Single-family homes, as the name suggests, are exactly what they sound like: houses, with either singular or multiple storeys, intended for occupation by a single family, which distinguishes them from multi-family houses. These residences, regardless of their size or style (i.e. modern, rustic, classic), can either be free-standing buildings, apartments or townhouses in a development area or estate, but will always have their own erf number.
Characteristics of single-family homes
A single-family home is a structure with the purpose of housing a single family, which usually consists of between 2 to 5 persons. This does not necessarily have to denote a residence that provides 2 to 5 separate bedrooms; however, the interior layout of space (and the relationship between various rooms, like a number of bathrooms) has to be of an adequate size so as to not result in a cramped or cluttered lifestyle for its residents.
It is also possible for a single-family home to share one or more of its walls with a neighboring structure, as in the case of an apartment complex, as long as it does not split essential facilities or services with another dwelling, like heating.
It is important to note that single-family homes exclude any short-term accommodation, such as a hotel, or large-scale rental lodgings, like hostels or boarding houses.
What are the pros and cons of single-family homes?
Usually, owners of freestanding homes are allowed to make any changes they want to their property, provided that they comply with municipal regulations or the relevant local authorities, such as complex/estate rules. Provided that you fall within the local area rules, you have total control over your property and may alter it (i.e. add an extension or another storey) as you deem fit. However, it is always best to check with your local municipality before opting for structural changes, as you may require planning permission before proceeding.
Additional advantages of single-family homes include more opportunities and space for gardens and yards, more privacy, as well as a reduction in noise levels (as suburban neighborhoods are definitely quieter than city-bound locations).
However, disadvantages of such homes are very real, such as the fact that you, as the owner, will be responsible for all costs involved in your home, including rates, taxes, water, electricity and insurance. It is also your job to maintain the upkeep of your house’s facade and yard/garden, perimeter wall, driveway and other factors that form part of the building and land. Purchasing and maintaining a free-standing structure as a single-family home can also work out more expensive than alternative options, like a condo or townhouse.
Costs of single-family homes
Building costs for single-family homes in South Africa can differ dramatically, depending on factors like finishes, location and property size. However, the average building costs for an entry-level home (with a size of about 80 – 140 m²) work out to roughly R6 403 per square metre.
For houses smaller than 80 m², the costs can be in the range of R3 964 per square metre, while the price increases to about R7 425 when it comes to flats and townhouses that are to be occupied by single families.
Of course single-family homes can also be created because of existing structures being renovated instead of being built from scratch. Costs for home renovation in South Africa exist within a very wide range of options, depending on the renovation contractors and their level of experience, as well as material costs, labor expenses and a percentage of profit. The pricing structure of many contractors is based on per-unit calculations, like per-square metre, per-cubic metre or per-linear metre. This takes into consideration labor, material and profit, but often preliminary and general fees get added to the final price.
Each renovation project has its own unique details that influence the overall price, which makes it rather difficult to pinpoint a precise figure for general renovations; however, an all-inclusive bathroom renovation (with a floor size of 4 m² and a ceiling height of 2.6 m) can work out to about R42 000. An entire flat renovation (of 80 m²) can cost R50 000, while the construction of a new entertainment area, complete with roof and aluminium doors and windows, can easily work out to R100 000.
Depending on a wealth of factors including contractors, house size and weather conditions, the average completion of a home in South Africa takes about 7 months. This includes the approximate 25 days from authorization to starting the building process, which can take about 6 months to finish. Bear in mind, however, that the timeline from authorization to completion is not necessarily the same for each and every building project, depending on the housing category, location and metropolitan status.
How Homify can help you.
From cosy beach homes to spacious city-bound apartments, Homify offers up a vast range of housing options, including single-family homes, to cater for all tastes and preferences, not to mention budgets. These not only serve to show you what various houses and styles are available (both in South Africa and abroad), but also to inspire you for your own living abode. We also showcase a range of professionals to help you acquire the house and rooms tailor-made for your tastes.