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Bungalows in need of modernising

(107 Posts)
SporeRB Sun 31-Mar-24 14:21:23

If you are thinking of downsizing to a bungalow, will you consider a bungalow in need of modernising?

By modernising I mean, no knocking down walls, but everything needs updating - new kitchen, new bathrooms, all patterned carpets need replacing etc. etc.,

Just look at Rightmove, there are 2 bungalows near where we live. They are self build bungalows. Years ago, you can buy a plot of land from the Council and build your own bungalows.

Both sold with no chain, both need modernising. One reduced by £25k recently and still not sold. They have been on the market for a while.

HousePlantQueen Sun 31-Mar-24 14:33:59

We have done this twice, buy bungalows needing renovation. The most important fact is the neighbourhood; if it suits you, if you have access to what you need, you can improve your house, but not your neighbourhood! Secondly, if the building is sound, has a decent EPC rating (which you can improve), then go for it. Ripping out bathrooms, kitchens, carpets holds no fears for me, and can be easier done if you are not living in among it all and moving your boxes of stuff and furniture from room to room. Work out what you think the work will cost, then double it, those fools on Homes under the Hammer who modernise houses for £10k are not telling the truth, unless you want the cheapest job ever. Oh, and while you are doing it, invest in a lot of insulation, thermostatic valves for radiators etc., to make it an efficient home to keep warm. Happy to answer any questions!

Grammaretto Sun 31-Mar-24 14:39:26

I would. A good Location and a well built house is more important than looks.
You can often get a bargain if you are prepared to see beyond the first impression.

Then you can take your time to make it how you would like it with any saved funds. Win win.

Germanshepherdsmum Sun 31-Mar-24 14:44:37

Not now. If you’re not living there while the work is being done (and I certainly wouldn’t want to live with the mess and inconvenience) you’re going to have to rent somewhere or live on site in a mobile home if you can get planning permission to do so, unless you can afford to buy and modernise before you sell - which will cost you double stamp duty though you have a period to get a refund when you sell your current home.

I find that the bungalows I see are just too poky, little boxy rooms. Everything madly out of date, candidates for demolition.

Millie22 Sun 31-Mar-24 15:33:24

No I wouldn't.

We have lots of bungalows near us that are overpriced and in a time warp so everything needs replacing.

The family who inherit are mostly only interested in how much money they will get and do very little to make the property more appealing to buyers.

HousePlantQueen Sun 31-Mar-24 15:33:36

It is easy to live somewhere short term while you are doing the work, AirBnB for example. We have turned our'poky' little bungalow with 'boxy rooms' into a light, open and comfortable home, it is all about having imagination and looking beyond the swirly carpets and coloured bathrooms! We now have a home which is economical to heat, easy to maintain with plenty of room for our family to stay, and is hopefully, future proofed. Best of all, it is in a mixed street of detached, semi detached houses, and detached, individual bungalows so is not a 'retirement ghetto', in fact our newest neighbours are a family with two teenagers who have adapted to living on one level very early on!

62Granny Sun 31-Mar-24 15:33:42

It all depends on why you are moving , if it is because one of you is ill, then do you want the extra upheaval of re-doing the whole house? We moved into a bungalow 6 years ago because my husband had had a stroke a few months before, I looked for one that was more or less ready to move into. I knew I would probably have to do a new shower room but didn't want to do much else if I could help it, I am sorry now I didn't put in a new kitchen before we moved in as well, we were lucky that we didn't have to sell our old house before we moved . Friends of ours are going through the same thing now and she is being put off a lot of them because they haven't been updated for years, still have Avocado bathroom suites and swirly carpets, wallpaper that has been painted many times. So I think if you are thinking of selling one I would take up the carpets and paint it neutral colours at least.

Germanshepherdsmum Sun 31-Mar-24 15:49:24

We have plenty of imagination HPQ, but are also realists in our 70s with a large dog who I can’t imagine staying in an AirBnb. The poky places I see on Rightmove (and I see a lot because I’m looking for something on one level) could only be turned into something light and open by demolition and rebuild. Few have any character. They need far more than new kitchens, bathrooms and floor coverings. Having renovated three houses between us and built our last, we do have some experience of what is achievable, what it will cost and how long it will take.

Georgesgran Sun 31-Mar-24 15:53:25

DD2’s bungalow is fabulous - they rented a flat while the work was done - firstly, they updated the 3rd bedroom in the roof and turned its small shower room into a proper bathroom. The downstairs bathroom suite was replaced and they installed a Jacuzzi bath with shower. The original kitchen was pulled out and extended so it’s a galley kitchen now, opening into a great sized family room overlooking the garden. It’s all hard floors which she needs for her wheelchair and the steps to the front door have been ramped. Recently the garage has been converted to a study for her DH - he used to use the small bedroom, but that’s now a nursery. The lounge has an exposed brick wall with a multi fuel stove and French doors lead out onto a flat sheltered area of composite decking, before the actual garden.

I had hoped to buy it from them, but it seems they’re staying put for a few more years.

Harris27 Sun 31-Mar-24 15:58:09

I’m in a very modern bungalow bought years ago but constantly updating it. Very therapeutic and I love it.

Chocolatelovinggran Sun 31-Mar-24 16:30:59

My daughter and son in law bought a truly terrible bungalow a couple of years ago because of the great location, as others have said, and fabulous garden ( under the weeds, rubbish, bramble etc..) It is becoming a wonderful home.
It depends on your energy level I would say. They're young and fit, and patient. I wouldn't have enjoyed their several- months- without- a - kitchen scenario.

Grandmabatty Sun 31-Mar-24 16:40:04

I love my bungalow, boxy though it may be. I put down laminate flooring throughout to get rid of dated carpet, replaced old doors and decorated every room while living in it. I also completely redid the garden. The kitchen and bathroom had already been replaced to a high standard. It's my cosy haven. My aunt commented today about how lovely and homely it is.

HousePlantQueen Sun 31-Mar-24 16:45:31

Germanshepherdsmum

We have plenty of imagination HPQ, but are also realists in our 70s with a large dog who I can’t imagine staying in an AirBnb. The poky places I see on Rightmove (and I see a lot because I’m looking for something on one level) could only be turned into something light and open by demolition and rebuild. Few have any character. They need far more than new kitchens, bathrooms and floor coverings. Having renovated three houses between us and built our last, we do have some experience of what is achievable, what it will cost and how long it will take.

Yes, it is a balance of imagination versus reality, but we have done it many times, one complete build, two full renovations (bungalows),two partial renovations (and a DH who is unable to leave anything as it is!), it can be done. The issue where we live is that decent bungalows are like hen's teeth and often change hands without going on the market, those listed are certainly less desirable in terms of the amount of work to be done. It is however, amazing what a difference a few skips can make!

Germanshepherdsmum Sun 31-Mar-24 17:09:24

There are loads around here as it’s a popular area to retire (north Norfolk). But boring, poky and God’s waiting room doesn’t begin to describe most of them! Too small to do anything significant with and so soulless, sitting in little closes of identical bungalows. Yes, I know lots on GN have, and love, just such properties - they’re just not for me. Funnily enough, our current house was just such a bungalow (though not in a little close) before an architect bought it and turned it into a very contemporary house with big rooms and floor to ceiling windows - I love it but would like not to have the stairs!

Katie59 Sun 31-Mar-24 17:14:28

My DIL bought one last year 1950s in v poor condition needed pulling down and rebuilding but they decided to refurbish, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

It all depends how good the structure is, old houses often have small rooms, poor foundations and a worn out roof, whatever you decide make sure it’s worth refurbishing. Insulating, plus new kitchen and bathroom is expensive.

V3ra Sun 31-Mar-24 17:21:48

I love it but would like not to have the stairs!

Have you considered having a proper lift installed Germanshepherdsmum?

Witzend Sun 31-Mar-24 17:21:49

An ex colleague of mine did it, and made it how she wanted it, but it cost ££££, and bungalows are pricey around here anyway. Some builder had bought it a year or two previously and had done nothing, just left it, while prices continued to rise, before putting it back on the market.

Hers was I think originally 1930s, with quite a large plot, as was fairly usual then.

Germanshepherdsmum Sun 31-Mar-24 17:26:04

I would crawl up the stairs or shuffle up on my bum rather than have a lift V3ra! We do actually have two downstairs bedrooms and a wet room if need be, but nothing like the principal bedroom and en suite upstairs.

Greyisnotmycolour Sun 31-Mar-24 17:37:21

I've also been looking at bungalows recently as I'd like to move nearer to family. I agree that the majority of them and bleak and depressing, they all seem to have an air of care home about them. I love my current home and am fortunate to have a shower room and a potential bedroom on the ground floor but unfortunately it's in the wrong part of the country. If you have the stamina and finances to see through the renovation then go for it but it's not for the faint hearted.

Grannytomany Sun 31-Mar-24 17:59:52

Bungalows which need new bathrooms and kitchens wouldn’t worry too much as long as the price reflected that. What does worry me is bungalows (or any other property) which has been structurally redesigned and the layout changed for the worst. I’m looking on Rightmove too and have seen some very odd layouts. And then there the DIY attempts ..

Juggernaut Sun 31-Mar-24 18:45:17

We moved into our bungalow in Autumn 2019, intending to get all the necessary work done quickly, but of course Covid put a stop to that, and a lot of jobs were delayed.
To start with, we painted all the rooms in very neutral colours, and replaced all the carpets with bog standard foam backed cheap stuff, as we knew they'd get ruined with jobs being done!
The kitchen was the first job, completely gutted and redesigned, I wanted it to my exact specs and this included 'future proofing' it as far as possible. It's now perfect for us, everything is in the right place, the storage is exactly what we wanted, I love it.
Then came the bathroom, again gutted, and remodelled as a shower room, with a low access shower, non-slip shower tray, grab handles at the height and angle of our choice, 'comfort height' rimless toilet put in, heated towel rail, cabinetry, lighting and mirrors all exactly where we want them. It's now as 'age proof' as possible.
Since then the external doors have been replaced with 'Rock-doors', all windows replaced with Argon gas filled sealed units, there's a new central heating system, including all new super efficient radiators, cavity wall insulation has been topped up, extra loft insulation has been done, we've had a large front porch built, old fireplace and gas fire removed from sitting room and a super modern glass and ceramic heater put in.
The dining room (I love having a 'proper' dining room) has been remodelled, old patio door removed, and replaced by folding doors to rear garden, all internal doors replaced by beautiful light oak doors, they're stunning!
From Monday to Thursday of last week, the old built in wardrobes in our bedroom were ripped out and the new, made to measure, fitted, oak framed, sliding mirror doored wardrobes were built in, again all shelving, drawers etc to our specs.
All perimeter fences have been replaced, the driveway block paved, (it's a ninety foot long, double width drive, so that was a big job) a new electrically operated garage door has been fitted, and there are new electrically operated gates at the front of the drive.
All the 'cheapy' carpets have been replaced, so now we think we only have the conservatory/orangery/sun room to do and we'll be finished!
I haven't always been deliriously happy about 'camping out' in the sitting room, but we managed, and it was worth it in the end!
If anyone suggests any more 'little jobs', they'll be buried under the new patio that I will have put in specifically to hide their body! wink

merlotgran Sun 31-Mar-24 19:09:20

I agree that the majority of them and bleak and depressing, they all seem to have an air of care home about them.

Oh No! I’m getting worried about mine now.

Maybe care home chic could become a thing? 😂

PamelaJ1 Sun 31-Mar-24 19:18:11

We were very lucky when we bought our bungalow about 20 years ago. We didn’t have to live in it whilst updating was carried out. It’s not ultra modern (all glass) but the rooms are large and its floor plan suits us.
I keep thinking we should move to something smaller. That’s what we are all supposed to do now isn’t it? However I look at the floor plans on rightmove and can’t see anything that suits us. There isn’t a utility or it’s totally open plan.
If I had the money and energy, liked the area, layout and had somewhere to live whilst the work was done I would do it again.
It sounds as if there wouldn’t be any structural work for you to do and you may end up with your dream house.

Oreo Sun 31-Mar-24 21:04:30

merlotgran

^I agree that the majority of them and bleak and depressing, they all seem to have an air of care home about them.^

Oh No! I’m getting worried about mine now.

Maybe care home chic could become a thing? 😂

😂
Am sure your bungalow is great.They don’t have to be old fashioned inside just the same as any other house doesn’t have to be.
The main thing is location, if it’s where you want it to be OP then it’s worth it to do it up to your own liking.
A bungalow, when you think about it, is just a large apartment with a garden, ideal for anyone older really.I wouldn’t mind one in the near future if we had the money.Not many of them around where I live tho.

Grammaretto Sun 31-Mar-24 21:49:56

We bought a semidetached, stone fronted, 1930 bungalow when we first moved to Edinburgh. It wasn't pretty. There were hundreds like it.

Much to my surprise I found it very easy to live in for my young family. One floor living is sometimes sneered at but in reality was ideal.

It was solidly built with generous sized rooms so a bit of a tardis.

Maybe because I grew up in NZ where so many houses are single story I never think of them as God's waiting room grin