With their open layouts, attached garages, and, generally, single-floor design, ranch-style homes began popping up in the 1930s and quickly grew in popularity until the 1980s, as the move toward McMansions took hold. However, a recent report by Trulia shows the popularity of these homes, also known as “California ranch style” and “ramblers,” is on the upswing again, with many homebuyers opting to head back to the ranch.
Room to Grow…
For many first-time buyers, ranch houses represent an affordable entrance into homeownership. In many areas, the difference in the cost per square foot can be significant. As an example, in Atlanta, Georgia, the median price per square foot, overall, is $180 versus $92 for a ranch home.
In addition, since ranch houses are usually built on generously sized lots, they often have backyards and the potential for future additions as life and finances change. This is especially appealing for younger families. The single-floor, open plan also makes it easier to keep an eye on busy kids of all ages.
…Or Stay Put
This layout, with all of the rooms on a single floor, is also ideal for Baby Boomers who want to age in place or have parents they are taking care of. The wide, open floor plan can be especially beneficial for those with equipment needs or mobility issues.
Connection With Nature
The ranch-style design means these homes are resting at ground level, and most have an abundance of windows, including large, picture windows. This results in a more direct flow from indoors to the outdoors. In addition, since many ranch homes are configured in either a U- or an L-shape, they often offer the advantage of plentiful natural light flowing through the home.
Mid-Century Meets Open Loft
The lines and angles of ranch houses were originally influenced by architect Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Style. In fact, many Real Estate Agents market these properties as Mid-Century Modern houses to play up the historical connection and architectural pedigree. Additionally, they offer a style that is unique to the U.S., having first appeared in California, though, today, they are more prevalent throughout the Midwest.
The renaissance in ranch-style homes may also owe something to modern loft living. They both provide a sense of openness. However, unlike a loft, a ranch offers single-family living, a yard, and, often, an attached garage. This affords a homeowner a more grounded lifestyle.
The resurgence of the popularity of ranch-style homes allows new homeowners to both enter the market comfortably and live in a space that meets their evolving needs.