Real estate comes in many different forms, so no matter what your budget or list of requirements, you should be able to find something to your liking. Some people are not keen on having their home squashed in between two others like a sardine but can't afford a fully detached property. The solution for these people, then, could be a semi detached home. If you're not sure what a semi detached is, this article should be able to clear up the confusion.
Semi detached homes go by many different names, including semis, se-tenants, duplexes, or twins. They can be described as one of two houses which are attached to one another and form a mirror image of one another. Semi detached homes share one interior wall in the center of the home, which often runs through the living room and dining room on the first floor and two of the bedrooms on the second floor. This shared wall is often called a 'party wall,' which forms part of the property line. This wall should be a fire wall (made of brick or stone).
The semi detached home can be traced back to England in the 1900s, when father and son architects both named John Shaw came up with the idea to meet the needs of London's housing boom in the 1920s and 1930s. These early semi detached homes were owned by the middle class and became some of the first suburbs. They bear little resemblance to the semi detached houses for sale today, as they were built in unique style like Tudor, ship, chalet, and art deco.
You might be lucky enough to see a few properties outside of England, such as in Australia, but in Canada the semis you'll see available are much more likely to be in the modern style. Earlier historic semi detached homes are made of red brick and look similar to New York brownstones. They were built in large numbers in Toronto, especially in the Annex neighborhood, from the late 1800s to the 1950s because they fit well into the narrow lots Toronto property was divided into.
Townhouse styles you may find in Toronto today.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to the semi detached home. Buying one is cheaper than getting a detached home but less crowded than a row home. You get a garden, but some of your renovation plans may have to be scrapped as you will have to coordinate with your neighbor on exterior renovations and maintenance, such as painting and roof replacement. You may also hear some noise through the party wall, which actually stands for "parting" but you wouldn't guess that when your neighbors are throwing a party. Of course, we advise you to get a home inspection completed before buying any type of home, detached or semidetached. You never know what problems may be lurking behind the wall, and companies trained to inspect home like Housemaster Edmonton or at other locations, will search out those potential issues.