One fun thing about house hunting is checking out many different styles of homes that might suit you and your family. Two popular types of houses include split-level and bi-level houses. It’s easy to get these two houses confused, but each style of home offers a different layout and living experience. The primary difference between the two homes is that a bi-level home is a single level home, whereas a split-story home has multiple stories.
While bi-level houses and split-level houses seem similar at first glance, you can actually spot the difference between these two home styles as soon as you walk through the front door. Bi-level houses typically have two floors, and you access them by the same front door. Once you enter the house through the front door, you stand in an entryway and can choose to go up or down the stairs to the floor of your choice.
Similar to a bi-level house, when you enter a split-level house you do so through one door that guides you to three different levels of the home. You can take a flight of stairs to reach the different levels. You can usually spot a split-level home from the outside thanks to its noticeably staggered appearance.
A typical split-level home has living areas on the lower level of the home and bedrooms on the upper levels. Split-level homes can also be divided up in a way that works well for multiple-family homes. All residents share an entryway, but each resident or family living in the home can have privacy on their individual level of the home.
There are a few different styles of split-level homes:
Here are the advantages and disadvantages to living in a split-level house.
Both split-level houses and bi-level houses cost less on average than traditional single family homes as they both tend to have smaller lot sizes than traditional homes. Bi-level houses are the cheapest option since they have fewer floors than split-level houses (split-levels usually have three levels, whereas bi-level houses are single level homes). Because of this, bi-level houses are a great affordable option for families.
The average price for a bi-level or split-level home is usually in the $115,000 to $200,000 range, but prices can vary greatly based on the size of the home, the condition of the home, and the location.
Learn whether it's cheaper to build or buy a house
Even though split-level and bi-level houses share some similarities, it’s important to understand the differences between these two types of homes as technically a bi-level home is a one-story home and a split story home is a multi-story home.
One of the best ways to fully understand the differences — as well as advantages and disadvantages — to split-level and bi-level homes before buying one is to tour each style of home. That way, you can get a sense for how you like the unique layout of the home, learn how you would navigate the home during your daily life, and see if it provides the space you need for your family.
You can also ask a Realtor or agent to share their experiences with each style of home, especially if you don’t think the home will be your forever home and you may want to resell it soon. Your Realtor can give you an idea of which style of home is likely to have a higher resale value as well — an important consideration.
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