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Choose the Type of Home

Single Family

  • Pros: Good appreciation.  Opportunity for gardens.  More privacy. Quieter.
  • Cons: More expensive than our next category.  More maintenance.

Condos, Town homes, Cooperatives

  • Pros: Less expensive than comparable single-family homes.  Generally newer so fewer repairs.  Lock-n-go lifestyle.  No yard or exterior maintenance.
  • Cons: Less privacy.  Noisier.  Common walls and/or floors and ceilings. Sometimes no private yard or balcony.

Single Story

  • Pros: Easy wheelchair access.  Some medical conditions such as bad knees make it hard for certain individuals to climb stairs.  Easier to clean.
  • Cons: Can be noisier if stereos or televisions are located on the same floor as bedrooms.  Some people feel safety is compromised if bedrooms are located at ground level.  More of the lot is absorbed by living quarters.

More than One Story

  • Pros: More living space on same foundation than a ranch home.  Less noise if entertaining on lower level while other family members sleep upstairs.
  • Cons: More trips up and down the stairs to carry stuff to bedrooms.  If laundry rooms are on the second floor, washer leaks are major.  Might need dual vacuum cleaners.  It is difficult to maintain consistent temperatures on each level without dual heating and cooling units.

Split Levels

  • Pros: Often less expensive if purchased with lower level unfinished.  Higher ceilings are appealing. Downstairs family room separates noise levels from upstairs.  More square footage on same size lots as ranch homes.
  • Cons: Less storage space.  Hassle to take trash downstairs and carry groceries upstairs or vice versa. Kitchens tend to be smaller.

Number of Bedrooms

  • Pros: Common minimum requested configurations are 3 bedrooms.  Newer parents prefer bedrooms located on one level.
  • Cons: 2 bedrooms appeal primarily to first-time home buyers, singles or seniors.  However, don’t discount a two bedroom if an extra den will satisfy your space requirements.

Bonus Rooms

  • Pros: Extra space for media rooms, art studios, children’s playrooms, gyms, den/study.
  • Cons: More expensive
    Decide How Many Garages & Type

Number of Bathrooms

  • Pros: More than one bath is preferred by most people.  One bath homes are often less expensive.
  • Cons: Don’t pass up a one bath home is there is room to add a second bath.  Sometimes it costs less to put in an extra bath than it does to buy a two-bath home.

Square Footage

  • Pros: larger spaces offer more room and cost less per square foot than smaller spaces.
  • Cons: Don’t be misled as lay-out is more important than actual square footage. Sometimes well designed smaller spaces appear larger.


  • Pros: Cheaper to build. Convenient if raining or snowing.
  • Cons: Higher noise levels inside the home from cars.  Some people feel they are an eye sore. If the garage door to the house self locks, you could get locked out at an inopportune time.


  • Pros: Can be tucked away from site lines.  Quieter.
  • Cons: More expensive to build.  Farther to walk in bad weather.