In the Lehigh Valley, PA I've found that a common buyer of a ranch is a home buyer who is getting older and tired of dealing with steps. They might like a home with a basement but really only want to use it for storage. They don't want it to be a major part of their lives (i.e. washer and dryer in the basement, finished rec room). If the home has a finished basement (something they don't want or care about) then they might not want to pay a higher price for the home because of this amenity.
A raised ranch usually has a finished basement or has a layout conducive to finishing. By default, they are usually on a lot where entry to the house has steps and the walk-out basement is common. Some buyers are looking for in-law quarters. A raised ranch might be the solution.
When a home buyer asks me about ranches I usually only look at "ranches" and depending on inventory may then start looking at "raised ranches". It also depends on the buyer. Is it an elderly person who will be living alone? Is it a buyer who may eventually want to move the parents into the home or want the basement for additional living space?
I've found the "I'm getting older and don't want to deal with the steps", the more common buyer.
Hope this is of some help.
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
Lehigh Valley Office, PA
I believe that there are many other factors involved when selecting a home than simply the style of the home. Location, lot size, condition of the home, neighborhood amenities, proximity to major roads, and of course price to name a few.
Style is strictly a matter of taste but colonials seem to be the most favored in the northeast. Elderly couples or those with disabilities might prefer a ranch because of a lesser amount of stairs.
I hope this is helpful!
Prudential Connecticut Realty
I've just put some of my thoughts about ranch style homes in my blog: http://www.commonmoves.com/agents/LouisKing
The most important factors in basements are:
1. Does it take water?
2. How high are the ceilings?
3. Can you walk right out of the basement to level ground?
4. Are any of the bedrooms in the basement? If so, how bright are they?
Since all kinds of ranches have larger footprints than capes and colonials, you'll need more lot size to achieve the same sized yard.