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RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans
  #1  
Old 10-04-2007, 10:04 AM
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Default RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans

I am having a problem understanding some of the differences between a Ranch home and a Designer home of exactly the same square footage. To me they look the same.

Which floor plans do you feel is the best of all the home designs?

Hyacinth Bucket

Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans
  #2  
Old 10-04-2007, 12:53 PM
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Default Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans

Good question I'd also like to see a good answer. Having just purchased a 3 Bd room ranch I have a very general idea. Being a snowbird I wanted a "reasonable" 2 car garage, a 3rd bedroom for spare hobby space and preferred the look of grass, non attached looking houses. Ranches and Designers filled those requirements but the Ranches are only at the lower end of the sq foot space and Designers can and do become larger.
The Ranches all pretty much look similar both inside and out (granted there are minor differences) . The Designers I believe are a min of $25K more then the same/similar ranch floor plan. But the Designers in general have more style on the outside along with a little more on the inside. I sure there are more specific differences. We were after more sq foot for our money and think the Ranch filled that requirement.
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Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans
  #3  
Old 10-04-2007, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans

Although I haven't looked at recent floor plans, having built here in early '05, I will relate that my memory tells me several things (which may or may not be precisely current):

* Ranch homes are inevitably frame with siding
* Designer homes may also be frame with siding, but block & stucco are also available, and, to my way of thinking they're preferable (the block/stucco was +/- $3,000 more).
* Several things that I considered necessary when I selected a floor plan; perhaps these will influence your decisions.
** As open a kitchen as possible; that is, only counter space between the working area and the living/dining area.
** Laundry machines inside, not out in the garage.
** Lanai open on at least two sides (otherwise, the potential for being a hot pocket).
** Lanai preferrably accessible from master bedroom as well as living room. [The Cat has permanent access from the bedroom; I use the living area to access the lanai ]
** Lanai should not face west, if at all possible! (The narrow side of mine does, but a roll-up/down shade helps for the few days during the hottest season when sitting out might be impossible due to the direct sun)

In the end, I bought a Gardenia model, which I absolutely adore. It not only allows for good entertaining (I can work in the kitchen while my guests are partying, and we can still all party together), but feels so open. After 42+ years in what is now a 105-year-old three-story with basement house, I feel liberated!

Good luck!
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Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans
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Old 10-04-2007, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans

The only designer and ranch I recall being the same were the Amarillo (Ranch) and the Azalea (Designer). Both are even very similar outside too as I recall (same front "porch" effect with the fence and all). Otherwise, the designer's seemed to be larger than the ranch homes (as stated above by dadspet).

I agree with dadspet that the designers have a little more in the way of "style" in their designs, and perhaps the standard lot runs a little larger too adding to the base price increase?

For ourselves, we wanted the block construction and that eliminated considering the ranches for us. In the end we decided between a block constructed villa and a designer. We went for the designer as we liked the open floor plan of the Gardenia the best.

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Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans

Designers got their name from the time when you could modify ( change floor plan,stretch ), and select all your flooring,cabinets, etc. Now they are still called designers..but all are sold as spec/inventory homes...even the Premier homes are that way. Typically they have more upgrades than a ranch. Also some are block stucco, where Ranch homes are all vinyl.


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Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans
  #6  
Old 10-04-2007, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans

From the homes I viewed while visiting, I'm limiting my choices (and my budget dictates) to an Amarillo (ranch) or a Whispering Pine (designer). A Patio Villa feels just too confining for me. While I like privacy, I don't have pets that need an enclosed space (Courtyard Villa), and I prefer the openness a ranch or designer allows. Of course it's a personal choice, and you may want something totally different. I love the large open spaces of the new Whispering Pines (vs some older versions). The older version of the WP had a walled kitchen while the new models are open to the large living/dining spaces. It is a 2 bdrm w/den model (I also loved the French doors to the den ). If I need to use the den as a bedroom for guests at any time, I'll use the raised queen size air mattress I have. Or, I may even purchase a sleeper sofa for the den. I haven't yet fully decided how I'll use that room. I'm currently thinking for the computer, a bookcase or two/reading room, and display of my Disney art/collection. However, it's much more likely I'll purchase an Amarillo...more financially practical since it has plenty of room for just me.

While I prefer the look of the cement block/stucco (CBS), I will select a sided home (unless I come into some cash or hit the lotto before I purchase). I just think it's more practical. The CBS homes need to be repainted, from what I've been told, perhaps every ~7 years. While I recognize the insurance is cheaper on a CBS home, I don't think insurance savings would cover the costs of re-paintings. I want my pension to be able to stand up to the inevitable inflation that we'll all face. I will have a mortgage and I don't want to be house poor.

I love seeing sunsets, so I think that means I want a West exposure on the lanai. I'm not sure of this, however. I'm confused on which exposure would best allow viewing sunsets from the lanai. Typically, it would be facing West, but some other posts I've read here have confused me on which exposure would best serve me. Maybe someone on-line can educate me on this.


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Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans
  #7  
Old 10-05-2007, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans

If you go to http://www.lylesellsfla.com he has a link to a page with many of the current and some earlier layouts on it. Great info as you ar looking around. Also, his web site will indicate how long a pre-owned home has been on the market.
Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans
  #8  
Old 10-05-2007, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans

The Designer Bouganvilla and the Amarillo Ranch have identical floor plans and contain 1392 sq ft under air. The Amarillo is the top for the ranch and Bouganvilla is the entry for the designer homes. The ceiling in the great room is slightly different in the Bouganvilla which gives it the appearance of being larger. The Designer Wisteria and then the Designer Whispering Pine are from 100 to 200 sq ft larger than the Amarillo and both lovely styles. The older version of the Whispering Pine had the washer and dryer located in the garage but some of the newer models place them in an indoor laundry area.

When you are ready to purchase you should really take your time and have the real estate person show you many styles so you can make an informed decision. Sometimes it seems they only show you what they think you might like. You really don't know unless you see all of the styles in your price range.
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Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans
  #9  
Old 10-05-2007, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans

Happy Villager - thank you. I do not think I would have noticed the ceilings, if you did not point it out.

captain1202 I went to the site. It is amazing how much info is out there.

Appreciate all of the input I have received.

Thanks.

HB
Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans
  #10  
Old 10-06-2007, 09:06 AM
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Default Re: RANCH VS DESIGNER HOMES and Floor Plans

For Bestmickey. You will be happier if you have an East facing lanai, my friend. Unless you enjoy roasting in the afternoons and evenings, East is the direction in which to head. With the East you get to watch the sunrise and the shade in the afternoons and evenings. With the West you get the shade in the mornings and heat in the afternoons and evenings. Get the West heading and you will soon be in the market for large awnings or shades, or converting your lanai into an enclosed sunroom. And, keep in mind if you get a lanai heading West and have someone backing to your house, you will never see the sunset anyways. Word to the wise, my friend.
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