The Bungalow-down

bungalow

According to the New England Real Estate Network’s multiple listing service (MLS), 50 Lakes Region bungalows are for sale, under agreement or were sold within the last year. Okay, so that’s not exactly breaking news, but if you and I toured each of these properties that are collectively referred to as “bungalows,” you’d be astonished by how widely they vary.

For example, these bungalows ranged from $19,000 to over $1.98 million in value. The smallest is 308 square feet with one bedroom and one bathroom. The largest was nearly nine times the size of the smallest, offering 2,689 square feet of livable space with five bedrooms and four baths.

Most of these Lakes Region bungalows were listed as single family residences, but some were listed as mobile homes and some as condominiums.

Which leads to the question…

Exactly what the heck is a bungalow?

Some questions are easy to answer. For example: “Tide laundry detergent pods sure look tasty… should I snack on one?” Answer: “No, absolutely not!” But the answer to “what is a bungalow?” is more elusive because bungalows offer a practical, adaptable and economical core design concept that has evolved over the centuries.

According to American Bungalow magazine: “Since the period when most bungalows were constructed – roughly 1880 to 1930 in the United States – literally every type of house has at one time been called a bungalow.”

While authorities quibble over many details, what they do tend to agree on is that bungalow homes first appeared in America in the 1880s, especially in New England. Over time, the term “bungalow” has become synonymous with small one or one-and-a-half story homes with wide, low-pitched hip or gable roofs, often with deep eaves and exposed rafters.

Bungalows typically feature some combination of the following:

  • open floor plans
  • most or all of the living space on the ground floor
  • built-in cabinetry
  • beamed ceilings
  • simple wainscoting (most often in dining and living room)
  • a large fireplace (often featuring built-in cabinets, shelves or benches)
  • dormers
  • a large, covered front porch (sometimes a rear porch)
  • unfinished attic spaces
  • (originally) unpainted wood trim

The Dictionary of Architecture and Construction defined a bungalow simply as: “A one-story frame house, or a summer cottage, often surrounded by a covered veranda.”

Gustav Stickley, a famous American furniture designer and manufacturer, wrote that a bungalow is “a house reduced to its simplest form where life can be carried on with the greatest amount of freedom; it never fails to harmonize with its surroundings…”

Why are they called “bungalows?”

The origin of the funny-sounding term “bungalow” goes back to at least 1659. In the waning days of the British Empire, British Army officers in India adapted the local term “bangala” (which means “belonging to Bengal”) to describe an unpretentious one-story house with a porch that was designed as a temporary retreat for travelers. Today in New Hampshire, many bungalows provide exactly that: a temporary retreat for those who travel here to enjoy the Lakes Region.

Though the style’s popularity waned subsequent to 1930, there was a resurgence in interest following the World War II. At this time the word “bungalow” became synonymous with inexpensive vacation homes located near the sea or lake shore.

Why are bungalows so ubiquitous?

Bungalows eventually became one of America’s most popular home styles. Because bungalows were easy to build, economical, and adaptable to taste and region, this home style ideally suited the needs of a growing population of young, middle-class families who yearned to own their own homes.

But bungalow demand accelerated greatly when enterprising businesses made prospective homeowners an offer many couldn’t refuse: bungalow kit delivery.

Imagine if you could use an Amazon Prime membership to ship all the materials needed to construct a house—including pre-cut lumber, nails, doors and plumbing—right to your door. Sound kind of crazy? Well, at the height of the bungalow’s popularity, Sears, Roebuck & Company and other firms sold bungalow building supplies and even full construction kits through mail-order catalogs. Prospective house buyers could have an entire home shipped to them in parts and pieces. Then, with the help of some local craftsmen, the homeowner could follow instructions to build a practical, attractive small home at an affordable price. Mail order delivery spiked the popularity of bungalows nationwide.

So that’s the low-down on bungalows (or the bungalow-down). I’ll close by synthesizing and paraphrasing the definitions of Gustav Stickley and others, and assert that a bungalow is “a simple, space-efficient retreat where life and recreation can be carried on with the greatest amount of freedom, a practical home (or vacation home) that is located near and harmonizes with beautiful surroundings, such as New Hampshire’s Lakes Region.”

Brent Metzger is a saleBrent Metzger, Realtor at Roche Realty Group in Meredith NHs associate at Roche Realty Group in Meredith, NH.
Brent can be reached on his cell phone at (603) 229-8322, at the office at (603) 279-7046, or by e-mail: brent@rocherealty.com

Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market.

Memorial Day

Beyond the BBQ: A Symphony of Remembrance and Summer Joy in the NH Lakes Region

Memorial Day serves as the official kick-off to summer in the Lakes Region. Towns ready ...
Read More →
Welcome to New Hampshire's Lakes Region

Welcome to New Hampshire’s Lakes Region

New Hampshire’s Lakes Region is one of the most stunningly beautiful places in the United ...
Read More →
The Granite State: Top Spot for Relocation in 2024

The Granite State: Top Spot for Relocation in 2024

New Hampshire just garnered major recognition as the best state to relocate to in 2024 ...
Read More →
Real Estate Sales Insights: Lakes Region Market Update

Real Estate Sales Insights: Lakes Region Market Update

It’s hard to believe we’ve already churned through 4 months of 2024. I researched the ...
Read More →
Market Trends – Spring 2024

Market Trends – Spring 2024

As a Realtor®, I’m always paying attention to the real estate market. I’m often asked ...
Read More →
Temperance Tavern in Gilmanton Sold

The Historic Temperance Tavern in Gilmanton Sold

Gilmanton—According to Frank Roche of Roche Realty Group in Meredith, the historic Temperance Tavern in ...
Read More →
Needs and Wants When Buying a Home Balanced

Balancing Needs and Wants When Buying a Home

In the current housing market, where choices are often limited, and demand frequently outstrips supply, ...
Read More →
Only two homes for sale at South Down Shores and Long Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee pictured above

Spotlight on Homes: New Hampshire Market Analysis

At present time, there are 1,007 single-family homes for sale in New Hampshire. The median ...
Read More →
New Hampshire Ranks High in Recent Studies

New Hampshire Ranks High in Recent Studies

Every day in our industry, we see how rising home prices have made it more ...
Read More →
South Down Shores Barn Complex Transformation

South Down Shores Barn Complex Transformation

In 1981, the transformation of Laconia’s scenic South Down Farm began, converting the former 126-acre ...
Read More →
Massachusetts and New Hampshire - a Tale of Two States

Massachusetts and New Hampshire – a Tale of Two States

Most of my articles talk about housing, trends, home values, and the desirable lifestyle we ...
Read More →
Spring flowers at the Belknap Mill in Laconia, New Hampshire

Spring Trends in Lakes Region Properties

It’s been one of those winters, or should I say lack of winters, that we ...
Read More →
Sales Snapshot: The Current Highest Prices Property For Sale in The Lakes Region Is on Governor's Island for $12,998,000

Sales Snapshot: New Hampshire’s Affordability Challenge

As we spring into March and approach our busy spring selling season, I thought I’d ...
Read More →
Gunstock Mountain in Gilford, NH

Gunstock: Gem of the Lakes Region

Nestled among the stoic peaks of the Belknap Mountain range in the heart of New ...
Read More →
Roche Realty Group Announces Top Producers for 2023

Roche Realty Group Announces Top Producers for 2023

Meredith — Frank Roche, president of Roche Realty Group, announced the top five producers for the ...
Read More →
AI and the Future of Real Estate

AI and the Future of Real Estate

Imagine, if you will, looking at a mysterious picture box filled with a whole world ...
Read More →
Prices rise Broadview Condominiums originally sold to the developer for $500,000

Prices Rise Ahead of Super Bowl Sunday

We’ve got a great match coming up for this year’s Super Bowl…The 49ers vs. the ...
Read More →
Smart Moves in Condominium Ownership Samoset

Smart Moves in Condominium Ownership

Here in the Lakes Region, a good part of our residential housing inventory is in ...
Read More →
Land Sales Unveiled: New Hampshire's 2023 Market

Land Sales Unveiled: New Hampshire’s 2023 Market

New Hampshire The Granite State… true to its motto, “Live Free or Die”, which encapsulates ...
Read More →
Exploring Cash Sales Dynamics in Lakes Region Real Estate

Exploring Cash Sales Dynamics in Lakes Region Real Estate

I was at a sales meeting at Roche Realty Group the other day, and we ...
Read More →
Roche Realty Meredith

Roche Realty Group Reports Over $150 Million in Sales

               Meredith- Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group, Inc., ...
Read More →
Lincoln, New Hampshire Riverwalk Resort

Lincoln, New Hampshire: From Mill Town to Ski Destination

Tucked in the heart of New Hampshire, sprawling across 131 square miles of varied terrain, ...
Read More →
Lakes Region Towns Stand Out For Their Spirit of Giving

Celebrating the Spirit of “Giving” in the Lakes Region

Nestled in the picturesque landscapes of New Hampshire, the Lakes Region stands out not only ...
Read More →
AI's Impact on the future of real estate

Real Estate’s Future: The Impact of AI

The other day, I was talking with my son Chris about the changes in the ...
Read More →
NH Lake Sales Activity - picture of lake with mountains and homes

Lakes Region Waterfront Sales 2022 vs. 2023

We’re getting near the end of the year, and I thought I would pull up ...
Read More →
Winter Snowmobile

Real Estate in a Winter Wonderland

As I drove around the other day with my kids, I was looking at some ...
Read More →
Toys for Tots Drive

Roche Realty Host Annual Toys for Tots Drive

As the holiday season approaches, Roche Realty Group is excited to announce the kickoff of ...
Read More →
Small Business Saturday New Hampshire

Small Business Saturday Living Gratefully in New Hampshire

We have so many things to be thankful for here in New Hampshire: plenty of ...
Read More →
Annie Brown Joins Roche Realty Group

Annie Brown Joins Roche Realty Group

Meredith — Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group, Inc., with offices in Meredith and ...
Read More →
Gunstock Mountain in Gilford, NH

Gunstock Upgrades for Winter as Real Estate Shows Resilient Growth

As the leaves of New Hampshire’s forests transition from the vibrant hues of fall to ...
Read More →
Preserving New Hampshire's Lakes

Preserving New Hampshire’s Lakes: A Community Effort

With over 250 lakes and ponds throughout New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, there are unlimited outdoor ...
Read More →
Home Inspections — The Uninspected Abode: A Spine-chilling Tale of Regret and Terror!

The Uninspected Home: A Spine-chilling Tale of Regret and Terror!

One night, not many years ago, in a quaint, somber town nestled amidst the haunting ...
Read More →
Interest Rates

Interest Rates Impacted by Treasury Yields

It looks like the national picture for housing stats has not improved in recent months; ...
Read More →
Local Housing Crisis: Challenges and Solutions

Local Housing Crisis: Challenges and Solutions

Our communities are facing a shortage of both residential and commercial properties, a scenario that’s ...
Read More →
Fall Splendor In New Hampshire

Fall Splendor in New Hampshire

New Hampshire in the fall is akin to stepping into a live canvas painting — ...
Read More →
Samoset Condominiums on Lake Winnipesaukee

Condominium Sales Surge in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region!

As we start entering October’s bright fall colors, I thought I’d take a look at ...
Read More →
Empowering your offer

Empower Your Offer in a Sizzling Real Estate Market!

As a seasoned real estate professional, I often consider the market conditions to keep myself, ...
Read More →
Reviews of New Hampshire's Lakes Region

Reviews of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region

We’ve had a great summer in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, and we’re approaching the brilliant ...
Read More →
Waterfont Sales Activity Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Waterfront Sales Activity in the Lakes Region

As we head into September, I have compiled data and insight into what is happening ...
Read More →
Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Weekend in The Lakes Region

Labor Day Weekend has arrived, and the weather forecast for the Lakes Region looks fantastic, ...
Read More →
Interest Rates

The Mortgage Interest Rate Dilemma

This past week, we saw an increase in mortgage rates following a rise in bond ...
Read More →
Best State To Live In — New Hampshire at #3

New Hampshire 3rd Best State To Live In!

WalletHub just released its rankings of the best state to live in for 2023. It’s ...
Read More →
City/Town Comparison can make the research process easier

City/Town Comparison For Your Move

Some studies place moving to a new location as one of the top ten most ...
Read More →
New Hampshire Real Estate Lacks Inventory

New Hampshire Real Estate Inventory Crisis

A Multifaceted Analysis of Rising Interest Rates and Beyond New Hampshire is currently facing a ...
Read More →
Peaks of New England

Exploring the Peaks of New England

In my younger years in school, I always loved geography. Living in New Hampshire, there ...
Read More →
Climate Exodus: Insurance Companies Seeking Refuge from High-Risk Sates

Climate Exodus: Insurers’ Fleeing High-Risk States

Flooding, Forest Fires, Heat Waves, Tornados, oh my! The recent stretch of weather has certainly ...
Read More →
Real Estate News Headlines - Lakes Region NH

Real Estate Tidbits to Consider

Here are a few real estate tidbits I’ve pulled to keep you up to speed ...
Read More →
Roche Realty Group Sells out Lakeside at Paugus Bay

Roche Realty Group — 6 Months in Review

Closed sales for the first 6 months of 2023 have been impressive at Roche Realty ...
Read More →
Newfound Lake

Lakes Region Waterfront Sales Activity 6 Month Comparison

Below you will find data and insight into what is happening in sales activity on ...
Read More →
Buying Land

Buying Land in New Hampshire — Comprehensive Guide

New Hampshire, also known as the Granite State, offers a diverse landscape that includes picturesque ...
Read More →

Leave a Comment