The humble bungalow is having something of a moment. The draw of a relatively affordable detached property, often surrounded by greenery, has come to the fore over the past couple of years – not to mention the benefits of lateral living, particularly for those future-proofing their living arrangements. And as the home-improvement boom continues, a property with the development potential to double in size with the addition of a second storey is undeniably appealing.
“Bungalows used to carry a certain kind of stigma and were largely the property preserve of the silver homebuyer,” says Colby Short, founder of estate agency comparison site Getagent.co.uk, “but we’re seeing a bit of a resurgence in popularity among buyers of all ages. In fact, well over a third of all bungalows currently listed for sale on the market have already gone under offer or sold subject to contract, so there’s clearly an appetite for them.
“They make a great investment,” he adds, “as they tend to err on the smaller side size-wise, which often means they come with a more favourable price tag that appeals to first and second steppers.”
As well as being a good option for those looking to downsize, bungalows can also be the perfect development opportunity for those who want to take on a project and add value, or create a modern home. Here’s how three typical postwar properties are in the process of becoming far from the average bungalow.
We fell in love with the plot and the land around it, rather than the building itself
Writer and interior stylist Reena Simon and her husband weren’t looking to buy a bungalow. With three young children, they had outgrown their previous home, a three-bedroom Victorian terraced house in Cardiff, and were on the hunt for a larger period property, when a friend told them about a bungalow plot they had seen – which happened to be two doors down from Reena’s mother’s home. They bought it in 2018 for £345,000 and started renovating the following year, transforming the 1960s bungalow into a modern, five-bedroom family home.
When we first came to see the bungalow, we fell in love with the plot and the land around it, rather than the building itself. We liked the idea of having more outside space, and being connected to it – you tend to get a good-sized front garden with a bungalow, as well as the garden at the back. We also loved the fact that it’s quite wide. With a semi-detached house, which we were originally looking for, you can only really go up; we were excited by the idea of what we could do here. All the other bungalows around ours had been extended up, so we assumed we’d be able to do the same.