DEFINITION of 'Bungalow'

A bungalow is a one-story house, cottage or cabin. Bungalows are generally small in terms of square footage, but it is not uncommon to see very large bungalows. Bungalows were originally designed to provide affordable, modern housing for the working class.

BREAKING DOWN 'Bungalow'

There are various types of bungalows, including raised bungalows that have basements with partially above ground to let in additional light. There are also bungalows that branch away from the original definition by adding additional levels such as lofts and half levels. Common features of the bungalow include a dormer window and a veranda.

Pros and Cons of the Bungalow

Bungalows are most often one-story houses, although they often also include a half second story, usually with a sloped roof. They are small and easy to maintain, and are therefore great homes for elderly or disabled people. Bungalows are also cost-efficient after the initial purchase; for example, heating and cooling costs tend to be lower, and the property value tends to remain relatively high. Since bungalows occupy more square footage than multi-story homes, they tend to allow more space for modifications and additions. They also afford more privacy than most traditional homes, as they're low to the ground and the windows can easily be blocked by trees, shrubs, and fences. 

On the other hand, bungalows tend to occupy a larger area of land than their multi-story counterparts since they don't extend up, they take up more square footage on the first floor. This means that the initial costs are higher, since they cost more per square foot, and they also require more material for roofing. Bungalows also tend to have smaller and fewer rooms extending off a larger living room, as opposed to large bedrooms or an open floor plan. Also, since they're so low to the ground, they're more susceptible to break-ins; therefore, it's a good idea to invest in a home security system if you purchase a bungalow.

History of Bungalows

Bungalows were first built in the Bengal region of South Asia, and the term originated in India. Bungalows were first identified as such by British sailors of the East India Company in the late 17th century. In the 19th century in both Britain and America, a bungalow referred to a large dwelling, and it often represented high social status.

The term bungalow as we now know it – a small dwelling, typically one-story – developed in the 20th century. However, the definition of bungalow varies in different areas of the world. For example, in India today, the term generally refers to any single-family dwelling, regardless of how many stories it has. In Canada and the United Kingdom, a bungalow almost exclusively refers to one-story units. Australia tends toward the California bungalow, a type of bungalow that was popular in the United States from about 1910 to 1940 and moved to Australia in 1913 as Hollywood became popular and increased the desirability of American-made products. The California bungalow is one to one and a half stories and features a large porch, sloping roof, and Spanish-inspired details.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Cottage Industry

    A small-scale industry often operated out of a home, rather than ...
  2. Housing Unit

    One of a house, apartment, mobile home, group of rooms or single ...
  3. Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

    A legal and regulatory term for a secondary house or apartment ...
  4. Open House

    A scheduled period of time in which a house or other dwelling ...
  5. Manufactured Housing - MH

    A housing unit constructed primarily off-site prior to being ...
  6. Home Office

    An office located inside the taxpayer's home that serves as the ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Real Estate Traps To Avoid

    Here are some tips to help you make sure you don't fall victim to these real estate pitfalls.
  2. Managing Wealth

    10 Reasons Why Moving Might Not Make You Richer

    Find out why moving to a less expensive city may not reduce your expenses.
  3. Managing Wealth

    McMansion: A Closer Look At The Big House Trend

    The average home size is now 2,500 square feet - how big should you go?
  4. Investing

    What $175,000 Will Buy in the Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater Real Estate Market

    Prices for Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. area homes are up 13.3% from the same month last year, but the median price of $169,000 is still well below the national average - and there's ...
  5. Managing Wealth

    Beach House Investing: Best Beach Towns in Long Island, New York

    Learn about the three beach house locations on Long Island that investors should consider for beach house investing projects and key facts.
  6. Retirement

    5 Reasons Why Americans Retire in Malaysia

    Understand why Americans are deciding to retire internationally. Learn about the top five reasons why Americans are retiring to Malaysia.
  7. Insights

    How Does The Economy Affect House Size?

    The better the economy, the bigger the house. But beware - everything that glitters isn't gold.
  8. Managing Wealth

    Top Resorts for Multigenerational Family Vacations

    After a week at one of these resorts that cater to families of all ages, you might swear off those exhausting road trips to Grandma’s for good.
  9. Retirement

    What Larry Ellison's Portfolio Looks Like

    Discover how ex-CEO and multibillionaire Larry Ellison is building a massively extravagant real estate portfolio, as well as how he plans to use it.
  10. Financial Advisor

    Cuba's Economy: Nowhere To Go But Up

    With relations improving between Cuba and America, here's a quick look at the island nation's slowly transforming economy.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Does homeowners insurance cover roof replacement?

    Discover how total roof replacement is covered under most all-perils home insurance policies if the damage is the result ... Read Answer >>
  2. Does homeowners insurance cover roof leaks?

    Discover how coverage for roof leaks is included in an all perils policy as long as it is not the result of negligence or ... Read Answer >>
  3. What economic indicators are important to consider when investing in the banking ...

    Find out which economic indicators are most useful for investors in the banking sector, especially those influenced by central ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Fintech

    Fintech is a portmanteau of financial technology that describes an emerging financial services sector in the 21st century.
  2. Ex-Dividend

    A classification of trading shares when a declared dividend belongs to the seller rather than the buyer. A stock will be ...
  3. Debt Security

    Any debt instrument that can be bought or sold between two parties and has basic terms defined, such as notional amount (amount ...
  4. Taxable Income

    Taxable income is described as gross income or adjusted gross income minus any deductions, exemptions or other adjustments ...
  5. Chartered Financial Analyst - CFA

    A professional designation given by the CFA Institute (formerly AIMR) that measures the competence and integrity of financial ...
  6. Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

    An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is an unregulated means by which funds are raised for a new cryptocurrency venture.
Trading Center