So, what's your style?

Villas are currently witnessing a resurgence. Originally upper-class country-houses in ancient Rome, these properties beginning to dot Bangalore’s suburbs are for those of you looking for an independent home that is sleek and luxurious.

They also come in the duplex mode with separate car-park, compact garden and pool within gated environs. Additional attractions thrown in to enhance the allure are security and barbecue spot. Globetrotting homebuyers find international architectural styles especially appealing.

Independent residence and proximity to the city despite suburban living are prominent reasons for popularity of villas. High resale value is yet another. Villa-style duplexes blend in the features of villas and rowhouses, while villaments combine the features of villas and high-end apartments. Higher-income families preferring the ambience of a villa at the price of a high-end apartment go for the latter model.

Other house-styles include terraced houses, rowhouses, linked houses, townhouses and patio houses, though many times, most of these are employed synonymously. Rowhouses consist of adjacent, uniform units that are smaller and less luxurious than townhouses. Terraced house’ was a term originally coined to denote streets of houses with uniform fronts and height that made them appear more stylish than rowhouses.

But, today, the term is often used interchangeably with townhouses. Townhouses generally refer to houses sharing walls with other adjacent units, rather than above or below them.

So, they can be multi-storied homes too. Often inclusive of common amenities like community pool and affording maintenance ease in the event of the existence of a homeowners’ association, the townhouse can’t prevent noise from infiltrating through the shared walls. Neither can it avoid other disadvantages that come with the homeowners’ association like imposition of restrictions and politicking.

Lower price is a merit of duplex/Gemini/twin homes. A duplex house is basically a dwelling with apartments having separate entrances for two families. They could sit side by side on the same plot, sharing a common wall or be semi-detached, twin homes on two distinct properties.

Finally, there are patio homes. Sounds exotic? Well, not exactly so. In fact, there’s a grey area when it comes to definition of patio homes. They are sometimes a blend of single-family homes and condominiums, with a small patio area replacing the backyard. At others, particularly in the American setting, the patio house occupies the boundaries of its lot, with the yard in the centre, forming a garden open to the sky within the house. All the major rooms open to the porches lining this interior garden!

Security, privacy and outdoor exposure are plus-points. Where homeowner associations exist, they take care of maintenance.  Single-floor patio homes are convenient for senior citizens. These could be huge too. The buyer, however, needs to check whether the amenities and upgrades provided are included in the initial price quoted or will be bundled on progressively.

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