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Why a Patio Home May Be Right For You

Key Takeaway:

  • Patio homes provide one level low maintenance living
  • They’re often a “forever home” for their owners
  • Contact Gayle Blonar to search for your new patio home

Have you heard – Pittsburgh is a great place to retire?  Every day, we receive inquiries from former Pittsburghers who have moved away for careers and are now coming back to be with family and to take advantage of our excellent healthcare systems. 

The problem?

The homes these returning locals want to move into are in very short supply. I’m talking specifically about patio homes, a popular construction type that favors first-floor convenience perfect for a “forever home.”

But what exactly is a patio home? And why is it such a popular style of home? Let’s take a look at this Pittsburgh favorite and see where we may be able to find one for you!

What is a Patio Home 

rows of patio homes

The term “patio home” actually changes from region to region. In fact, one impatient and slightly angry buyer told me that Pittsburgh realtors do not know what a patio home is.  We do – our product is just different because our land is not flat.  You can call them patio homes, cluster homes, villas – whatever you want. The point is – these are the Pittsburgh version of a patio home.

One key thing to note is that patio homes in Pittsburgh may not have a patio.  Depending on the lot, the home may be level in the front but the lot will begin to drop off in the back, requiring a basement underneath, which means there will be a deck, not a patio.

How Big Are Patio Homes?

They do come in all sizes, with options ranging from as low as 1,100 square feet to over 3,000. Most of them are not a traditional ranch style, instead featuring a low-maintenance first floor with a living room, primary bedroom, and laundry room. The second story will typically have guest bedrooms and some of the homes also have a basement. 

Most of these homes are attached to other units, either side-by-side or in a quad arrangement. You can find detached patio homes in communities like Summerfield Woods in Houston Borough, but a townhome or condo-styled setup is more in line with what Pittsburgh suburban neighborhoods offer. Unique to communities like Summerfield Woods, the ranch patio home is separate with no common walls, built on a small lot maintained by a homeowner’s association.

Patio Homes: The Perfect Post-Retirement Space

retirement savings

If you are retired and hoping to eliminate stairs while downsizing into a home that is more easily manageable with less yard work;  a Pittsburgh patio home may be your best option.  Unfortunately, inventory can be pretty slim in the Pittsburgh area. We find that the most successful patio home buyers keep their options open and are flexible.  Waiting for a property to come on the market in your favorite community or with every feature on your wish list can take a long time and be very frustrating.

Securing New Construction Patio Homes

Our rolling Western Pennsylvania hills do not lend themselves well to level single-story dwellings.  Excavation and development costs are very high.  While builders recognize there is a huge market for one-floor low-maintenance living, most of the new construction starts above $400K.  If you think you might like to visit a new construction model, let me know.  I’d be happy to set that up for you so you can start this journey into a new Pittsburgh patio home. 

 In this area, if you register with a builder without your buyer’s agent, they will not honor that relationship, which leaves you unrepresented.   Why would you want representation?  We have an in-house general contractor who is a real asset when it comes to any kind of construction.  He helps our clients make sure they are getting a solid product by attending inspections during the building process – before the walls of your new patio home are closed up.

Give me a call when you’re ready to start your journey into learning more about these highly-desired Pittsburgh-area homes!

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