Guest Post | What’s the difference between houses, flats and maisonettes? That’s a question many house hunters ask themselves when looking for a new home.
Estate and letting agents in Essex, east London and everywhere else will have all these types of properties on their books, but what are they and which is best for you? Below, we’ll go through the difference between a house, a flat and a maisonette.
What is a house?
We all know what a house is. Or, at least we think we do. A house can be:
Terraced – A terraced house is a two- or more storey house in a row of (usually) identical houses connected by a wall on each side. Terraced houses are popular as they’re usually a bit cheaper than semi-detached or detached houses.
The downside to a terraced house is that you’ve got neighbours on both sides (unless you’re in an end-of-terrace), which can cause issues if you or your neighbours tend to be a bit noisy.
End-of-terrace – Obviously, a terrace has to end somewhere, which is where end-of-terrace houses come in. An end-of-terrace shares all the characteristics of the rest of the terraced houses in the street, except they’re only connected by one wall, not two.
Semi-detached – A semi-detached house is a house that is connected to one other house by a shared wall. These differ from an end-of-terrace house as semi-detached houses usually come in pairs and are traditionally larger than a terraced house.
Detached – As you’ve probably guessed, a detached house stands on its own and isn’t connected to any other houses. Perfect for people who like to have their television or music on loud.
Bungalow – A bungalow is a low-profile, one-storey house (although some do have attic conversions) that’s usually detached. Bungalows are popular with old people and people who don’t like stairs.
What is a flat?
A flat is usually on one floor with separate rooms for the bedroom(s), living room, kitchen and bathroom. Flats can be built practically anywhere and you’ll find them in high-rise tower blocks, purpose-built blocks, above shops or part of a converted house.
Flats often have communal front doors, hallways and staircases but they can also be found with their own front door.
You can also get studio flats, which usually consist of one living space that is also used as the bedroom and kitchen, with only the bathroom being in a separate room. Despite studio flats being tiny, this doesn’t stop them from selling for over £1,000,000 in central London.
What is a maisonette?
A maisonette is the type of property that causes the most confusion when it comes to asking what the difference is between a house, a flat and a maisonette.
The word ‘maisonette’ comes from the French term for ‘little house’. Which would be fine if a maisonette was a house. But it’s not.
A maisonette is a two-storey flat with its own front door and stairs leading up to it. Although they can be found above shops or in a shared building, maisonettes don’t have a communal hallway.
Freehold or leasehold?
Houses, flats and maisonettes can all be either leasehold or freehold but, in general, houses are usually freehold while flats and maisonettes are leasehold (although flats and maisonettes occasionally come with a share of the freehold and there are rare occurrences of houses being leasehold).
Which would you buy?
When it comes to buying property, it usually boils down to what you can afford. If you win the lottery, you can buy your dream home which, let’s be honest here, probably wouldn’t be a flat above a shop. However, until that lottery win comes through, there’s nothing wrong with a flat or a maisonette and at least you know the difference now.