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Old 01-20-2008, 11:43 AM
 
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As I am dreaming about my future starter house, I am wondering what are the pros and cons of a split level entry. The con for me would be that the basement is open, so there's less privacy though that would be a pro when you have young children so you know what they are doing! I've also heard that these houses can be bigger. Thoughts?
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:47 AM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
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Bigger than what? I don't much care for them because I think the front door in the middle of the floors looks bad from the outside - not a good balance for the structure. They are usually modest sized houses and not done in the larger houses.
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:54 AM
 
Location: State of Being
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesaje View Post
Bigger than what? I don't much care for them because I think the front door in the middle of the floors looks bad from the outside - not a good balance for the structure. They are usually modest sized houses and not done in the larger houses.
Many of us started out in the 70s w/ split foyer type homes. We all rapidly got sick of them - too many stairs to just get inside the house, LOL.
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Looking East and hoping!
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Our first home was "split entry" or "bi-level". When kids were younger it was great and we had many parties in the lower family room. As years went by the stairs become a chore. Lugging groceries up 2 set of stairs becomes "not fun." We now have a big open ranch or single entry and love it. My knees thank me everyday.
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesaje View Post
Bigger than what? I don't much care for them because I think the front door in the middle of the floors looks bad from the outside - not a good balance for the structure. They are usually modest sized houses and not done in the larger houses.
Sorry I wasn't more clear!! I've just heard that they can be bigger than a single entry house, especially when it comes to small ranches.
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:32 PM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
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For the same size foot print, the finished basement will make a larger house than a slab ranch or unfinished ranch basement - but the same for a ranch with a finished basement. But the U stair with the entry landing takes up more space than a straight stair.

Maybe some Realtor can give a better answer or correct me if I'm wrong, but my impression is that the last house buyers consider is a split entry so for the same size, you make it less desirable than a ranch with a basement.
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Land of 10000 Lakes + some
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Split levels are less expensive, I believe, but so short on storage.
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:39 PM
 
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Thank you for your comments, very helpful!

As a first-time home buyer, I might not have much choice when it will come to buying a house, and I think I would take the finished basement in a split-level over the unfinished basement of a ranch for the same price...Though I've always wanted a single-entry ranch, I've been looking at the prices of a split-level and it might make a good starter house...Oh well, I'll see!
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:47 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
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In this part of the country split foyers showed up en masse in the '70's as they were an FHA 235 approved plan that offered a more open and inviting lower level than a standard basement. Good sized windows, suitable for escape, could be added later at a very small cost so the lower level could be used for expansion bedrooms. Also, the shallow excavation required saved costs and made the use of treated wood basements more successful. All those factors made them exceptionally cheap, and fast, to build.
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Old 01-21-2008, 06:35 AM
 
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Sometimes the shallow excavation for a split entry home was a necessity to avoid wet basements.

I, myself, never cared for those style of houses as it seemed everybody in the 70's in my area took up the "fad"

Hardly any have been built in my area in the last 20 years.
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