Thursday, 17 January 2019

Bungalows for family living

An Allison Homes bungalow
The British have a bit of a love affair with bungalows. But bungalows also have an image problem. They are are seen as good housing for people who are, perhaps, getting on in years.

We think that’s all wrong and it’s time for a ‘bungalow revival’. Bungalows can be great places to bring up a family.

Here are a few things worth thinking about:

It is stating the obvious – but there are no stairs! So, if you have young children you don’t need to worry about stair gates to stop them falling down the steps. And when you trip over the toys they’ve left strewn around, you’re not going to fall down the stairs either!
Everyone is closer to hand. When the kids are playing in their bedrooms, they somehow seem nearer than when they are a floor above you. And if you need to make several trips to their room in a morning to get them out of bed or in an evening to drag them in to dinner, the closeness can have advantages. You won’t need to shout up the stairs any more (but maybe you just text them anyway, if you’re in a really big house!).
It may be a mixed blessing – but you won’t be constantly going up and down stairs to visit the loo, get the washing from the bedrooms, etc. But if that is the only exercise you get all day, maybe stairs are a good thing!
However, the fact that moving items such as furniture around the home is easier in a bungalow is definitely an advantage. If you’ve ever tried to get a wardrobe up a flight of stairs, you’ll know what we mean!
Bungalows can be easier to keep clean and tidy, inside and out. Apart from the fact that there are no stairs to keep clean, all your windows are on one level – so you don’t need to employ a window cleaner. If you have the time, you can clean all the windows yourself with no more specialist equipment than a step ladder.
Exterior maintenance of a bungalow can be easier than a house as well. If your window frames need repainting, they are all within easy reach of the ground. And a step ladder is all you will need to reach the gutters for clearing or painting.
If you’re surrounded by other bungalows, you won’t have anyone overlooking your garden.
Planning ahead, it’s a fact that most of us get less mobile as we get older. Having all your rooms on one floor may mean that, even if your mobility declines to the stage where you need a wheelchair or walking frame, you won’t need to move home.

But there are some downsides you may want to think about as well:

Some people are not happy sleeping on the ground floor, feeling that they are somehow more vulnerable. We’ve not seen any evidence that this is the case. But sometimes evidence isn’t what matters - it’s how you feel!
Some people feel that living on one level means that there’s not as much separation between living and bedroom areas. There is also a perception that there will be more problem with noise – eg, the TV in the living area keeping children awake – but again there’s no evidence to support this. Modern bungalows are built to high standards. You will probably have as much trouble with noise in a house traveling through ceilings as with noise in a bungalow traveling through the walls.
You may also feel there is less privacy when bathrooms are on the same level as other living areas. Again, it’s a ‘perception thing’. How do you feel about it?
Pound for pound, you will probably get more living space with a house than you will with a bungalow. In other words, a bungalow is likely to have a higher cost per square foot (or square metre – we really should ‘go metric’ in the property business).

A recent survey carried out by Tepilo, Sarah Beeny’s estate agency, found that people living in bungalows are the nation’s happiest homeowners. They were the most likely to say they are very happy with their property, with 51 per cent agreeing. This was followed by those living in detached properties (41 per cent), semi-detached homes (37 per cent) and flats (34 per cent).

Put all the evidence together and you can see that living in a bungalow has many advantages. So, while they are extremely popular with older homeowners, younger buyers are also realising the many benefits that these properties offer.

If you are interested in bungalow living, take a look at the Allison Homes developments at Pinchbeck Fields and Nettleham Chase.

And if you are over 55 and thinking about a bungalow in a ‘retirement community’, you could take a look at our development at The Croft in Baston.