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Bungalows - a good or bad choice for a family?

(38 Posts)
AngryFeet Wed 24-Apr-13 17:33:23

We have been looking for a while and there is a major lack of properties coming on the market. There have been a few we have liked but have missed out as they go fast in this area or we have found ones in the wrong location which aren't ideal. A nice bungalow has come up in the perfect location - quiet road, 2 mins walk to shops and transport and near our first choice of secondary school. But I am unsure about the whole bungalow thing. It is 3 bedrooms, semi detached and has a garage all of which we wanted. The garden is nice and a fairly good size plus it is south facing. The square footage is about the same as we would get in a house in the area and the loft is big enough to do a conversion for two bedrooms and a small bathroom.

I am a bit concerned about the following:-

There are mainly bungalows on the road so mostly elderly people mainly. Would the noise of the children in the garden mean that the neighbours would end up getting annoyed?

If we did a conversion we would be in a room on the ground floor and the kids would be upstairs (they would be about 10 and 8 by the time we could afford to do this in a couple of years). Is this an issue with regards to fire etc?

More security worries in a bungalow

Are they harder to sell? We plan to stay for at least 12 years so the kids would have finished secondary school.

The living space is made up of a good sized kitchen with a lean to type utility room, nice living room then a long conservatory on the back which would be dining area and play room. But would the space be usable all year round? Worried it would be cold in winter and too hot in summer.

Any thoughts? Thanks smile

specialsubject Wed 24-Apr-13 17:41:13

Bungalows usually come with more outside space, and are much easier to maintain - no upper story to repair and a more accessible roof.

security is the same for every building as they all have ground floors. With good window locks and secured patio doors, you are no more vulnerable than anyone else.

fire hazard - unless you let your kids play with matches in their rooms (or leave the straighteners on) this is also no worse than anywhere else. Smoke alarms, common sense.

conservatories with transparent roofs are usually too hot in summer and too cold in winter. There are remedies.

and lastly, kids in the garden - the knotty one. Entirely up to you of course but recognise you don't want to be Mr and Mrs unpopular! so do some research and visit at different times of day; if there are lots of grandchildren visiting then you can assume a children welcome attitude.

living in a neighbourhood with lots of retired people has benefits - well-kept gardens and better security as always someone about. And low chance of late night noisy parties... but do check any noise through the wall, TVs turned up to max can be an issue. You may laugh, but been there...

fussychica Wed 24-Apr-13 17:47:31

Well I've lived in a bungalow on & off for years and love them. However, one of the attractions for me (I'm old) is that the chances of me having a family next door (assuming mainly bungalow road) is reduced considerably as I like it quiet. Obviously, it's no guarantee and I'd rather have a lovely family than horrid oldiessmile.

The great thing about one level living is the flexibility of the rooms, the bad thing is that most are not designed in a way to shut noise/smells off in the way houses are. The bedrooms might be next to the lounge and the loo next to the kitchen and opposite the lounge. Get my drift?

I think extending into the roof is a bit daft but that's just me - they usually look a bit odd, especially semis and, of course, they are no longer truly a bungalow when you sell. Apparently, the housing stock is only 2% bungalows yet 30% of people would like to live in one so they attract a premium.

Not sure whether I've helped or notconfused

bubbles1231 Wed 24-Apr-13 17:58:21

We love ours! Easy to maintain- no need to get someone in to paint the windows or unblock the gutters. Easy to escape from in a fire.
Ours is well laid out in an L shape- living space in one arm and bedrooms on the other. The long corridor has been great in the winter when the weather's bad- the boys play goal practice up it with a foam ball.
I'd knock on the door of the attached house, with a cheery hello and judge by the response if you would want to live next door to them!

ProphetOfDoom Wed 24-Apr-13 18:00:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shockers Wed 24-Apr-13 18:05:51

We live in a bungalow. We've converted upstairs to include two bedrooms an en suite and an office.

It's very easy to maintain, the gardens are quite large and our elderly neighbours on both sides are lovely. They always take the time to speak to the children, one of them regularly bakes us cakes and gives us veg from her garden. We, in return, send portions of casserole or cuts from our roasts to her as she's on her own. DH is the person they call upon to re-set clocks and other little jobs.

My children are growing up as part of a community and valuing what every generation brings to it. They are not quiet children and spend a lot of time playing football in the garden with the dog, but the neighbours don't appear to mind, in fact they seem to like hearing them argue play.

I think bungalows have a lot to offer!

Mrsladybirdface Wed 24-Apr-13 18:28:11

Another bungalow lover here! We've just moved into ours and we have 4 year old and 1 year old.

Ours needs renovating but the layout is great with bedrooms at one end and living at the other.

Fantastic with young kids as they have lots of space to play. Really easy to keep clean too and as others have said the maintenance it's much easier.

We have elderly neighbors either side but there are lots of families too because it's in a popular school location.

It's the same square footage as a normal three bed semi but we paid about 50 to 70k less than a normal house.

Apparently, they are a good investment with all the baby boomers coming up to old age and they are the only ones which may hold their value.

Only downside is I have my washing machine in the detached garage because of the noise but it's not an issue really.

YoniYoniNameLeft Wed 24-Apr-13 18:49:37

I grew up in a bungalow although it was on a Cul-de-sac that was a mix of bungalows and houses. There were a mixture of older couples and young families.

I loved it, it was lovely! The garden was huge, with a massive driveway. I always think that they're handy if you've got children as you can keep an eye on them all the time (ie. if they're playing in their bedroom they are not a whole other floor away if you have to do jobs in the kitchen) and I always thought that if you had a fire you could easily climb out the bedroom window without breaking your neck grin,

PoppyWearer Wed 24-Apr-13 18:52:03

I grew up in a bungalow. Taking our young DCs to stay at my DParents' house is a pleasure, no worries about stair gates and they are close by to the living room if they wake in the evening. Great!

TheRealFellatio Wed 24-Apr-13 18:55:23

I think bungalows can be great. They usually have lovely big plots, and if you ever manage to convert and build upwards (or demolish and rebuild) you could have a fabulous huge house.

The only problem with that is that if the road is all bungalows with no conversions then it might look incongruous and planning might be rejected, but you should not take my word for it - ask some ertinent questions at the council now.

I agree I would be a bit concerned about all the other neighbours being elderly though.

BastardDog Wed 24-Apr-13 19:00:19

We lived in a bungalow for a while when our children were around 6/7. The only downside for us was that one of the kids bedrooms was next to the lounge and my son found it difficult to sleep with the noise of the TV.

eggsandwich Wed 24-Apr-13 19:07:49

We have lived in our bungalow for 10 years now, prior to that we had lived in houses. Our bungalow is quite large with four double bedrooms, four reception rooms, four bathrooms ( two en-suites, main bathroom and clockroom toilet) also a 20ft x 18ft kitchen and separate utility, and half an acre of garden. For my Dh and myself it will be too big for us once the children have left home, though we would like to build our own bungalow but have to find the right location and land to go with it, but maintaince is eaiser with bungalows.

hotbot Wed 24-Apr-13 20:36:45

Love love love our bungalow. Children ruined by elderly neighbours, dh and mine ages combined , we are still the youngest.
Wouldn't move now. So lucky.

AngryFeet Wed 24-Apr-13 20:42:53

Yes I think it is the elderly people thing that bothers me the most. I feel like I would be constantly telling the kids to keep the noise down! This is the house. What do you all think?

iloveshortshorts Wed 24-Apr-13 20:49:07

The garden is lovely

hotbot Wed 24-Apr-13 20:56:17

Fabulous, lots of scope for improvement, in the nicest possible way.

doglover Wed 24-Apr-13 20:58:20

Looks great. Could be a lovely family home. smile

echt Wed 24-Apr-13 21:26:52

It looks really nice, and what a lovely private garden. I live in what was a bungalow, though they are standard in Australia and so are called houses. Two-storey houses are called town houses.grin
Back to the OP, we used to worry about security, too, but rationally it's no different to any other house, it's just a feeling you get over.
I wouldn't worry too much about the neighbours. Introduce yourself, ask Is it nice living here, because where you are is also lovely; you'll get a feel for the kind of neighbours they are by their response.

MamaMary Wed 24-Apr-13 21:33:09

Love the garden. smile

ProphetOfDoom Wed 24-Apr-13 21:40:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lookoveryourshouldernow Wed 24-Apr-13 21:45:58

Bungalows - we live in one - large detached - but thankfully we don't have to look at it (Bungalows are not pretty at the best of times) ... but we overlook medieval and cute cottages in the Village - so the best of both worlds..

All our space consists of big sized rooms - when everything is on same floor you find that you spread out more - not piles of stuff on the stairs to "go up or to go down"... and everyone is within shouting distance.

Our plot is very spacious - but we use every inch... and to me it doesn't feel large - but everyone that comes in does.... We have 10/12 foot ceiling in some rooms due to the levels (we are on a hill as well) and my "bestest" was when I got cleaners in for a BIG SPRING CLEAN - they didn't bother to ring to the door (as they quoted from a road view and it looks fairly tiny) - there were here around 8 hours....

Yes - sometimes when everyone is out I may feel a little vulnerable - so much glass and potential "weak spots" but I know that we have got locks/fasteners on all the doors and I have a telephone.....

Go for it !!!

surroundedbyblondes Wed 24-Apr-13 21:53:28

I love our bungalow! Moved in when DDs were 2,6 and 0,6 and it was amazing, after having been living in crappy rented places for the 5 months prior to that.

Love that everything is so open and accessible. Easy to go with eg. dirty clothes from bathroom to washing machine then back with clean clothes to bedrooms. Never have to lug a hoover up and down stairs. Can give DDs freedom to play without having to supervise on stairs etc.

Our place is divided into clear 'areas' and we can shut off the part where the DDs sleep/play so that we limit the noise eg. when they're sleeping and we're still up and about doing things.

It's also good to know that it would be easier to get out in case of any fire due to us all being on the ground floor. I did feel uncomfortable about leaving the DDs windows wide open at night in summertime, but they have catches that you can lock, even when the window is open a bit, so this gets round the problem. Plus we live in a v quiet area, so there isn't really any need for security worries.

I was dead against the idea when BIL and SIL bought one many years ago. Then we had a Christmas at their house when the DDs and DNs were little, and the fact that we could enjoy the food at the table and the children could play/fetch toys with relatively little supervision despite being small as they were always within earshot was a fantastic experience. I was converted from then on, and we actually specifically looked for a bungalow to buy when we were looking for this house.

GemmaTeller Wed 24-Apr-13 21:57:11

Another bungalow lover here.

We've had ours for four years and definately want another bungalow when we move next year.

The loft space is huge, there's no stairs to fall down (speaking from experience), you can clean all the windows yourself grin.

I have my craft room in the front 'bedroom' overlooking the front garden and fields.

SquinkiesRule Wed 24-Apr-13 21:59:26

I love our house three beds 2 bathrooms no stairs.
The one you are looking at is lovely.
Who cares if the old people don't want young families living near them, they aren't living in a retirement community, go for it. I bet you'll have more nice old dears saying hello to the kids than grumpy ones.

Startail Wed 24-Apr-13 22:27:04

One of our elderly neighbours has lots of grand DCs and the other is totally deaf. Never any complaints.

DF's next door neighbour complained about her DCs playing being noisy in their paddling pool. She couldn't believe it! She lived in the sort of large modern house that would only ever be bought by a family with children and hers were impeccably behaved.

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