You can’t see it, but there’s a large side yard and a creek that runs along the back of the property.With an asking price of 4,900, we think this was a good deal. And finally, even though we do have more strip malls per capita than any place should, we do have a tiny “downtown” area that dates back to the time our bedroom community was mostly farmland.We may be five minutes from chain restaurants, discount retailers, and a warehouse grocery store (by car, of course), but we’re determined to make this our version of the American Dream. We think the suburban split-level may be a house whose time is coming, and we want to tell you why–so you can get in while the gettins’ good.

We’ve got two bona fide teens and one on the cusp of adolescence.

While I loved the open floor plan of my old house when the kids were younger, it wasn’t working so much anymore.

This house works for all of them, giving each of us plenty of room to do our own thing, both together and separately.

Our kitchen is roomy enough to hold a table for eating, so we’re using the dining room as a different kind of space.

We’re thinking the rage for mid-century modern has just about run its course, and something else will have to take its place. While we loved the idea of a small, vintage house in a great neighborhood full of old trees and great restaurants and independent bookstores and one-of-a-kind shops, we knew that just wouldn’t work for the lives we’re really living.

If it’s hard for you to imagine the big 70s split-level having the same kind of appeal, we get that. We’ve got two adults and a revolving door of three getting-bigger kids (with other parents who live about 60 miles apart from each other).In spite of all that, we love the house because we really like how our split-level house lives.Some people don’t, citing issues with the stairs and the separation of kitchen and family room.A combined kitchen/dining/family room didn’t give my kids any privacy when hanging with their friends, so they preferred spending time at the houses of friends who had a separate room for playing games/watching movies/etc.Now, we’ve got a place that helps me keep them close, while giving them the space they need as they become more independent.We’re not sure what to call it (Ella has dubbed it the Talking Room), but it’s a space where you can sit in a comfy chair and read, with just enough separation from what’s going on in the living room proper to be undistracted–but you still feel like you’re with the rest of the family.