"The pros and cons of buying a single-story or two-story home are determined by the buyer, by what he or she needs," said Steve Snoddy, vice president of sales for Scottsdale-based AV Homes, which builds single-and-two story homes and develops family and 55-and-over communities in Florida, Arizona and the Carolinas.
Demographic and more
“There are many deciding factors —such as small children, multi-generation considerations and desires for more yard space for children and pets — which lead folks to two stories,” said Ernest Deo Haycraft, salesman for the Mulberry neighborhood in Mesa, part of the Americana collection by Mesa-based Blandford Homes. With 38 years building Southeast Valley homes, the company offers single- and two-level homes, sometimes, as with Mulberry, in the same community.
At the same time, older buyers, including empty-nesters, generally prefer single-level living. “In our Arizona communities, we exclusively offer one-story homes,” said Steven Berry, senior vice president of architecture and design for Sun Lakes-based Robson Resort Communities, which has been building 55-plus communities in Arizona and Texas for five decades.
“Single-level living is highly desired with our buyer demographic. We’ve maximized home designs to take advantage of outdoor living space, natural light and courtyard environments,” he said. Single-story homes are generally more energy-efficient to heat and cool, especially in Arizona, reducing utility bills, Snoddy said. However, today’s energy-efficient products, including high- SEER air-conditioning, higher insulative “R” values, 2-by-6-foot construction, dual-pane low-E windows and radiant barriers are making one- or two-story home of similar square-footage about the same heat and cool, Haycraft said.
Single-story homes eliminate stairs for those who may not want to walk up and down each day, said Snoddy, adding that for this reason AV builds its 55-plus communities only in this configuration. At the same time, a single-story will generally take up more lot space, mini- mizing the usable yard space, he added.
In contrast, a two-story home allows more square-footage on a parcel at a more affordable price per square-foot. And, “Two-story homes allow more flexibility with space as there generally are more bedrooms, play areas or lofts to give a family options to use the space optimally for their family,” Snoddy said. “And if a young family has the foresight to and financial ability to buy a larger two-story home, it can grow into the additional space as they have more children.”