Home Buying in Chelmsford>Question Details

Rummus, Home Buyer in Lowell, MA

Raised ranch versus ranch

Asked by Rummus, Lowell, MA Tue Jan 18, 2011

what segment of buyers market is interested in these two styles. which ones will resell quicker or does it matter?

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Christine Moran Realtor & Notary’s answer
You have to watch the square footage on a raised ranch. Some appraisers in Mass don't count the basement if it is below the frost line even if you have nice rooms there. It can effect the value.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 19, 2011
Hi Rummus,

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.


Joe Finnerty
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
Lehigh Valley Office, PA
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 19, 2011
Hello Rummus,
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!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 18, 2011
This is an important question. I own a ranch home, so I have personal experience/bias regarding ranch homes.
I've just put some of my thoughts about ranch style homes in my blog: http://www.commonmoves.com/agents/LouisKing
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
many regular ranches have good basements that are finished or can be finished. So compare the basements in both ranches and raised ranches.

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.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 12, 2011
Location and condition are more important than style in my opinion. There is always someone looking for one or the other, in fact alot of my clients with inlaw needs, prefer raised ranches, while others that may not like stairs prefer a one level layout. I would be careful of main roads, and other location factors that could present resale challenges more so than style.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
In my market a raised ranch is considered the least desirable of all the housing types. As such It usually is purchased by first time homes buyers who cannot afford the other styles (of the same size and in the same location) as it resale value is less.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 19, 2011
Neither one has a faster resell rate. It really depends on the person purchasing which style is personally preferable. Having young children a raised ranch is nice because you have a lower level for a play area. If you have knee problems or issues with stairs then a ranch works best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 19, 2011
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