The term 'bigger is better' has its place: ice-cream cones, bonuses, smiles, etc. But these days, with rising prices to heat, cool, maintain and power homes, not to mention gas prices that contribute to work commutes, smaller can be smarter.
At the turn of the 20th century, there was a movement among homeowners who believed, "... we had lost something valuable when we moved from the farmhouse to the apartment terrace, and that efforts should be made to return to a simpler home life."
As a result, Bungalow neighborhoods sprouted and created suburbs of big cities. After living in industrialized neighborhoods - often in run-down buildings - people wanted a return to honesty in home design, with a greater connection to nature. And, "Bungalow Mania" was born. Craftsman Bungalow communities were a symbol for solid construction and a balanced life for those that wanted relief from industrialized cities.
Many towns, like Arlington, grew rapidly at the turn of the century and shortly thereafter. For example, Arlington's population grew by over 90 percent during the 1920s - and many homes - including Craftsman Bungalows - were built here during this time. Today, those 'suburbs' are now what we would consider in close proximity to the cities and are often on mass transit lines for people who work in town.
It seems that there is a similar movement afoot, and the pendulum is shifting back to the bungalow - or any reasonably-sized, quality-built home. In the wake of the 2008 housing collapse, the giant McMansions made of poor materials on oversized plots of land 15-20 miles outside the city are falling out of favor. People want a return to quality homes and a quality of life that means less hassle and simpler living. The ability to walk to get a gallon of milk, wave to your neighbors as you pass by, and owning a home that is comfortable yet manageable is something many people feel they have been lacking.
Arlington has no shortage of early-to-mid-century homes that were clearly built to last. Last year, a number of Bungalows sold in Arlington ranging in price from $310,000 to $757,000. These homes are known for their unique features that can include a wraparound porch, window seat, millwork, built-in corner hutches, decorative fireplaces, and more charm and character than you find in many cookie-cutter-type homes of recent years.
There is a back-to-basics shift happening - whether it's wanting to know where your food comes from, or wanting quality-built homes in communities that keep families together and support networks close. People want to live in a place that is convenient yet close-knit. They want homes with style, simplicity and sound construction that balance practicality with the good life.
Arlington offers all of this and more. The quiet neighborhoods, desirable area, access to mass transit, and town center gives a sense of pride and community to all of its residents.
Arlington is a town with big benefits, but it's the small nuances that make it a smart choice for so many people.