March 25, 2019

Spelling It Out: Apartment Types

Don't know a garden-style apartment property from a walk-up? Wonder what the difference is between a high-rise and a mid-rise? Here are definitions of various types of multifamily properties – buildings with five or more units – that you may encounter in rental housing:

  • High-rise - A building with nine or more floors and at least one elevator.
  • Mid-rise - A multi-story building with an elevator, typically in an urban area.
  • Garden-style - A one-, two-, or three-story apartment development built in a garden-like setting in a suburban, rural, or urban location; buildings may or may not have elevators.
  • Walk-up - A four-to six-story building without (as the name implies) an elevator.
  • Special-purpose housing - A multifamily property of any style that targets a particular population segment. Here are some examples:
    • Student housing - At least half of the units intended for students attending a nearby learning institution.
    • Seniors housing - Dedicated to housing senior citizens.
    • Subsidized housing - Caters to renters with low incomes or special needs and is made affordable by rent and income restriction.

Freddie Mac Multifamily buys mortgage loans on all these property types across the country, our mission is to help keep the market stable and promote affordability. We particularly focus on workforce housing – many of the apartments we finance have trouble securing funding elsewhere and are affordable to households earning area median income or less. Last year, more than 90% of the units we financed fit this description.

No matter what type of building you call home, My Home by Freddie Mac® has tips on renting, buying and owning a home.

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