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When you’re house hunting, the number of floors is worth careful consideration. It affects not just the appearance of a home, but also how easy it is to navigate, its maintenance, the cost of heating and cooling, and much more. Perhaps you have your eye on a stately colonial, a captivating cape cod, or a rambling rancher. Before you buy, check out this list of the pros and cons of one-story versus two-story houses to determine the right home plan for your needs.
Ranch style homes offer plenty of unique advantages:
- Maintenance is a piece of cake. Because everything is on the same level, there’s no lugging loads of laundry or heavy vacuum cleaners up and down the stairs. Exterior cleaning and maintenance are a breeze, too. Painting, gutter cleaning, window washing and power washing can all be done directly from the ground without the need for risky extension ladders and scaffolding.
- Navigation is safer. Do you have young children or elderly parents living with you who can’t safely handle the stairs? A single story home reduces the risk of falls and accidents. And as you grow older, you can safely age in place.
Single story homes also come with some drawbacks:
- Construction can be expensive. The sprawling square footage of the typical ranch style home means more land is required. A one-story house also necessitates more building materials for the foundation, siding and roofing.
- They leave residents vulnerable. Security is thwarted in the single-story home. Because the windows are all located at ground level, would-be thieves and other criminals can easily gain access.
Multi-story homes come with their own unique benefits:
- Privacy gets a boost. Having a second floor makes it easier to create separate interior spaces. For example, teens who like to stay up later can watch TV downstairs while parents get some much-needed rest upstairs in the master suite.
- You stand to gain outdoor space. Since these homes are constructed such that one half is situated on top of the other half, even a large two-story home won’t take up a lot of space on the lot. This means you’ll have a more generous yard, which is particularly appealing for gardening enthusiasts and dog owners. As an added benefit, you stand to gain great views from second-story windows.
There are also some downsides to two-story residences:
- Heating and cooling are costlier. Heat rises and cold air settles. That means the upstairs will tend to run hot while lower floors will be cooler. You’ll need to adjust your heat and air conditioning accordingly. In fact, some real estate experts say the cost of heating and cooling a two-story home is nearly double that of a single story home of the same size.
- They can be noisy. Have you ever had the experience of living in an apartment building and hearing the neighbors at all hours of the night? Trying to concentrate while someone is playing music in an upstairs bedroom or running a bath in an upstairs bathroom can be very distracting.
Which home style will deliver a bigger bang for the buck when it comes time to sell? There isn’t a simple answer to this question. Resale value depends on many factors that vary widely from region to region and even among locales. In some parts of the country, ranch style homes are built on larger than average tracts of land, resulting in higher taxes that make them less attractive to potential buyers. In other areas, particularly those where the aging population is growing, homes with no stairs are in demand, driving up their resale value. The best way to decide what style is right for you is to carefully consider the unique needs of your family, now and in the future.
Ultimately, the choice of a one-story or two-story home is largely a matter of personal preference. For more information about the buying or building your dream home, please reach out to our helpful team of experts.
About Certified Title Corporation: Since 1994, attorney-owned Certified Title Corporation has been furnishing residential and commercial real estate stakeholders across the nation with robust title insurance, settlement, and escrow services. Renowned for their industry-leading reliability and exemplary level of service and quality, the Maryland-based company helps clients from all walks of life achieve their asset goals. To learn more, call (888)486-5511 or visit https://www.certifiedtitlecorp.com/.