What Is A Raised Ranch Home? (Market Values & Ranch Vs. Split Level)

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

While shopping for homes, you may have run across the term “raised ranch.” Not many people may understand what a raised ranch style home is unless they happen to already own or live in one. However, this concept is unique, and everyone should know what one is! So, what exactly is a raised ranch home?

A raised ranch is similar to a traditional ranch, but it has a split-level entry, raised foundation, and 2 levels. Raised ranches have basements and the front door is located at or above ground level. The standard raised ranch has a bedroom, basement, and 1 or more bathrooms.

This article will explain what a raised ranch style home is. Also, we’ll dive deeper into the market values surrounding this type of home, as well as the differences between the ranch versus the split level style.

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Raised Ranch: A Variation On The Ranch Style

Ranch style homes became popular after World War II when returning soldiers needed affordable housing. Contractors required to build homes quickly, efficiently, and cheaply. Some raised ranches may have been constructed very cheaply. These types of homes are usually long, single-story homes. The style may vary depending on the owner or developer’s preferences. These homes were most popular between the 50s and the 70s.

Additionally, ranch-style homes typically have low roofs and attached garages. Foundations may be slab on grade, though some have basements or crawl spaces. Raised ranches are a variation on the original ranch style.

Do Raised Ranches Have Basements?

One of the differences between a traditional ranch style and a raised ranch is the presence of a basement. On a raised ranch, the front door is typically at ground level or slightly above. The lower level may need to be depressed into the ground to get enough headroom height to be usable.

Basements can pose problems for some homeowners. In wet climates or areas with high water tables, raised ranch owners may need to have sump pumps to drain water from their basements. Modern homes typically have foundation drainage systems and moisture barriers to prevent moisture in their basements. Raised ranch owners may be stuck with using dehumidifiers to dry out their basement spaces.

The Difference Between Raised Ranch And Split Level

The term split level is a more commonly known description for nontraditional ranch style homes. However, split level homes and raised ranches are commonly confused, and the names are used interchangeably.

Split level homes have a similar entrance, where the front door may be at or slightly above ground level. After entering the home, you have a choice to go up to the main level down to the lower level or stay on the main level. This is because the upper level of bedrooms is above the garage in a split-level home.

The main living space is located on the ground floor. Therefore, one half of the home is two stories, while the other half is a single story.

Are Raised Ranches Popular?

After WWII, raised ranch homes were popular among the booming market of home buyers. However, since homeowners are met with stairs as soon as they enter the house, they face a choice, figuratively and literally.

Stairs pose an issue to homeowners with young children, disabilities, or age. If the occupants of the home aren’t able to climb the stairs, they can feel isolated or trapped in their home. Requiring occupants to climb stairs reduces the value of the home. Other styles of homes that don’t need stairs to access at least one bedroom and the main living spaces are more popular.

Raised Ranch Market Value

This style of home is also on the decline. That means these homes are typically older than other styles on the market. The age of the home can depreciate the value.

Raised ranch homes also were usually constructed from medium to low-quality materials at the time for competitive prices. With age, these materials may not hold up very well.

Therefore, they have less curb appeal than other style homes. Unless the owners put a lot of thought and care into renovating the landscaping, they will look older.

Upgrades Increase Market Value

However, some of the largest impacts on a raised ranch home’s value are the location and condition of the home. Owners can invest in the home to make improvements. Upgrade finishes or appliances; a landscape can increase the home’s value.

A quick search for raised ranch homes across the US reveals that the market value ranges. Homes that have been upgraded have higher market values.

LocationRaised Ranch Home Value
Orange County, CA$1M – $2M
Raleigh, NC$215k – $750k
Dallas, TX$365k – $925k
Detroit, MI$180k – $599k
Philadelphia, PN$215k-$885k

Best Upgrades For Raised Ranch Homes

If you’re looking to buy and remodel or upgrade your raised ranch home, here are a few recommendations to consider:

  • Upgrade the exterior: Bring new life to the raised ranch style with updated landscaping. Modern exterior finishes or colors, replacing to resealing windows and doors add value.
  • Modernize the kitchen and baths: Outdated kitchens and bathrooms can hurt the market value and usability of the home. Replace old showers and tubs for new, low flow fixtures. Upgrade kitchen appliances, such as new kitchen hoods, or high-efficiency dishwashers, can make the home feel brand new.
  • Open up the plan: Raised ranches typically had walls between the kitchen, living room, and dining rooms. Demolishing non-load bearing walls between these spaces can bring in light, connection, and functionality between these spaces. Consider adding in modern touches like entertaining island spaces.
  • Replace the lighting: Those old, dingy incandescent lighting fixtures cast a dim light on the home. Swapping out with energy-efficient, luminous fixtures can make the home feel and look brighter.

Can You Convert A Raised Ranch?

Stairs and basements can be a concern for raised ranch style homes. Many owners wonder if they can convert a raised ranch home to another style of home. Perhaps they just want to get a bedroom or living space on the main level without having to climb stairs.

Your options depend on the specifics of your home. Check the dimensions of your front and back door. You may be able to get a ramp up to the front door or the main level of your home.

Consider adding a porch on the front by extending the roof over the porch to give your home a more colonial or farm style look. Upgrading the exterior finishes can change the style. For example, artisan wood paneling, stone, or wrought iron could give the home a craftsman or mid-century modern style.

Adding Architectural Style To Bland Raised Ranches

Raised ranch homes may be difficult to decorate or style. These homes became popular after WWII due to their affordability and ease of construction. The finishes of this home influence the design and decor more than the architectural style.

If the exterior siding material, roof, or other architectural details cater to a particular style, you can choose to replicate that inside. Finishes on the cabinets, floor finishes, and other details inside the home may also affect the decor on the interior.

New Life To Raised Ranches

Raised ranch style homes may look outdated, but with some elbow grease and effort, these homes can easily be upgraded. Eliminating stairs likely requires a significant overhaul. Reusing and repurposing these old homes is typically more sustainable and cheaper than knocking them down and building new. Next time you see “raised ranch” in the property description, you’ll know exactly what to expect!

Related Questions

Is a raised ranch considered two stories?

A raised ranch style is a two-story home that has a finished basement. The finished basement is considered to be an additional floor. However, for this type of home to be classified as such, you will need to have a flight of stairs that goes to the main living floor. This is what distinguishes it from a split level.

Why are ranch style homes more expensive?

A ranch style home requires more foundation and roof. Both of these, no matter what type of home you have, is the most expensive features. Therefore, ranch style homes are about 10% more costly to build.

What is the difference between a ranch style home and a rambler?

A rambler’s entry is at ground level and is square or rectangular. The ranch houses are usually larger than bungalows. A rambler is usually a single-story house. However, lately, they call a two-story rambler a ‘ranch style home.’

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Our Takeaway

Like other types of homes, ranch style homes have their pros and cons. They are more expensive to build because they require more roofing and more foundation material. However, they’re unique and serve as a great living space. While a split level and ranch style are used interchangeably, they’re different. When entering into a split level, you have the choice to go upstairs or downstairs. A ranch style, the living area, is on the ground floor and then a different story above that.

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