Australia has a wide variety of housing types. These include freestanding houses, semi-detached houses, terrace houses, villa units, townhouses and apartments. There are also dual occupancies (“dual occ’s) or duplexes, which is a development comprising two dwellings (either attached or detached) on a parcel of land.If you want a dwelling with a garden or a back yard, there are freestanding or detached houses of various styles, ages and sizes to choose from. A freestanding house generally provides the most privacy as it does not share a common wall with a neighbour’s home, but is commonly separated by a fence, a wall or a hedge. A semi-detached house is a type of dwelling that is usually a mirror image of the adjoining neighbour’s home, shares a common wall and often a common boundary fence. A dual occupancy home sometimes known as a duplex is two homes on the one block. There are various designs some with a common entrance while others have two totally separate entrances. Terrace houses are a row of identical or mirror-image houses that share side walls. They can be single or double storey and are also known as row houses or linked houses.
You will often hear the term units or villa units. A unit refers to a single level dwelling amongst a block of two or more similar units sited on a parcel of land. Units share common walls with their adjoining neighbours. A villa unit is similar to a unit except that it is freestanding without any common walls with neighbours or could usually share only the wall of the garage with the neighbour. Units and villa units almost always share common driveways and sometimes garden areas.Townhouses are usually two-storey dwellings that are freestanding, semi-detached or terraced. The noticeable difference between a townhouse and a normal house is that a townhouse usually occupies a smaller land allotment, within a sub-divided land parcel. The subdivision usually contains townhouses of similar design. Apartments are dwellings that occupy part of a larger apartment building, so your neighbours may live beside, above or below you. Each apartment in the building can also be referred as a unit or apartment unit. Apartment buildings can be high-rise or tower blocks comprising hundreds of units and common amenities such as a lobby, a gymnasium, a swimming pool and a roof top garden, or smaller blocks, sometimes called boutique apartments with say, 12, 20 or 36 units with minimum or no common amenities.
Other housing types include studio units, granny flats and penthouses. Studio units are a special kind of accommodation that combines a bedroom, living room and kitchen into one room and includes an attached bathroom or commonly called an ensuite bathroom. A studio unit can be amongst other units within a multi-unit complex or in an apartment building. A granny flat or in-laws flat is a self-contained dwelling within, attached to or separate from the main family home on the same parcel of land. A penthouse is usually the largest apartment on the highest floor in an apartment building. It could be single level or two-level. Houses and apartments may be as little as a few months old, or anywhere up to 150 years old. They may be made of brick, concrete, or timber (sometimes called weatherboard). Many old dwellings have been completely refurbished, particularly internally, featuring modern surfaces, appliances, fixtures and fittings.Dwellings usually include one to four bedrooms, a kitchen, one or two bathrooms, laundry and living space. Larger homes also include a second or third living area, a powder room, and a car garage or carport. Australians in general love the sun, hence many homes feature an outdoor entertaining area.Most homes have heating and some have central cooling or separate air-conditioning units. Carpets, curtains or blinds, light fittings, kitchen cupboards, hot water systems and stoves/ovens are generally included. Most homes include built-in wardrobes and some a dishwasher.Fully furnished houses are not common. So you may need to purchase items such as refridgerators, washing machines, clothes dryers, beds, tables, chairs and sofas or lounge suites.