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Of Gals and Homes: Bungalows

Posted by Johnine Larsen on August 24, 2017
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Bungalows had their heyday in the early 20th century, but they recently experienced a surge in popularity. Bungalows are affordable—especially compared to their bigger urban neighbors, but without sacrificing character. Bungalows make for cozy, charming homes, and you’ll often find them in active, urban neighborhoods that are low on crime and high on indie coffee shops and young families.

Bungalow in Sacramento, CA. Built in the 1920s.

You can spot a classic bungalow as soon as you know what to look for:

  • One or one-and-a-half stories, often with a basement
  • Room-to-room layout with minimal hallways
  • Wide, overhanging roof
  • Exposed rafters under the eaves
  • Wide front porch beneath the main roof
  • Tapered or square columns supporting the roof
  • 4-over-1 or 6-over-1 sash windows
  • Hand-crafted stone or woodwork
  • Simple forms and natural materials

A bungalow in western Pennsylvania, very typical of the American bungalow style.

The Origins of the Bungalow

Bungalows originally came from India. The term originally referred to small, one-story homes with thatched roofs, where the East India Company used to house English sailors. Eventually, bungalows got bigger and moved to Britain (the thatched roofs disappeared). Even later, the bungalow style crossed the Atlantic and joined America’s Arts and Crafts movement.

The original bungalows.

U.S. bungalows boomed between 1900 and 1930. The lower-middle class was moving out of apartments and into private houses, and bungalows were cheap. You could order a bungalow kit from the Sears and Roebuck catalog for as little as $900. That was in 1910, but $900 back then still only equates to $23,500 today.

Bungalows took most American cities by storm. They sprung up in established neighborhoods, often congregating along streetcar lines. In many 1920s cities, you could find a “Bungalow Belt” of newly constructed homes.

A Chicago, IL bungalow, built in 1925. Most Chicago bungalows were built between 1910 and 1940, and usually made of brick, with one-and-a-half stories and a full basement. This style represents nearly one-third of Chicago’s single-family houses. The main unique feature of the Chicago bungalow are the gables: these are parallel to the street, rather than perpendicular, as in most bungalows. Photo by Silverstone1.

The Bungalow Present

Many of those original homes survived. They predated urban sprawl, so you’ll find them in the old streetcar neighborhoods like Ballard, Maple Leaf, and Green Lake. Although bungalows might have looked cheap back then, they look charming today. Bungalows have character, history, and, more often than not, some of the best locations.

  • soumak ghosh
    soumak ghosh
    00:00 14 Nov 19
    They were representing the seller and I was the buyer. Very limited communication from the agents. Waited days for a response for any email/text. Would eventually get a response after multiple follow ups. Almost cost us the deal.
    Sarah Donaldson
    Sarah Donaldson
    18:44 18 Jul 19
    Darcie was such a joy to work with. She felt like family during the sale of our house and the search for our new home. We may have found our forever home, but if we ever need a Realtor in future, Darcie from Real Estate Gals will be our first call.
    Brian Heagler
    Brian Heagler
    16:55 02 Jun 19
    I have worked with Johnine and her team for 19 years and have always received personal, knowledgeable and professional service and attention! There is never and pressure and they will guide you away from a property when appropriate, which is always appreciated when a market is hot and the tendency is to move quickly. I trust them and have never been let down!
    Anne Slater
    Anne Slater
    18:03 25 May 19
    Johnine Larsen is fabulous! She listened and came up with ways we could get what we wanted in a house and stay within our limited budget. When we found the house we wanted, she moved super fast to get the house inspected and implemented creative ideas to make our offer appealing. And out of 13 offers, we were selected and got our house. I recommend her to anyone buying a home.
    Amy Burdick
    Amy Burdick
    19:13 24 May 19
    Real Estate Gals made sure we found our perfect house! Then, when we were up against other bidders, Johnine worked tirelessly to ensure we were tops! Her extensive real estate experience combined with exceptional character and integrity provided peace of mind throughout the process. She also made sure we received the right value as a seller and got the transaction done quickly and efficiently. Simply stated: there is nobody better to help you find your dream home.
    Bill Hollman
    Bill Hollman
    22:21 19 May 19
    I'd give Real Estate Gals 6 stars if I could. We have used them multiple times, both in selling and buying homes in Seattle and the surrounding area. I can't say enough about the professionalism, knowledge, and patience they bring to the task of buying a new home, or selling your current residence. And they know the Seattle area so well, they'll offer valuable insights into the pros and cons of any location you may be to considering. Look no further, call Johnine at Real Estate Gals. You will be glad you did!
    Beth Guerra
    Beth Guerra
    01:14 18 May 19
    Johnine was a breath of fresh air in the real estate market. She listened intently to our wishes and goals, and was tireless in her search for our perfect house. She is well versed in both Seattle and the surrounding areas. She made sure all the details were taken care of after the inspection, and made the closing process seamless. She even gifted us with a housewarming present. Nearly 7 years later, we still receive holiday cards and well wishes. I highly recommend Real Estate Gals and will look no further in the future.
    Aidan Key
    Aidan Key
    15:44 17 May 19
    Johnine and the Real Estate Gals brilliantly took us through the home buying process two different times. Their willingness to educate (I was new), hear our home hopes, and support us through the process are a few of the reasons that I highly recommend this team. Speaking of a team, I love their collaborative business model - it meant that we--the home buyers--always had a returned phone call and an ability to look at a house on OUR schedule. Truly felt like they place the customer first!
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