Those who are currently in the market to purchase a single-family home have many decisions to make. Single-family homes make up the largest category of available homes for sale in most areas, but that classification is a broad one that includes many different designs. As prospective buyers review and compare new listings, they may find themselves focusing on attractive features, like fireplaces, gourmet-quality kitchens, and spacious master bedroom suites.
While these features can be an important part of any purchase decision, prospective buyers should also focus on the design of the home and whether it will offer them benefits, both now and in the future.
The story question
Ranchers and other single-story homes have been popular with home buyers for decades, but there are some good reasons to also consider homes with more than one level, as well. One of the most important is the heating bill. Because heat rises, homes with more than one story can be easier and less expensive to heat. In addition, furnace ducts are usually shorter, so that the heat produced by the furnace reaches its destination faster and with less temperature loss.
Homes with two or more stories also have smaller roof surfaces than that of a sprawling single-story ranch home. Smaller roof surfaces equate to less roofing materials needed and less time necessary to install them, making periodic roof replacement also less costly.
The limitation question
Prospective buyers who face or expect to face some type of physical limitation will want to look for design features that will help to ensure the home remains comfortable for the duration of their ownership. For some buyers, this may mean looking for homes with entries that require few or no steps or ones where ramps can be easily installed. Physical limitations may also require some or all of the following features:
- attached parking equipped with an easily accessible door directly into the home
- a site that does not have hilly or sloped areas that would be difficult to traverse
- easily accessible streets and driveways with good visibility and level terrain
- hallways, bathrooms, and kitchens that will easily allow for the use of mobility equipment
- a comfortable main floor bedroom and bathroom
Taking the time to consider all aspects of homeownership, including costs of ownership and overall comfort, will help ensure that the home you purchase will continue to fit your family throughout your years of ownership. Your real estate professional can help you compare available single-family home listings and decide whether their designs would benefit your buying situation.
For information about single-family homes in your area, contact a real estate agent.