.


A townhome sounds a lot like a condo. However, you will own a lot more if you choose this style of abode.

The biggest difference between a townhome and a condo is the fact that the owner owns the exterior in addition to the interior. That means you can decide how you want to landscape your yard, but it also means you will be responsible for replacing your roof and siding.

Townhomes often share one wall with another unit, but they don’t have to worry about upstairs and downstairs neighbors like many condo owners do. Because they own the interior and exterior space, home owner’s association fees are a lot lower with a townhome, but the purchase cost will be higher.


If you’re looking to live in a small unit within a larger building, you’re probably looking for an apartment-style home. In most cases, apartments are rented. They require a deposit, and a monthly rent payment must be made every month.

However, that’s not always the case. Although U.S. apartments are rented, apartments in other countries can sometimes be purchased, making them more like condos. Make sure you look carefully when searching to see if the space you’re interested can be rented, or if it must be purchased.


The broadest real estate term of all is “house.” There are over 80 synonyms that can be used interchangeably with this word!

Knowing more specific styles of homes can be very helpful if you’re searching for a new home. A few terms to consider include:

  • Bungalow: A small house that is under two stories
  • Cabin: Usually located in a natural area and made of natural materials
  • Chalet: Usually used to refer to a small Swiss-style house
  • Chateau: This style is often found near vineyards
  • Cottage: A small house that’s located in the country
  • Flat: Refers to a one-floor apartment
  • Modular home: This style is assembled in section inside a factory
  • Penthouse: A unit that resides on the roof of a building

Ready to get your home search started? Narrow down your options and find the perfect abode for your family by using these terms in your search!


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