A split-level house is a multiple-story home where the levels of living space are connected by a short set of stairs. Split-level homes are typically divided into three different levels with a living room on the main floor, bedrooms, bathrooms, and a kitchen, on the upper floor, and the den or garage in the basement. Split-level homes, also called tri-level homes, became popular in the 1950s as an affordable option for growing families that were moving to the suburbs. \n\nHere is an overview of some of the types of split-level homes. \n\n1. __Standard split__: The standard split-level home typically has a front door on the main level of the house, which is where the living room, kitchen, dining room, and family rooms are located. The bedrooms and bathrooms are located on the upper level of the home, while the family room and garage are located in the basement. \n2. __Side split__: In a side split-level home, the multiple levels of the home are visible from the front of the home. Typically, the floors in a side split-level home are staggered. The attached garage is usually on the lowest level with the living room and kitchen one floor above on the opposite side of the house. The bedrooms and bathrooms are on the top level of the home, located above the garage. \n3. __Back split__: From the front, a back split-level home appears like a one-level ranch house. The multiple levels of the home are visible from the back or side of the home. \n4. __Stacked split__: A stacked split-level house can have up to four floors. Each small floor will be on a different level with short sets of stairs leading off of a main stairway.\nHere are some of the characteristics of split-level homes.\n\n1. __Short stairs__: The many levels of short stairs leading from floor to floor is the most notable feature of a split-level home. The flights of stairs in a split-level home typically consist of three or four steps.\n2. __Bay windows__: Most split-level homes will have a large bay window or picture window in the main living area to let in natural light. \n3. __Finished basement level__: The lower basement level is usually not all the way underground in a split-level home and it is usually finished. This makes it the perfect space for an additional family room, laundry room, or den.\n4. __Low-pitched roofs__: Split-level homes typically have low-pitched roofs to maximize the largest spaces of the home while still allowing rain and snow to slide off of the roof.\nThere are several potential advantages to the split-level style house for homebuyers looking for a family home.\n\n1. __They are affordable__. Split-level homes are typically more affordable than similarly-sized single-family homes, meaning you can get plenty of value for money when it comes to space. This can make a split-level home a great starter home option for a young, growing family. \n2. __Efficient use of space and privacy__. For families, a split-level home offers greater separation of space than an [open floor plan](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/open-floor-plans-explained). This reduces the probability of noise traveling between rooms and allows for more privacy. \n3. __Provides plenty of outdoor space__. Split-level homes maximize the use of vertical space, meaning that there will often be plenty of backyard space for outdoor family activities.\nHere is an overview of a few of the potential disadvantages to owning a split-level home. \n\n1. __Stairs can challenge people with restricted mobility__. Even though the stairs in split-level homes are short, you will constantly be climbing stairs when you’re moving through this type of home. This can be a hindrance for people with mobility issues or families with small children. \n2. __Remodeling a split-level is difficult__. Adding an addition to a split-level home is challenging because the multiple floors of the house are stacked on top of one another. This means that certain additions which may add value to your home may not be feasible. \n3. __They can be difficult to sell__. It can be more difficult to resell split-level homes than more modern homes for a number of reasons. Some people view the split-level homes as dated-looking, and they usually don’t have a lot of natural light. Also adding value to the house through renovations may not be possible.\nAll you need is a [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com) and our exclusive video lessons from prolific entrepreneur Robert Reffkin, the founder and CEO of the real estate technology company Compass. With Robert’s help, you’ll learn all about the intricacies of buying a home, from securing a mortgage to hiring an agent to tips for putting your own place on the market. \nSplit-level houses feature living spaces that are divided into multiple levels which are connected by short sets of stairs.