While the meaning of the term patio home varies by location, it usually indicates a single-story home, having one or more common walls with neighboring homes, a patio and a common back yard. These homes are popular with seniors as the homeowner's association is responsible for outdoor maintenance.
Patio homes have several advantages. Developers and builders are able to incorporate more lots and homes in the same space in order to cut costs. They can pass the savings to buyers, reducing the overall cost of the property. The single-level homes are ideal for individuals who find it difficult to climb stairs, and they eliminate many of the problems of upstairs or downstairs neighbors. Passing the responsibility for outside maintenance to the HOA is often ideal for seniors and owners who travel frequently.
For some buyers, the disadvantages of a patio home outweigh the benefits. The lack of outdoor space limits the owner's options for entertaining. Patio homes are less-popular with developers than townhomes, so the selections are more limited. The shared walls make the noises of neighbors more noticeable than when living in a single family home. Patio homeowners are responsible to pay fees to the HOA, even if there is no mortgage on their home. In some communities, the HOA rules and politics interfere with the use and enjoyment of the home.