Why Bungalows Have a Broad Appeal and How to Find Your Dream One
The bungalow is something with a huge amount of appeal – and also something that is becoming rarer and rarer in the UK, thanks to a lack of space for them in an already congested country. Although a British innovation, they are now much more popular in other parts of the world with more free land and therefore room for bigger plots, such as over the pond in the USA.
The rarity of bungalows in the UK is no reflection on their quality though, and they are still highly sought after by people from all sectors of society. This high demand and low supply can make them rather pricey though, which can limit scope of people buying one significantly. It can’t be doubted however that the purchase of a bungalow comes with lots of different advantages, so what exactly are they? We’ll attempt to explain why the UK still loves the chance to make their home in these single floor properties, and also how you can go about finding the perfect one to meet your personal needs…
What’s the Appeal?
Everyone is different, and therefore everyone has their own personal idea regarding what makes a great house. Of course, there are some who baulk at the thought of living in a bungalow, but for others the idea is perfect.
Many people living in bungalows do so because they are perfect for those with reduced mobility – hence why the bungalow has, perhaps unfairly, been intrinsically linked with the elderly for a long time now. Stairs present the biggest challenge for anyone unable to move themselves freely, and the bungalow takes away the need to traverse these multiple times per day. It also takes away the risk of a serious accident, much to the relief of relatives and loved ones. Essentially, the bungalow allows for independence – the chance for the elderly or disabled to live a dignified life, without needing to rely on others to help them every step of the way.
The way that bungalows are built is also a real boon to those with special requirements from their home. After all, the walls are not supporting a whole extra floor, so modifications to the interior structure are generally much easier to carry out, as well as much cheaper too. While this might not sound like a big thing, imagine those in wheelchairs who need to widen doors? Without the chance to do this, they would be refined to one room in the home, which wouldn’t offer them much of a life. There are also various grants available should anyone need to modify their home due to disability, which helps with finances significantly.
Another hugely important reason why people buy bungalows has nothing to do with what is built there – it is the land itself that they are after. In order to fit in the same amount of rooms and amenities as a regular two storey home, the bungalow has to be spread over a much larger area, therefore meaning that it is necessary for more property to be owned. This property, while forming part of the home, still has its own intrinsic value.
We are not for one moment suggesting that people buying bungalows re ruthless property dealers, looking to cash in on land by selling it on for redevelopment. What we are saying though is that, while property prices are low, it makes sense to snap up land if you can, and intelligent buyers are doing this. Once the property market picks up again, they will find themselves sitting on land worth a pretty penny.
The extra space found within a bungalow’s grounds also means that there is also the chance to extend it, building conservatories or even full extensions to the back or side of the home. This can be a really affordable way of getting a large property, without having to resort to buying a new home and relocating from an area you already love. Even if people don’t want to build extensions immediately, times change and it is always heartening to know that the option is there in the future. After all, planning for the future is what a responsible and financially aware person should always be doing, and bungalows provide this ability to budget for the future.
It is also important to remember that bungalows are usually far more structurally sound than standard houses, thanks to simple physics. A standard two storey home has an immense amount of downwards pressure which, if not managed correctly, can lead to structural damage. A bungalow does not suffer from this to the same extent though, meaning that the likelihood of incredibly expensive repairs is significantly reduced.
Another huge advantage to bungalow living is that the maintenance of the property is made that much easier, thanks to the fact that various vital areas are closer to the ground and therefore simpler to reach. Cleaning gutters and windows can be done quickly by the homeowner, and even work on the roof can often be completed without the need for a professional. This means that those who can carry out these jobs will save large amounts of money every single year, while those unable to, such as the elderly or disabled, won’t have to pay out as much to get them completed.
Talking of money saving, one final factor to mention is the fact that a bungalow has a much larger roof space than a standard house of the same price. This might not sound important at first, but think of the possibilities. With the advance in solar power, it is now possible to fit panels to the roof of the bungalow and be virtually self-sufficient when it comes to the need for electricity. This can save masses of money every single year and the initial outlay can be recouped in a matter of a few years – once again proving that bungalows are something for those who like to plan ahead.
So, there are evidently loads of advantages to buying a bungalow, regardless of age or mobility. They are not only for the elderly, as some might have you think, but for those with the foresight to see that they are a great investment with great potential for renovation and cost-saving initiatives. Knowing that bungalows are a good buy is one thing though, as finding the perfect one can often be a big challenge. Next we’ll look at the ways in which you can find the bungalow that you’ve always wanted to own…
Finding Your Dream Bungalow
It has already been mentioned that good bungalows can be few and far between on the property market, mainly due to the fact that those living in them are happy and have no desire to leave the place that they live. Of course, they do come up for sale though, so you have to be ready to move fast if you want to get the perfect one for you. Knowing when they come up for sale is the main challenge facing most potential bungalow buyers, so how can you ensure that you are kept in the loop?
The modern world has a huge advantage over how people used to look for property – in internet. It is a wonderful place to gain information and also to make contacts with people, without the need to traipse for miles in order to speak with them, or engage in a long and boring phone call. There are loads of property sites online offering information on all the latest property coming onto the market, and this includes the elusive bungalow.
Anyone seriously looking to purchase a bungalow should get online as soon as they can, and sign up with one or more of these property sites. Most of them even offer some kind of alert service, so you’ll receive an email when a property matching your preference – a 3 bedroom bungalow in Cornwall, for example – comes on to the market. That way, you’ll be the first to know about any new property and have an advantage over everyone else looking to buy the same thing as you.
Of course, there are smaller estate agencies as well out there specialising in bungalows, who can offer an excellent and personal service. They will do all the leg work for you, hunting down properties and evaluating them, before making you aware of the best ones they have found. If you are truly serious about living in a bungalow, it is well worth signing up for one of these services. They might charge a flat fee, or possibly a percentage of the value of the home, but regardless of this, the amount of work they save you can be worth its weight in gold.
So once you have engaged a professional to help you find the home of your dreams, how do you work out whether the home they show really does match up to your requirements? Well, in a nutshell, there are four different things to consider: size, condition, convenience and cost. If you evaluate these in a home methodically, it will make the decision making that much easier.
When it comes to the size, only you will know how big you need the bungalow to be. Remember that their size can often be deceiving – it might look small but the nature of bungalows means that they often open up into something much bigger when inside. Don’t be surprised to find less rooms than you would expect, but also notice how large the existing rooms are – perfect for those with lots of personal possessions.
The condition of a house is also incredibly important. You have to decide whether you are willing to take on a lot of work in order to turn it into your dream home, or whether you want to buy a property that is already perfect for you. While the latter option is going to be less work, it will also be much more expensive, so it is a balancing act for most people. Also, make sure you get a professional to survey the house, to ensure that they aren’t any hidden structural surprises waiting for you after you make the purchase.
Convenience can mean a number of different things. For families with children, it could be the ability to get to school easily in the morning. For the elderly or disabled, it could be having a garden on one level, without the need to get up steps to get to the front door. It is imperative that you think of absolutely everything you need from a home and write it down, before then taking the list with you to every single property you visit. If even one thing isn’t there, it probably isn’t the dream bungalow you’ve been looking for. Simply move on and start again, as the perfect one for you will be around somewhere, no matter how long it takes.
Finally, we come on to cost. The cost of a bungalow can depend on many things – the location, how well looked after it is and the size being the three main factors. This is where this article really can’t help too much, as only you know your budget. Just make sure that the asking price matches the true evaluation of value, as you don’t want to end up losing money in the long run. To do this, hire someone to complete an independent valuation of the property on your behalf. Also, don’t forget to haggle – it is always possible to knock a little bit of money off the price of any property – even £1,000 is extra money to spend making the property into your dream bungalow.
It might seem like a long slog to find your dream bungalow, but everything worth something only comes as the result of hard work. Once you have spent time finding the perfect place for you to live, you’ll be happy with your purchase for the rest of your life – after all, bungalows are the perfect choice for those looking to the future.