Raised ranch houses were made popular in the 60’s and 70’s and are a natural progression from ranches. True raised-ranches are very rare in New England, most often they are found in older neighborhoods where there is ledge in the ground and the cost of excavation exceeds the cost/benefit curve.
Realtors often confuse them with split-levels but there really is a simple way to distinguish one – if you enter the door and are standing on a landing and immediately have to make a decision to go up a half-flight of stairs or down a half-flight of stairs, you are in a split, not a raised ranch. In contrast, in a raised ranch you will go up a full flight of outside stairs or enter at ground level and go up a full flight of inside stairs to get to the main living level.
Upstairs you will find the kitchen, dining, living and bedrooms. Downstairs you will find the family room, utility room, possibly some bedrooms, and the garage.
This style of home is really a clever way to get two-stories of living space within a one story home. However, with all the major living activities such as sleeping and entertaining on the upper floor, older homeowners or people with troubles going up or down stairs will avoid them.
In many towns they are found along rural roads or what were rural roads at the time in clusters of several homes that were built at the same time. Some developers also built them in large tract developments that have evolved into wonderful family neighborhoods. If you can find one, and don’t mind the stairs, a raised ranch might just be your perfect home.