By Dan St. Yves

Depending on your clients, literally every house has advantages and disadvantages when it comes to helping them find their dream home. The usual suspects are location location location  and price price price, but you may very well be entering a blind alley if you don’t know exactly why a particular style of home may not work for the buyers.


A one-storey home, with or without a basement. Very popular, and these warm, inviting abodes exist in many mature neighbourhoods.

Pros: Perfect for a small family or couple, less maintenance than a larger home, low enough to the ground to eliminate the average homeowner’s fear of heights.

Cons: Not terribly suitable for the couple hoping to break the Guinness World Record for Largest Family in a Single Dwelling, nervous pacers or a substantial model railroad aficionado.

Walk-out rancher:

Much like a bungalow, but indeed featuring a walk-out basement, above grade in the rear of the home.

Pros: More room to roam, an entire extra level to hide out until things cool off with your spouse, and if you have a domesticated llama, shelter from storms.

Cons: One more point of entry for potential burglars, a possible concern for water leakage if the yard slopes towards the home and an effective engineering challenge to determine how your model railroad will make it to the upper level without blocking the Roomba route.

Three-level/four-level split:

Aspects of a bungalow but spread out over scattered levels with just a few small steps up or down to each room. May or may not feature a full basement below grade and likely to have an upper level housing the bedrooms.

Pros: The ultimate in living space, next to a mansion (not covered in this column). For a large family, well-defined spaces for everyone’s recreation and relaxing. Allows for a man cave in the main area of the home, not isolated in a basement or garage.

Cons: The space will be so large, you will need to reprogram the Roomba to traverse ramps to deliver snacks and beverages. The space will be so large, you will be inclined to maintain one room right off the entry door to change clothes, watch TV, eat and sleep. The space will be so choppy and large your model train set will repeatedly fail to make it up the Roomba ramp to get the freight delivered on time.


A popular style incorporating medieval architecture, sometimes combined with Renaissance themes. Also relates to Threedoor and Fourdoor (Bah doom boom! Here all week folks!)

Pros: Sweeping, grand designs. Hard-to-replace fixtures and finishes that will make your home unique in the neighbourhood. Discreet use of arches, none typically golden.

Cons: Sweeping, grand designs will cost a fortune to repair. Hard-to-replace fixtures and finishes may require an on-site blacksmith to recreate. Drunk knights and lords will often mistake the home for their own. Model railroad replaced by catapult and moat.


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