If you are considering buying a new home and moving to Australia with your family, you may face a dilemma. What is better? A one-story vs a two-story home? Both have their pros and cons, depending on your needs and budget. Because of this, we will discuss this topic in more detail so that you can make an informed decision.
How do I decide if I need a one-story vs a two-story home?
Essentially, there is no right or wrong answer to this question. As usual, you have to start by considering your situation to reach a decision. Some people might be primarily focused on how they can save money on home bills. Certain aesthetic or practical parameters might guide others.
Simply put, people looking to purchase or build a home in Australia have different motivations for doing so. Thus, to help you deliberate, try to come up with realistic answers to the following matters.
Consider the number and age of people living in your new home.
This boils down to how accessible parts of your home should be for different people occupying the home. For example, you might plan to move in with your kids or teenagers. In this case, a two-story home might provide more privacy for each member of the household.
It is easier to disperse bedrooms and bathrooms on two stories. This means noise is a lesser issue as parents and children live on different levels. The same goes for people who like to have relatives and friends come over and stay for a few days or weeks.
However, if your kids are very young, or you plan to start a family in the future, it might make more sense to buy a single-story home. It is easier to childproof your home when you do not have stairs, windows, and other potentially dangerous structural elements.
If you plan to spend your retirement in Australia, you also might be better off with a one-story home. People tend to overlook that a set of stairs might present a severe obstacle a few years or a decade down the road.
Humans generally do not have a predisposition to plan for the future, so it seems. Regardless, your future needs should enter into the equation. As much as the additional square footage of a two-story home might be tempting, you have to think realistically about this matter.
How long do you plan to live in your home?
As we mentioned previously, some people may have more or less long-term plans for their new home. Suppose you are considering renting out the property. In that case, you should calculate the potential rental income of the properties under consideration before you opt for a single or two-storied home.
So, this consideration circles back to the previously discussed point. If you have or plan to have a large, multi-generational family and intend to live there for more than five years, buying a home with two stories makes more sense. However, if you and your partner tend to change plans and move relatively frequently, either because of your professions or lifestyles, then you should invest in a one-story home as these are easier to sell.
Furthermore, it is essential that you thoroughly inspect ‘candidate’ homes before buying. Most real estate agents note that detailed inspection is an absolute must since obscured property flaws may significantly influence the negotiations, purchase terms, and price.
Compare the costs of buying one-story vs two-story homes
Square footage is an essential consideration as it influences your home purchasing budget and prospects. Surprisingly enough, in the majority of cases, buying a two-story home is the less costly option.
This is because they have smaller foundations and smaller roofs. In turn, this makes a big difference during construction in terms of finances. However, this means that elegant home additions a few years down the line are not an option.
Furthermore, since there are two stories, this means that the rooms are less spacious. In turn, there is less ‘stretching out’ of wiring and plumbing across the structure. So, a two-story home is typically more affordable in terms of construction costs.
Compare the costs of maintaining one-story vs two-story homes
However, the story does not end there. Single-story homes usually do not need more than a single HVAC unit for the entire house. In contrast, two-story homes need two HVAC units for each story. This means energy and electricity bills are lesser in the case of one-story homes.
An added benefit of having only a single story is that it usually stays cooler during the summer months. Especially if one level has an open floor plan, which promotes air circulation.
Unfortunately, finances play a significant role in deciding whether you should buy a one-story vs a two-story home. One-story homes are also generally easier to resell. This is in part because of lower household bills that are in tight connection with its structure.
Compare the structure and aesthetics of one-story vs two-story homes.
Finally, it would help if you considered the aesthetic and structural properties of a one-story vs a two-story home. One-story homes are more likely to have open floor plans. This makes them more comfortable and, thus, more conducive to exciting interior design projects. Furthermore, as opposed to two-story homes, space is not wasted on stairs and HVAC units. However, two-story homes are more practical for people living with children or parents. They also (generally) cost less to build or buy.