A typical two-story home layout tends to place the bedrooms upstairs, leaving the first floor for the kitchen and other living spaces. But in some homes, the primary suite is on the ground floor instead. If you’ve fallen in love with a home like this on your home search, here are a few reasons why you might want to commit.
Lauren Reynolds, a licensed real estate agent with Compass in Fairfield County, Connecticut, says that first-floor primary bedrooms are a hit with her clients. This is especially true for buyers wishing to age in place — having the primary bed and bath on the first floor means they don’t have to climb stairs when they’re older.
Bianca D’Alessio, director of new development at Nest Seekers International, says suburban buyers especially tend to buy homes with a 10- to 15-year plan for staying. “Having flexibility to grow older and really buy your forever home is possible when you have a first floor primary,” she says.
In multigenerational households, giving aging parents the downstairs bedroom is a no-brainer in terms of accessibility. But there’s an even better reason: privacy for the homeowners.
This also translates to breathing room for other members of the household, notably moody teenagers. “I had a client who said they didn’t want to be anywhere near their teenage son,” Reynolds says, noting that “teen angst is real.” The added bonus? “If he tried to sneak out, [the homeowners] would hear him,” she says. (It bears noting, however, that this layout might not be suitable for parents of very young children who may suffer from separation anxiety at night.)
D’Alessio says that privacy is “crucial” to resale in certain markets, notably the Hampton, an upscale seaside community in Long Island, New York. Whether it’s for a guest suite or simply to create a much-needed separation between family members, she says the first-floor primary bedroom “is less about longevity and more about privacy and the way you live and entertain.” Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having another bedroom suite on the upper floor to give options to homeowners and guests, particularly in expansive homes.
“To achieve the higher price points or compete in the luxury market specifically, you have to have a primary on the second floor as well as the first floor,” D’Alessio explains.
A first-floor primary bedroom is by no means unique or even unusual. But it is different enough to catch the eye of homebuyers, particularly those building their own homes.
“Quite simply, some people just like having their primary on the ground floor,” says Anthony Carrino, vice president of design at Welcome Homes, who is also known for co-hosting the show “Kitchen Cousins” on HGTV. One of the Welcome Homes models features two complete primary suites “so we could give our customers the ultimate choice,” Carrino says, noting that privacy and accessibility are key factors driving that choice.
While having a first-floor primary bedroom has its benefits, at the end of the day, where do you prefer to be at the end of the day?
“As with all things home, it’s personal,” says Carrino. “This goes for design as much as it does for the floor plan.”