Lord Of The Homes: The Return Of The Ranch

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April 12, 2016

Back in the 1940s and early 1950s, people loved the low profile of single-story ranch houses, often times in the shape of an L or a U, but trends are often times ephemeral, and what was once in style can become passé overnight (just ask Hawaiian shirts or frosted tips). But just as trends disappear, they can reappear, a testament to their cyclical nature. 

Single-story homes are back in a big way, and the numbers support this. As The Orange County Register reports, a recent survey released by the NAHB showed 64 percent of homebuyers prefer a single-story home. Breaking this number down even further, 35 percent of millennials, 49 percent of Gen Xers, 75 percent of Baby Boomers, and 75 percent of seniors say they would like a single-story house.

It makes sense that the older generations, specifically, value the single-story living offered by ranches, as stairs can become more and more difficult to navigate with age. But 35 percent of millennials, which may seem like a relatively small number but is actually a pretty significant share, are also interested in single-story living.

In many places, a single-story ranch makes the perfect starter-home for a young couple, but that isn’t the case everywhere. Take Orange County, Calif. for example, where a ranch less than 3,000 square feet can cost upwards of $1.5 million. Many ranch homes may look small and quaint from the front, but are spacious inside.

However, as land becomes more and more expensive, many builders have opted to build two-story houses on smaller parcels of land as opposed to spreading out a single-story house on a larger piece of land. It remains to be seen if the demand for single-story ranch houses is large enough for builders to actually take notice and start constructing more, but from a real estate standpoint, these homes are all the rage right now.

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