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Split-level homes are enjoying a mini-renaissance

By Mike Wheatley | October 22, 2019

Split-level homes that feature rooms on multiple floors were all the rage in the 1970s, and though they’re not nearly as popular today, they do seem to be making a comeback.


That’s according to an analysis of data from Google, which shows that searches for split-level homes have been increasing since 2004, reaching an all-time high in January 2017. The largest increases over the past year came during May and July.

“I’ve always seen split-levels as the minivans of the architectural world,” Orly Halpern of John L. Scott Realty in Portland, Ore., told Apartment Therapy. “If you can get past the often awkward curb appeal, they offer practical living options for most every type of household.”

While the open floor plan is hot, more homeowners have been showing some desire to separate spaces more lately. The split-level blueprint allows for more separation between downstairs and upstairs than other home designs, and also allow for more separated noise and activity between family rooms and bedrooms. It’s also gaining popularity among multigenerational households.

“Having a somewhat separate living area for a family member that is on another floor can give some added privacy or boundaries,” Tekela Fisher from Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty in Portland, Ore., told Apartment Therapy.

The split-level home saw a building boom of the style in the 1970s. With more coming onto the market, more buyers—particularly young buyers looking for something unique—may be drawn to them.

“Millennials still love ranch-style homes, and a split-level is basically a variation on that theme: Double the benefits of the ranch’s fluid and linear living spaces by planting one level atop another,” Apartment Therapy reports in an article on the trend. “Whereas a ranch’s one-story construction was sprawling, the split-level had the same amount of space but better utilized the horizontal square footage through condensed stories.”

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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