Is a two-story home the right choice for you?

Two-story homes are extremely popular in some parts of the country with thousands of real estate listings to choose from, notably in the populous Northeast and Midwest regions, according to data from the 2009 housing report from the U.S. Census. For big families, a two-story home is almost a must, particularly if the lot is not large. While the home’s outward appearance and your personal preferences may play a role, consider the following factors when you decide if a two-story home works for you.

Two-Story Home Positives

A two-story home allows you to maximize your living space without taking up a lot of your land. Large or growing families in particular will appreciate the extra space, both for storage and for the extra bedroom possibilities. Two-story homes often look bigger and more prestigious than their one-story counterparts; if you prefer the look of a large, executive home, then a two-story with a formal foyer may be the best choice. You’ll appreciate the added privacy of a two-story home; when you have guests over, you can entertain downstairs and not worry about anyone stumbling into the master bedroom by accident.

Two-Story Home Negatives

Senior citizens or people with mobility problems may have difficulty accessing the bedrooms or upper floors of a two-story home. Doing a property search of two-story homes and specifying that each should have a first-floor bedroom and bath can help get around this problem, particularly if the elderly person lives with a growing, active family. Heating and air conditioning may be an issue with a large two-story home; you could spend more than you expect to heat the larger space, and your air conditioner will have to work harder to cool the upper floors in summer, due to the fact that heat rises.

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