What Is A Villa? – Things To Know

If you are thinking of purchasing a villa, or are thinking of doing so, it’s worth understanding what is a villa, and where it originated from.

Are you looking to expand your property portfolio or simply climb the property ladder yet another rung by adding another property to your repertoire? If so, then you may want a home that requires far less upkeep and maintenance than a traditional house, in which case a villa could prove extremely beneficial.

If you search online for villas, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed as the term can be defined in a variety of different ways. If you are thinking of purchasing a villa, or are thinking of doing so, it’s worth understanding what a villa is, and where it originated.

Here’s a look at a few interesting facts about villas.

What is a villa?

Villas originally had Roman origins, and we’ll be learning more about that a little later on. For now, however, we need to know what the current term for ‘villa’ is defined as.

These days, a villa is a term given to a middle-income/lower income property in which the property shares a wall with another property, similar to a townhouse like you might see in upmarket areas of London.

What Is A Villa? – Things To Know
7 bedroom luxury Villa for sale in Hampsted Lane, London, by Domazur Luxury Homes

Villas are often utilized in retirement communities, or holiday areas to be used as holiday lets. Though this can vary, most villas tend to have front gardens or terraces, along with small patio areas around the back.

More upmarket villas may have things such as pools, clubhouses, or other luxurious amenities.

Villas are not to be confused with terraces, as villas are usually single-story properties and are designed to closely resemble the garden spaces commonly associated with historic Roman villas.

A brief history of villas

Back in the Roman Empire, it was not uncommon for wealthy Roman people to own second properties located in the countryside away from the hustle and bustle of city life. These second properties were typically located on green land and were vast, spacious, today would be the equivalent of a mansion.

What Is A Villa? – Things To Know
Back in the Roman Empire, it was not uncommon for wealthy Roman people to own second properties located in the countryside

These villas came in two designs. The first design was known as a Villa Urbana, which was located closer to Rome, and could be accessed in a day or two (remember, there were no cars, busses, or trains back then). The idea was to have somewhere away from the city, without becoming too isolated.

The second design was known as a Villa Rustica, which is perhaps best compared with a countryside estate.

These were deliberately located in much more isolated and rural locations far from the city of Rome. They offered the same amenities and features as Urbana Villas, along with farmland, animals, and livestock, and often slaves who would tend to the animals and the fields for farming.

Current uses for villas

Obviously, we are no longer living in the Roman Empire, so times have changed considerably since then.

Villas nowadays are much smaller than they were back then, though their designs are typically similar to how they would have looked all those centuries ago.

What Is A Villa? – Things To Know
Villas are often used as holiday accommodation, though they can also serve as primary residences too.

Despite most villas resembling townhouses and being attached to neighbouring properties, you can also find detached villas that do not share walls with neighbouring properties. As an investment, detached villas are generally considered more lucrative because they offer privacy and make for the perfect base for a holiday getaway for groups of friends and/or family.

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