Bungalow

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. Housing Unit

    One of a house, apartment, mobile home, group of rooms or single ...
  2. Cottage Industry

    A small-scale industry often operated out of a home, rather than ...
  3. Open House

    A scheduled period of time in which a house or other dwelling ...
  4. Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

    A legal and regulatory term for a secondary house or apartment ...
  5. Manufactured Housing - MH

    A housing unit constructed primarily off-site prior to being ...
  6. Sales Per Square Foot

    A popular sales metric used in the retailing industry. Sales ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    How to Shop for Home Insurance

    Tips for getting the best protection for your place and possessions.
  2. Personal Finance

    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.
  3. 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.
  4. Retirement

    7 Fun Spring-Break Family Vacations for Retirees

    Now's the time to plan a spring-break vacation and bond with the grandkids. Here are seven great family-friendly vacation ideas.
  5. Personal Finance

    How to Live Mortgage Free in a Tiny House

    Downsizing to a much smaller home – no more than 500 square feet – on your own or rented land can be a smart way to offload mortgage debt.
  6. Managing Wealth

    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.
  7. 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.
  8. Personal Finance

    4 Areas to Consider Roofing Material Types

    Roofing your home is very important, that’s why you should choose a roof specifically designed to handle your area’s climate.
  9. Personal Finance

    10 Must-Know Questions To Ask A Home Seller

    To get a sense of what the home you're considering buying is really like, it helps to talk to the seller.
  10. Trading

    Understand How Square Works before the IPO

    Square is reported to have filed for an IPO. For interested investors wondering how the company makes money, Investopedia takes a look at its business.
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. Should we buy a new house or stay mortgage free?

    I have a house that is valued at $80,000. We would like to move, but because of this market we would break even. The home ... Read Answer >>
  3. When is the best time to purchase my first home, before or after the 2016 election?

    I am in a market for my first home here in California. Would there be a major difference in real estate price whether ... Read Answer >>
  4. Is it better to live in a state with a high tax base but low housing costs or a state ...

    My husband and I recently retired. We have lived in Montana for the past 15 years and want to retire to a warmer climate. ... Read Answer >>
  5. What are my risks of buying a house?

    I am 21, free of any kind of debt, and have saved up 120k for a down payment. I will still have some emergency fund after ... Read Answer >>
  6. 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 >>
Trading Center