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Row houses are a category of urban homes that are located in one area and are consistent, one with the other, in architecture, design, and appearance. The etymology of different real estate terms used to describe homes is difficult to pin down, but for the most part, houses described with this term are multistory units that are at least consistent, if not identical, to all adjoining homes. Similar to townhouses, they are located in older, larger cities, especially those on the eastern coast of the United States.
A 2005 Boston Globe article by James McCown featured an explanation of the differences between townhouses, row houses, and brownstones. The first two terms describe houses that are very similar in structure and design, while the term "brownstone" refers to the color of the exterior façade of either type of home. Townhouses were often constructed with different features than surrounding homes, but row houses were all about consistency.
Row houses are common in areas of the United States from Jersey City, New Jersey, and Boston, Massachusetts, all the way to San Francisco, California. London, England, also features homes that would fit into the category. They are often distinguishable by their protruding windows — either bay window or bow window — and their uniformity.
Besides architectural elements, row houses are often associated with multistory living. The main living area of many can be found on the second floor, not the first. In some cases, depending on renovation results, it may feature two spacious floors for the owner with individual apartments above or below the main living area.
In the real estate market, row houses are often sought because of their history, but also their similarity to apartment living. In many major cities, They sell for amounts well in excess of $1 million US Dollars. Of particular value are those with several units included so that they can be rented out by the owner to generate income.
@klow - Fortunately, the cities of the East Coast still have many, many row house neighborhoods, some of which date back to the early nineteenth century! Baltimore has a variety of different row house, such as the distinctive flat-faced brick row house and the sunlight day-parlor houses, which prominently feature a closed in sun room in front and bright blue-green roof tiles. They should be easy to find if you're curious as to what they look like.
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