Thinking of a Multi-level Coastside Home? Pros & Cons

150 Coronado Ave, HMB
#MLS 81235265

The Coastside has its share of three level homes with our hillside topographies and pursuit of Ocean Views!  There are advantages and disadvantages to living in a multi-level home.

Think about what would be best for your lifestyle, including possible children, pets, extended family and other guests.


Less Space Needed – If the house is on a narrow lot, you can have more square footage without taking up more land.  They’re excellent as they can be built over areas with unusual slopes.  Floor plans are usually more compact, taking up less space.

More living space – Because areas can be separated, some family members can entertain on one level while others can do a quiet activity on another level.

Privacy – Tri-level homes are great for people who want to shut out the rest of the house when they work on business, or have a separate studio (art, music, yoga, etc.)

Views – You are looking out to something or down on something – trees, water, birds, or usually something scenic.  Think tree house…

Quieter – Since your main level is on the second floor, it’s not as noisy.  Newer homes won’t have the squeaky floors of older homes.

Good exercise – You’ll burn more calories and keep your legs in shape with all that walking you do up and down two sets of stairs each day.

Economical – Because the home is divided into three levels, you can also divide up heating zones, saving on your utility bill.


Temperature Control – There could be uneven heating and cooling between the floors.  Uneven heating and cooling between floors can leave the upstairs more difficult to cool during warm weather and the downstairs harder to heat during the cooler months.

Lots of steps – Climbing up and down two sets of stairs can be tiring.  Some homes may have an elevator, which is a value-added addition.

Moving items from floor to floor – Think about your day to day tasks and how you access different spaces in your routines.

Not handicap friendly – Can the steps accommodate a chair lift, if needed?

Party Planning Challenged – Entertaining a large group may be difficult.  You may have a lot of square footage, but it’s just that it’s spread out on three levels. On the other hand, small gatherings are fine.  However, if you have a good-sized deck or patio you can always use that, weather permitting on party day.

Ideas and Tips

Position baskets on each floor – Have baskets on each floor where you can place items to be carried either upstairs or downstairs. This helps cut down the number of trips you make each day.  (Stair basket from Ballard Designs)

Efficient Cleaning –  Keep cleaning supplies, including a floor cleaner or vacuum on each level.

Guests – Guest rooms are usually on a different floor.  You can get up and do your morning routine with minimal disruption to your sleeping guests.  This can mean greater privacy for both of you and your overnight company.

Where to find multi-level homes on the Coastside?

The likely neighborhoods to find tri-level homes are El Granada highlands and Pedro Point, Pacifica.   They will be located in other local neighborhoods also, but concentrated in sloped areas with the greatest potential for ocean views.

Is a multi-level home for you?