Posted by Peggy Farber on 2/1/2017

It may not look like it, but a one level house can be as roomy as a two story home. Newer one level homes are designed with highly functional open floor plans. Colonial or ranch style roofs give these homes a traditional appearance, making them look as if they are two floors instead of one from the outside.

Because a one story house may be longer or wider than a two story house, you may get more yard with a one story home. Both housing structures offer rewards and limitations. Following are key features, including pros and cons, that are good to consider when trying to decide whether you want to buy a one level house or a two story home.

Square footage – If you live alone, you may not need or want much space in your home. You may be happy with a house that’s 900 square feet. A small, one level home may cost less while giving you all the room that you want. Should you have a large family, you may want 900 square feet of space on each floor, for a total of 1,800 square feet of living space.

Functionality– Houses that are designed with lots of rooms and doors may feel cramped, even if there is a lot of square footage in the house. Do you want a house that allows you to keep an eye on young children? Not only could an open floor plan help meet this need, so too could a one level house. On the other hand, if you have older children and want them to have a great deal of privacy, a two story house could prove best. A two story house would allow your older children to spend time upstairs in their bedroom for an hour or two while you had free reign on the house’s first floor.

Physical health – Arthritis and other health challenges could make it hard to climb stairs. Other challenges that stairs cause include children falling down stairs and older pets having to climb stairs. If you plan on living at your house for several years, think about what your lifestyle will be like a few years after you move into the house. Right now, you may not mind climbing stairs each time you do laundry, head to bed or retrieve an item from your bedroom. Yet, five to six years later, you may not want to climb stairs so frequently. Having older parents living with you is another point to consider when thinking about whether to buy a one level or a two story home.

Number ofrooms – Two story homes tend to have more rooms with doors. You may want roomswith doors for office space, bedrooms for teenage children or guest space. Ifyou plan on renting out a portion of your home, a two story house is almost amust.

Think about the different ways that you will use your home. For example, if you plan on using your home to conduct business, a two story house may prove more efficient.That way, you could use one level for the business and another level solely for family.

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