While it may be our preference to live in a house that only includes our family and ours alone, the price of doing so can be much higher than you might expect. Not only the purchase price, but also the maintenance fees. Especially in a mountain community.
For those that may not be clear, a single-family home means that the building/house is a structure maintained and used by itself. It’s more ‘private’, if you will. Even though a dwelling unit shares one or more walls with another dwelling unit, it is a single family residence if it has direct access to a street or thoroughfare and does not share heating facilities, hot water equipment, nor any other essential facility or service with any other dwelling unit.
In a single family home you would not, generally speaking, expect the type things you find in short-term accommodations (hotel, motels, inns), large-scale rental accommodation (condominiums and/or apartments).
With a single family home you will generally find your own yard, just for you, and a garage.
It is important to note that In the United States, the term “Single Family Residence” specifically refers to the structure- not the occupants. In a single family home that is not rented, you can do what you wish – but let’s talk.
Pros and cons
Single-detached homes have both advantages and disadvantages. In the Vail Valley, if you are purchasing a single family home, you are probably at a level of financial stability that you probably care little about the disadvantages – other than those related to the investment potential.
Anyway, let’s talk about the pros and cons briefly.
Advantages are that the entire space around the building is private to the owner and family, and in some cases you one can add onto the existing house if more room is needed (an extra garage bay for example). Depending on how your house is used (i.e., are you renting it), you may or may not have property management fees. In most cases, you’ll want to plan on some fees – for such basics as snow removal in the winter months.
Disadvantages are that all maintenance and repair costs — interior, exterior, and everything in between — are at the owner’s expense. Amenities such as pools and playgrounds are usually absent, unless built at private expense, or if a municipal playground is available. Some single-detached homes do have these features within the lot or nearby, given that their owners pay a homeowners fee similar to those in condos or townhomes. Snow maintenance (shoveling and removal), landscaping and lawn upkeep costs are at the owner’s expense.