If you are looking for a new home for your family, you'll come across a wide range of floor plans. Some will be more open, others will be more closed. Some will place the bedrooms close together, and others will separate them. But before you even dig into the details of various floor plans, you need to make a big decision: do you want a home with one story or two? Here are a few pros and cons of buying a home with a second floor.
Pro: The roof and foundation are smaller.
If you compare a 1,500 square foot home on one story to a 1,500 square foot home on two stories, the one on two stories will have a smaller roof and foundation. This is a good thing for a few reasons. The smaller the roof, the less expensive it will be to repair and replace. The smaller the foundation, the less surface area there is with potential for leaks and damage.
Con: Older adults may struggle to navigate the stairs.
When you're young and agile, climbing up stairs is no problem at all. But if you have older relatives come to visit, they may struggle to get up and down the stairs. This may mean they are not able to utilize the top floor of your home. Similarly, if you plan on staying in this home as you age, there may come a point at which you have to move out of the two-story home simply because you're no longer able to go up and down the stairs.
Pro: There's more privacy upstairs.
Often, the bedrooms are located on the top floor. This creates a bit more isolation from the kitchen, living room, and other living areas. This can be a real asset if you have kids. You can send them upstairs to bed, where it is quiet, while you stay awake downstairs. Any noise you make is less likely to travel upstairs. Having bedrooms upstairs also gives you a bit more privacy because guests probably won't go up the stairs without asking — whereas they may wander into a bedroom that's on the first floor.
Con: Heating and cooling can be more of a challenge.
Hot air rises, so the second story of a home tends to get hotter than the downstairs during the summer. Similarly, it can be tough to circulate heated air to the downstairs in the winter. One-story homes are simply easier to heat and cool evenly.
To learn more about different types of single-family homes, reach out to your real estate agent.