New Construction One Level Living Isn’t Aunt Suzie’s 1950s Rambler

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Most advertising for new homes are big, gorgeous two story homes with tons of space. What happened to one level living? Where are they, and who builds them?

There’s a new wave of builders who know that not everyone wants a two story, 4 bedroom home. One level doesn’t mean tiny house. Throughout the Twin City area are new developments in the works that include single story plans with up to 3800 finished square feet. The key is to get in early because they sell out as soon after the basement is excavated. What to expect depends on the builder. There are different levels of quality, size, location, and price points. Right this minute the MLS is showing 455 new construction one level homes built by a long list of builders who aren’t always the builders you might know. It might take some searching to find the perfect fit, but there are new options this spring. Some of the homes are ‘To Be Built,” but there are a few move in ready. 

The single level homes that I’ve seen have the kitchen, dining, living room, in an expansive sun filled floor plan with the laundry tucked into the mud room by the garage. Some have additional home offices, sun rooms, decks also on the same level. They bear little resemblance to Aunt Suzie’s 1950 rambler with the low ceiling moldy basement. You’ll find vaulted ceilings, huge windows, walk in closets, accent wall gas fireplaces, and sometimes a 3 car garage. Not to mention, there is no “Honey Do” list.

Last week I spoke with John Arthur Homes about a townhome development in Savage with 18 units. New homes are energy efficient smart homes. We expect high efficiency windows, insulation, energy efficient appliances, but some are exceptional. The use of International Design Standards assists older homeowners maneuver more easily. Here’s a list of some perks to look for:

  1. Extra wide 36 inch doors to allow for wheel chairs, walkers, ease of movement.
  2. Levered door handles instead of knobs for arthritic hands.
  3. Light fixtures that you can tap instead of flip.
  4. LED lighting for long lasting bulbs.
  5. Showers with a low lip, or flat entry with optional grips.
  6. 36 inch high counters and cabinetry in the kitchen and baths (less bending)
  7. Wide staircase to the basement.
  8. Low son “silent fans” in all bathrooms for quieter experience
  9. Soft close drawers on all cabinetry in kitchens and baths 
  10. “Open web” floor trusses for higher ceilings in finished lower level
  11. Minnesota Green Path Certified
  12. Radon mitigation system

There’s a lot to love about new construction, and even more with single story homes.

If you’re at all considering selling, and aren’t sure what your next step is, please give me a jingle and we’ll figure it out. Phone: 612 384 1360 Website:


Posted by

Mary Jo Quay

“That’s what I do: I move people—H O M E.”

 Phone: (612) 384-1360

Comments (2)

Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Good morning 

Thank you for sharing your information Mary Jo Quay 

Have a great day.

February 5, 2019. 

Feb 05, 2019 08:16 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Mary Jo,

These types of homes are very needed in this area too. Hard to find, especially with reasonable HOA fees. I do not really see what $400 per month in fees gets you for a single family home.

Feb 05, 2019 09:00 AM
Mary Jo Quay

Hi Dorte, Normally our single family homes don't have HOA fees as is common in other parts of the country. Some developers have SF detached homes with HOA, and that includes exterior maintenance, sometimes a clubhouse, pool, tot lot. Most are annual fees, not monthly. Townhomes have monthly maintenance, and here we get tired of cleaning gutters and shoveling! :-)

Feb 05, 2019 09:45 AM