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February 25, 2008



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Bungalow Bonanza

The bungalow may be king in Long Beach

by Don Jergler
Long Beach Press Telegram
February 25, 2008

It's estimated the city has "thousands" of various types and sizes of bungalows, and a pair of local Realtors think they have found a niche by specializing in their sale.

Steffie Hands and Rochelle Kramer, agents with Re/Max Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, created at the end of last year.

Hands and Kramer, who refer to themselves as "the architecture team," believe that creating a market niche gives them an advantage over other agents in that people in the market for homes with a specific architecture will become buyers despite the doldrums in residential real estate.

"Home ownership is one of the big American dreams and bungalows are the symbol of the American dream of home ownership," Hands said. "They were a symbol in the '20s, when the bungalow was an affordable home, and they still represent the American dream today."

According to the pair's Web site, bungalow features often include a low, sloping roof either gabled (front or side) or hipped, often with wide overhangs; exposed roof structures (beams, rafters); exterior proportions balanced rather than symmetrical in arrangement; a modest front porch; a front stoop; and an open, informal floor plan.

That being said, there are different styles of bungalows, including the Ranch Bungalow, the Raised Bungalow, the Chalet Bungalow, the American Crafstman Bungalow, the California Bungalow, the Ultimate Bungalow, the Chicago Bungalow, the Milwaukee Bungalow, the Australian Bungalow, the Canadian Bungalow and the Irish Bungalow.

Some bungalows are historic, like the home of Pat and Dave Wheeler, at 3634 Brayton Ave. in California Heights. The home, built in 1924, has been restored considerably by Wheeler.

The retired engineer added period tile to the kitchen and authentic windows on the front. He even built a scale model of the homey yellow bungalow in his pristine, and seemingly timeless, backyard.

Bungalow hunters can find listings in bungalow heavens like California Heights and Rose Park, as well as in the Southern California communities of Pasadena and Orange.

While bungalows in some neighborhoods are sizable in stature and price, in Long Beach they are often smaller and more affordable, Hands said.

Still, for the bungalow lover with deep pockets, the city holds choices too.

"Long Beach is unique because we have bungalows in every neighborhood and prices range from $350,000 up to several million dollars," Hands said. "You can get a bungalow in North Long Beach for like $350,000 or you can get a Craftsman Bungalow on Ocean (Boulevard) for several million."

Hands and Kramer, who have been cataloguing bungalows for their Web site, say that style is so numerous in Long Beach that it's hard to count.

"We know that there are thousands in Long Beach," Hands said.

View article on the Long Beach Press Telegram website.