Life in the USA, like in any other country in the world, has its own characteristic features that affect almost all areas and spheres, from gastronomy to communication. Americans have well-established traditions and habits regarding housing, and many of them run counter to the popular ideas of foreigners.
First of all, the definition of “one-story America” is no longer true: most private homes have two floors, and the bulk of the population lives in apartment buildings. Another type of housing atypical for Europe is trailers, in which at least 20 million Americans live. And these are not always budget “homes on wheels” without any amenities; on the contrary, many of them have all the necessary communications, and the interior space includes a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. Quite often, such trailers form entire villages with their own “dormitory rules.”
Internal regulations necessarily exist in apartment buildings, and they can be very strict. For example, some owners’ associations prohibit keeping animals in apartments or impose restrictions on their number and weight, set a minimum rental period for tenants, and require potential buyers to pay a fee for consideration of their candidacy, which may be rejected if they have a criminal record or bad credit history.
In the case of private houses forming one residential complex, such an association can develop a set of rules regarding the appearance of facades or lawns, and if they are violated, take legal action. The most socially active residents organize so-called “neighborhood watches,” which not only monitor order in the area, but also patrol the streets to alert the police about any crimes or suspicious individuals.
The undoubted advantage of private houses is that, unlike apartment owners, their owners are allowed to install washing and drying machines. In addition, the apartments do not have central heating, which is replaced by their own boiler houses, and in a number of regions with warm climates there is no such thing. Houses are heated by fireplaces, gas heaters and various electrical appliances.
The presence of a large number of household appliances is another distinctive feature of residential real estate in the United States. It is mainly focused on the kitchen, which is combined with the living room; It is no coincidence that this layout option is called “American” in a number of other countries. Sinks in kitchens are much larger and deeper than in Russia or European countries, and they often contain a waste grinder, which, thanks to this, is easily washed down the drain and does not leave an unpleasant odor.
The difference is also felt in the bathroom, since the shower does not have a flexible hose and is simply firmly mounted into the wall, which, out of habit, causes some inconvenience for guests and emigrants from overseas. The same applies to the simultaneous regulation of water pressure and temperature by moving the handle in one direction.
However, some features of housing in the United States may surprise Russians, but not residents of most European countries. First of all, these include painting the walls instead of wallpapering, which is considered more practical and economically beneficial. The habit of not taking off your shoes in the house upon returning from the street might seem irrational, but, firstly, sidewalks are treated with special detergents, secondly, the floors in houses are easily washed, and, finally, most Americans do not clean themselves, but They call cleaning service specialists for this.