Definition Of Single Family Residence Explained

Written By:

Post Publish Date -Updated::

Real estate is a complex industry, and understanding its legal terms can be daunting. There are so many unique terms in real estate.

One term that you may come across frequently in real estate transactions is “single-family residence.” It is essential to understand what this means so that you know exactly what type of property you are buying or selling. Read on as we will discuss the definition of a single-family residence and why it is essential for real estate transactions. We will also examine how each state defines single-family residence, as they may differ slightly.

Table of Contents

A Single Family Home Residence Defined

A single-family residence, or SFR, is a dwelling unit that contains one housing unit designed for occupancy by a single family. This could include houses, condominiums, townhouses, duplexes, and other dwellings intended to be occupied by no more than one family at a time. Single-family residences can also have garages, patios, balconies, and other common areas.

The FHA defines a Single Family Home as:

“A single family home is classified as an individual, unattached dwelling structure. For the purposes of an FHA loan, it is an owner occupied home, which means that the borrower must intend to use the home as their primary residence.”


The FHA defines a single-family home as a single home, which means it has its own land. And that the home is used as a primary residence for the borrower.

If you are looking for an FHA-approved loan on your home or residence, this is how the FHA will define a single-family home.

Others might use other definitions; most people will go with the FHA definition, which states that a single-family home is a home that one family occupies, usually detached and sitting on some land.

Why Is It Important To Understand The Single-Family Home Definition?

You might ask yourself why it is essential for me to understand the definition of a single-family home. This definition is important when you are looking to buy or sell real estate.

Understanding the definition of single-family residence when buying or selling real estate property is essential because it can affect the type of mortgage loan you qualify for and other factors such as taxes.

For example, buying a single-family home with a conventional loan gives you more flexibility with the loan terms. Additionally, certain taxes may apply to single-family homes that do not apply to other dwellings.

Each State Has Its Definition Of Single Family Residences

This can get confusing in real estate terms because each state can have its own definition of a single-family home. Therefore, understanding how your state defines a single-family home is essential.

For example, a condominium in one state may be considered a single-family residence; in another, it may not. Some states may define a condominium as a single-family home, but only if it meets specific requirements as defined by the state.

Researching the legal definition in your state before making any real estate transactions is essential.

Where do you find how your state defines single-family homes?

Each state legally defines a single-family home differently. You can find information about how your state defines a single-family home for real estate, legal, and loan purposes in different places.

Here are some of the locations or places you can check:

Check Your State’s Department Of Real Estate Or Real Estate Commission

One place to start is the website of your state’s Department of Real Estate or Real Estate Commission. They may have information about defining a single-family home and any regulations or requirements related to real estate transactions and loans on their website.

Consult With A Real Estate Attorney

Another option is to consult with a real estate attorney in your state. They can explain how your state defines a single-family home for legal and loan purposes and help you navigate any legal issues that may arise during the home-buying or selling process.

Check Your State’s Banking Department or Consumer Finance

Lastly, you can also check with your state’s banking department or consumer finance agency, as they may have information on how they define single-family homes for lending purposes.

It’s important to note that the definition of a single-family home can vary by state, so it’s essential to refer to your state’s specific laws and regulations to ensure that you have accurate information.

Understanding the definition of a single-family residence is essential when buying or selling real estate property. It is important to know what type of dwelling you are purchasing and how each state defines single-family residences so that you can make the best decision for your real estate transaction.

Understanding the legal terms of single-family residences ensures that you will be better equipped to make informed decisions about buying or selling a home.

You Can Listen To Our Podcast About Home Sweet Home: Understanding Single-Family Residences
Below or By clicking here.

Real Estate Crunch gives you real property and real estate information and advice. We offer a free monthly newsletter; you can sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.

We also have a weekly podcast called “Real Estate Crunch,” on all major podcast platforms. Listen to our podcast by clicking here.

Follow us on our social media platforms – Facebook and Instagram.

Single-Family Vs. Duplex Vs. Accessory Dwelling Unit Explained

Today, when you’re looking at the housing market, there could be so many different words going around, such as a single-family dwelling unit, a duplex unit, or an accessory dwelling unit. These may all seem similar, but there are some differences between them.

By clicking here, you can read more about Single-Family Vs. Duplex Vs. Accessory Dwelling Unit Explained

Boxabl Modular Housing, Our Thoughts

Boxabl is a new housing concept that has entered every competitive housing market. Almost everyone I have spoken to has seen or heard about the Boxabl house unfolding on site.

By clicking here, you can read more about Boxabl Modular Housing, Our Thoughts 

Anita Hummel
Follow Me

Share Our Blogs On Social Media