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Jan. 26, 2011 - Split-Entry, Split Foyer, Bi-Level, Raised Rambler, Raised Ranch or Splanch

UPDATE 1/2011 - Was recently asked what the difference is between a bi-level and a split-level home. The simple answer is in a split level the bedrooms are at least a few steps, usually about 6 steps, up from the kitchen level. If you look at the photos below of the bi-level (split entry) homes, a split level would have the rooms on the left (living room, dining room and kitchen) and the front door at ground level. The right hand side would be the same...two levels. So you lose the extra basement square footage on a split level to the left of the front door if garage is on the right. The garage is usually pulled forward so that there is more space in the house behind the garage.

For some recent advice on how to price out a bi-level Split Entry home, check out these methods and results.

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Original Post from May 2009 below

Seattle and Eastside homes of this type are most often called Split Entry homes (not to be confused with split level homes).  In a split "level" home, the bedrooms are not on the same floor as the kitchen, as they are in a bi-level or split entry home. It's basically a rambler or ranch home, with a basement that is partially and sometimes entirely above ground.

A newer one, which we don't see too often, would likely look like this:

My favorite that you can find in this area, but don't see too often has this window configuration in the living room:

 

The standard version that you see most often in the Seattle Area looks like this one that my clients recently bought for $300,000 in Bothell King County in the Northshore School District.  It was a bank owned property that previously sold for $465,000. If it were not a bank owned property, it likely would have sold for about $360,000.

The top floor plan is pretty standard and usually all of the interior living space walls are easily modified, as the supports for the structure are rarely contained in those walls.

The floor plan above is the main floor plan and the house is pretty much a full rectangle, so that the basement square footage is often pretty close to identical to the main floor. They usually have 3 bedrooms up as shown. Many have a master bath, that is usually a shower bath, basically behind the hall bath and accessed from the master bedroom which would be larger than the size of the bedroom shown above.

There are usually two fireplaces, one on the outside living room wall and one on that same wall below, making a nice family room, often with sliding glass doors out to the yard. The kitchen often has a counter that makes the kitchen a U-shape, and separates the dining room from the kitchen.  Some prefer to make it one big kitchen with no wall, and with kitchen flooring extending into the dining room.

This floor plan above shows the master bath option, but most often there is a shower stall there and not a tub as shown.  The tub is only in the hall bath.  This version also shows the kitchen with a counter between the dining room and kitchen, which is more often the way I see it.

You should never try to price this style of home using a price per square foot method. If you do, only use the main floor footprint, as the basement doesn't value out the same. Make sure you know the main floor footprint from the tax records before studying the "comps".

Pay particular attention to the main floor footprint as they generally vary from just over 1,000 square feet to about 1,300 square feet.  Remember, that difference is often doubled, as the basement area is also larger. The home in the last photo that sold for $300,000 did have the extra master bath, and was 1,300 square feet on the main floor.  One of the larger ones. Some have one bath with two doors, one from the hall and a separate door into the bath from the master bedroom.  Most of the variations on the main floor have to do with the bathroom.

The one I note as my favorite with the big glass window is often much larger and pricier.  I had clients who bought one in early 2008 (a short sale) in Tam O'Shanter near the Lake in Bellevue that was over 1,750 square feet on the main level.

A lot of people don't like them at first sight, but they clearly offer you the most house for the least price. Men tend to like them more than women because of the big garage and tons of basement space in addition to the family room.  They almost always have a nice big yard, and there should be a deck behind the dining room and kitchen, with sliding glass doors and steps down to the yard.  This way you can access the yard from the family room, or from the upper living space.

It's a great "starter" home in this market, because you are not likely to grow out of it, and can usually have a 4th bedroom on the lower level in addition to the family room and garage. If the lot is large enough, you can even amplify the living space by finishing the garage and building a separate detached garage or carport to the side.

A great home that often meets the needs of most any growing family. Also makes a lot of sense for people who work from home, as the basement area usually has room for an office, if that room is not used for a 4th bedroom.  The lower level often has the laundry area at the bottom of the steps under the kitchen plumbing, and a 3/4 or full bath on the basement level behind the laundry area.

So the larger ones are easily 4 bedrooms, 2 3/4 baths, a living and family room both with fireplaces, plus a two car garage. A LOT of house for the money.

 

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Aug. 7, 2009 - RE: Split-Entry, Split Foyer, Bi-Level, Raised Rambler, Raised Ranch or Splanch

Posted by apartment valencia

These are some useful tips for evaluating the price of split entry houses. It is interesting the see the differences between these and other kinds of houses. I am currently working in real estate and find this information fascinating. Thank you for sharing it.

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Feb. 21, 2011 - RE: Split-Entry, Split Foyer, Bi-Level, Raised Rambler, Raised Ranch or Splanch

Posted by Brick Fireplaces

Indeed this is good info. I was ready to make the mistake of pricing per square foot when I shouldn't have...I'm so glad I found this post. You just saved me a couple thousand $$. Thanks!

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ARDELL DellaLoggia of Sound Realty on Seattle Real Estate process and market including Kirkland, Bellevue, Redmond, Green Lake and most areas around the top of Lake Washington North of Downtown Seattle. Phone: 206-910-1000 - Mailto:ARDELLd@gmail.com

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