Split-Level houses were made popular in the 60’s and many are still built today. They are the one house style that most people associate with “Grandma’s House”. Depending on the ingenuity of the builder and the owners, splits are among the least expensive house styles that you can find in any town.
Realtors often confuse them with multi-level houses and raised ranches, but there should be no confusion, as there really is a distinct style that really determines a split. Here it is: If you have to go up a half-flight of exterior stairs and then once inside you are on a landing from which you have to decide to go up or down another half-flight of stairs, you’re in a split-level.
One car garages are often located beneath the sleeping spaces and depending on the size of the footprint two car garages are a nice upgraded feature.
The floor plans are universal, up a half-level you will find the kitchen, dining and living rooms to one side of the staircase and the bedrooms to the other side. Down a half-level you will find a family room, office, laundry, mechanical and storage, and garage.
Splits were originally built as inexpensive homes which maximized usable living space while minimizing foundation and roof costs. Because of this, the basements are usually very shallow, allowing the use of short windows above ground that introduced air flow and sunlight. And either a cause or an effect, they are often found in areas with high water tables and areas with bedrock close to the surface.
As a sweeping generality, in my initial meeting with buyers, split-levels are the one home style that most will eliminate from consideration. And yet hundreds of them are sold each year due to their economical carrying costs, generally low prices, and great use of space.