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The Split-entry Bi-level fixer

The split-entry bi-level floor plan was very popular in the late ’60s through the 70’s but has fallen out of fashion, making them a good value for buyers wanting close-in established neighborhoods. They were built with good materials but don’t have the open kitchen/modern floor plans today’s buyers want. The position of the steps meant one had to climb to the entrance and then had to go back down or further up. The entrance tended to be just a small landing mid-flight with no closet for coats. Many were built with garages that were later converted to extra living space. Although they had larger lots and mature landscaping, it was usually unimaginative, not utilizing the outdoor potential.

A typical bi-level

Options to consider are pushing out the entry, perhaps adding a gable, and put the entry door down at the lower level. Adding a big front porch above or, if the lot is large enough, adding an entry to the side.

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As cities tended to expand from the core with the older neighborhoods closer-in, these 1970s homes often have great locations. The houses just need a little re-imagining: opening up the kitchens,  enlarging the windows, possibly even tearing out the ceilings to expose the vaulted roof lines. Rethinking the landscaping to encourage outdoor living and providing access to it from as many rooms as possible would make these neglected relics desirable again.

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