House

A house is a building that functions as a home. They can range from simple dwellings such as rudimentary huts of nomadic tribes and the improvised shacks in shantytowns to complex, fixed structures of wood, masonry, concrete or other materials containing plumbing, ventilation, and electrical systems. Houses use a range of different roofing systems to keep precipitation such as rain from getting into the dwelling space. Houses may have doors or locks to secure the dwelling space and protect its inhabitants and contents from burglars or other trespassers. Most conventional modern houses in Western cultures will contain one or more bedrooms and bathrooms, a kitchen or cooking area, and a living room. A house may have a separate dining room, or the eating area may be integrated into another room. Some large houses in North America have a recreation room. In traditional agriculture-oriented societies, domestic animals such as chickens or larger livestock (like cattle) may share part of the house with humans.

The social unit that lives in a house is known as a household. Most commonly, a household is a family unit of some kind, although households may also be other social groups, such as roommates or, in a rooming house, unconnected individuals. Some houses only have a dwelling space for one family or similar-sized group; larger houses called townhouses or row houses may contain numerous family dwellings in the same structure. A house may be accompanied by outbuildings, such as a garage for vehicles or a shed for gardening equipment and tools. A house may have a backyard or front yard, which serve as additional areas where inhabitants can relax or eat.

Housing tenure

Housing tenure refers to the financial arrangements under which someone has the right to live in a house or apartment. The most frequent forms are tenancy, in which rent is paid to a landlord, and owner-occupancy. Mixed forms of tenure are also possible.

The basic forms of tenure can be subdivided, for example an owner-occupier may own a house outright, or it may be mortgaged. In the case of tenancy, the landlord may be a private individual, a non-profit organization such as a housing association, or a government body, as in public housing.

Surveys used in social science research frequently include questions about housing tenure, because it is a useful proxy for income or wealth, and people are less reluctant to give information about it.

Cooperative Ownership of the entire building or complex is held in common by a homeowners' association. Individuals have the right to occupy a particular apartment by mutual agreement but do not hold exclusive ownership to it.

Condominium (a.k.a. commonhold and strata title) Ownership of an apartment or house is assigned to an individual, but common areas (e.g. hallways, heating system, elevators, exterior areas) are controlled by the homeowners' association. Fees are charged to the condo owners for maintenance of the common areas. These are referred to as "condo fees".

Land trust Often used as an alternative to ownership for privacy and legal reasons.

Timeshare A modified form of cooperative, condominium, or leased house or apartment, with short-term residency right agreements tailored for vacations.

 

 


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