One-Story vs Two-Story: Which Home is Right for You?

one-story vs two-story

one-story vs two-story

One-Story vs Two-Story: Which Home is Right for You?

 

If you’re ready to purchase a new home, one of the most important things to consider is the question of one-story vs two-story. How do you know which type of home is right for you? The truth is, there’s no universal answer to that question because there are so many pros and cons of each type. Additionally, it really just depends on the individual unique circumstances of you and your family. 

Factors such as age, time of life, location, family dynamics, and lifestyle all play a critical role in determining if certain features of a one-story vs two-story home are an advantage or disadvantage in your situation. What a couple in their 30s is looking for might be significantly different from what a couple in their 50s is looking for. Likewise, a family with young children (or planning for children) will have different needs than a family with grown children or no children at all. 

So before you get your heart set on a two-story Victorian house just because you fell in love with that one house in the neighborhood when you were twelve, let’s discuss some features that might be significantly important to your individual situation and knowing which house is right for you. Here are some essential features and their advantages and disadvantages when deciding between buying a one-story vs two-story house.

  1. Stairs
  2. Maintenance 
  3. Emergency safety
  4. Privacy/security
  5. Location and house/yard size
  6. Lifestyle
  7. Cost

1. Stairs

Perhaps the most obvious difference to consider between a one-story vs two-story house is the stairs. Whether stairs are present or absent in a home is a major consideration for a few reasons. 

Particularly if you have young children, have elderly parents living with you, or are elderly yourselves, stairs can be a major safety hazard. And for the elderly, they can sometimes be an impossible obstacle altogether. Even if you are still young, you need to factor stairs into the equation if you plan on growing old in this home. This consideration alone can be a deciding factor between a one-story vs two-story house. 

However, if stairs do not pose a safety issue in your situation, they can actually be a small but significant advantage in promoting a healthy lifestyle. The built-in exercise of going up and down a set of stairs every day can be a physical boost that helps keep you healthy longer!

2. Maintenance 

Another key consideration when deciding between a one-story vs two-story house is maintenance. When it comes to overall ease of maintenance, the overall winner here is a one-story house. Whether indoor or outdoor, regular upkeep is so much easier when you don’t have stairs or an elevated upper level to deal with. 

With a two story house, you might have to have a set of cleaning supplies for each floor or be inconvenienced with having to cart your supplies up and down the stairs while cleaning your home. And when conducting outdoor maintenance, a two story home might require extra equipment such as scaffolding to accommodate. 

3. Emergency safety

The next thing to consider when deciding on a one story vs two story house is how it can be navigated in the event of an emergency. Unfortunately, natural disasters and manmade disasters are a fact of life and a possibility that needs to be considered. Whether there is a flood, tornado, fire, or any other emergency, you and your family need to have a plan and be prepared. And the fact here is that a one story home is much easier to quickly and safely navigate and evacuate out of in the event of an emergency. Hopefully you and your family will never have to encounter such an event, but it’s always best to consider safety first, just in case. 

4. Privacy/security

One feature you might not think to consider when deciding between a one story vs two story house is privacy and security. If your home is all on ground level, you remain more exposed to the peeping eyes of nosey neighbors. Not only that but the scouting eyes of would-be thieves, too. Having a second floor gives you the freedom of keeping your windows open and enjoying the natural light and sunshine, outdoor views, and fresh air elevated above eye level. This gives you the freedom of a little extra built-in privacy. 

Also, if you happen to leave your windows open, it is proven that it’s much less likely for a criminal to scale a house to enter from a second story window accidentally left open and bring down stolen goods from that height. 

5. Location and house/yard size

It’s all about “location, location, location,” right? As it turns out, location can be a major factor when considering a one story vs two story house when it comes to house and yard size. If you live in a city, land plot size becomes significantly more expensive, as there’s less to come by. Because of this, a two story home gives you the ability to have a much larger home and square footage while taking up less land space. 

This issue still holds if you live in the country or suburbs. If you intend to have a spacious backyard (which is definitely a feature a lot of home buyers are looking for), you will have to purchase significantly more land to accommodate a larger one story home than a two story. 

6. Lifestyle

In some cases, a family’s lifestyle can be the most decisive factor in choosing a one story vs two story house. 

For instance, if a couple enjoys entertaining friends and family and hosting holiday events, they might want a two story home to separate private living quarters from the common areas for when guests are present. Or if they have younger children, they might prefer the same setup so the kids can go upstairs to sleep undisturbed while the parents stay up late to enjoy some alone time watching TV. 

However, if you do have a lot of scampering feet from younger family members, a one story home can be quieter without having to hear all of that foot traffic above you from a second floor.

7. Cost

Finally, one of the most significant considerations when buying a one story vs two story house is cost. It’s no secret that buying a house is expensive. So with all the hidden costs of buying a home and saving up for the downpayment, it’s important to cut costs where you can. We’ve already discussed how it can be cheaper to have a two story house than a one story when it comes to the land each type of floor plan takes up. 

However, apart from the initial purchasing or building costs, there are also continuing maintenance costs that can really add up over time. We already discussed the convenience of maintaining a one story vs two story house. And that convenience is reflected in cost as well, making the general upkeep of a one story cheaper than a two story house. This is also true of electricity costs. In general the heating and cooling of a two story house can be significantly more expensive than heating and cooling just one floor.  

 

Are you considering moving into a new home? Give Ruth Stultz a call to see how she can help! Ruth Stultz is a highly experienced realtor who understands Lake Conroe and Montgomery County better than anyone. When it comes to the sale of your current home or finding the perfect property with everything you want, Ruth knows exactly where to look. You can trust Ruth Stultz with buying and selling your home.

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Ruth Stultz
Ruth Stultz
Ruth has been helping clients buy and sell homes in Montgomery County for over 30 years. She's seen and handled everything you can think of in the real estate world.

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