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Types of Chicago Homes

Types of Chicago homes vary widely. Broadly, these are the main types of Chicago homes: Single Family Homes, Townhouses, Condos and Lofts.

Single Family Homes

By far the most common form of housing in Chicago is the single family detached home. These types of Chicago homes range from 600 sqft bungalows to 6000(or more)sqft sprawling mansions. The most important distinction is that single family dwellings sit on their own piece of land (which is sold part and parcel with the home) and it is not attached to anyone else's residence.


Townhouses are the "middle ground" between a detached single family home and a full fledged condominium because, to some degree, they have features of both. A townhouse is a home that is attached to one or more other houses, but which sits directly on a parcel of land that you also own (if you don't own the land, it is a condominium). Townhouses can range from duplexes and triplexes, all the way through to huge townhouse communities consisting of hundreds of similar homes.

In the case of larger townhouse communities, you will generally have an shared ownership in the common areas of the complex as well as any amenities such as swimming pools, park areas, etc. This ownership you will share jointly with all other townhouse owners in the complex. These homes are a little less expensive then the single family homes as some of the facilities are shared.

Chicago Condominium

In condominums, your ownership extends inward from your interior walls, floors and ceilings. In addition to that, you are a joint owner, with all of the other owners in the complex, of the exterior structure (the foundation, exterior walls and roof) as well as any common areas and amenities (for example, swimming pools, clubhouses, tennis courts, play areas, etc.)

One of the requirements of condominium ownership is the payment of a monthly condo fee. This is used for the maintanence of the whole external complex and its facilities. The maintenance of your own apartment is of course your responsibility.

Condos are more affordable than townhouses or single family homes, as you only own the apartment itself but not the land on which it stands. The land is the joint ownership of all the members of the community.

Lofts In The Chicago Area

Other types of Chicago homes include the Chicago loft. Converted from old warehouses and factories, they are also called hard lofts. These lofts consist of concrete construction, or exposed brick structures with original wooden posts, beams and floors. The lofts give one a feeling of air and space because of their high ceilings and large windows.

With most old factories and warehouses having been already converted, developers are now constructing new buildings resembling lofts to meet the demands for this type of home. These are called soft lofts - they are very similar to the hard lofts, but they are not the original vintage lofts.

Lofts are the most affordable as they are not fully constructed, but only converted living spaces using the outer shell of existing factories and warehouses.

You will find many variations of the above types of Chicago homes, but the basic types are the same.

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