(Closed) Buying a house: Importance of having a yard?

posted 11 years ago in Home
  • poll: How important is it to have a yard when you have (small) kids?

    Important to have a big yard

    Important to have even a very small yard

    Nice to have, but not a deal-breaker if you love the house and have a park to go to

    A yard isn't necessary, especially when kids are young and you have a park to go to

    You're better off without a yard

    Other (please share)

  • Post # 17
    Member
    6009 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: May 2009

    A big yard is very important to us for the following reasons:

    1.  We have two dogs, big dogs, and they need lots of running space away from cars, bears, coyotes, etc…

    2.  We don’t want to re-buy in a few years.  Our house now has a good-sized yard, but we wouldn’t have bought with the intention of moving in 5 years or so.

    3.  We are both from the West and used to large lots.  I grew up on one acre, and my husband’s parents have 60 acres.  We are just not used to/comfortable with living on a small piece of land.

    These are our reasons for wanting a yard, but different people have different priorities.  I think in your case (no dog, moving in a few years to a bigger yard, living in a city, etc…) maybe a yard isn’t a priority.  In that case, I think it would be more important to concentrate on finding on ahouse that meets your other criteria (e.g. location, square footage, upgrades, or whatever).

    Post # 18
    Member
    2680 posts
    Sugar bee

    I would definitely get a house with a yard and dont know that I would consider one without a yard.  Even though I dont have kids yet, I can not wait to get a house that has a yard for my dog to play in and be out in during the day instead of being cooped up in our apartment.

    Post # 19
    Member
    3124 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2009

    When it’s time for kids, I want to have the backyard – big enough for a pool, deck, summer kitchen, you name it.  But thats just me.  I voted “nice to have”.  I know i’m too lazy to take the dogs and kids to the park all the time so i’d like to just let them play in the backyard with their toys / swingset / whatever.

    Post # 20
    Member
    521 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    I was raised on a 600 acre farms and to be honest, even as a kid: I wasn’t outside.

    it doesn’t say I wasn’t active, I was super active, but I wasn’t home too much. I was in softball, 4-H, girl scouts, and a multiple of other activies.

    Now a days, kids are busy, busy! And, there isn’t much need for a yard.

    I can remember playing in the yard during the summer when my relatives visited. But, a yard usually needs more than one person so unless you are planning having super-knit siblings (my sis and I are different as night and day) or a dad/yourself willing to go outside all the time and play: I don’t believe it’s necassary. I guess, if you lived in town, it would be different. Kids could invite friends over, but I was out in the boonies so it wasn’t possible. Parents didn’t like to drive their kids a mile down the gravel road to play (plus 20 mins out of the town limits)

    Sure, it’s nice, but if it’s going to cost you a lot of extra money…or losing your dream house, don’t bother.

    I did enjoy sitting in the swing at sunset, reading a book: but a nice deck could take the place of that.

    Post # 21
    Member
    1896 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2009 - St. Thomas of Villanova Church & the F.U.E.L. House

    When we start house hunting, we’re definitely going to be interested in a yard, because we want to start growing a lot of our own produce, begin composting and possibly get a dog!

    Post # 22
    Member
    1205 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2009

    I think you usually trade a yard for city living. People who don’t live in a big east coast city are less likely to understand not having a yard. Most kids growing up in the city go to the park, and with your deck you should be all set and can reevaluate in 5 years or so. If you like the townhouse, no yard shouldn’t be a dealbreaker.

    Post # 23
    Member
    14181 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2009

    We have a tiny one. It works for us! I can’t imagine not having somewhat of a backyard. Although, I do hate maintenance so I have to hire a gardener. I live in a big city, but I don’t live in a loft downtown, persay….I’d be totally ok with it if there was a park very close. In 5 years, I mean, your kids will still be really really little…so I see it as less important, versus when they are like 7 years old

    Post # 24
    Member
    131 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2009 - Battery Gardens

    Being a fellow big city dweller who has also lived in DC at some point, I know how hard it is find a yard. In our neighborhood in Brooklyn, finding a space with a yard/private outdoor space is tough and comes at a premium meaning that there is an increase in cost. Mr. Swan and I live in an aparment that we intend to live in for about the same amount of time you will be in yours. It’s big enough to fit us and a small child (although many of you would think we were crazy to think this  ). There are several parks within walking distance. We love the neighborhood/community, our building’s specific location and our apartment, so for us that trumps a lack of outdoor space (I don’t think our balcony counts).

    Just my experience…

    Good luck with your search! I really like DC!

    Post # 25
    Member
    4383 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    i really don’t think it’s necessary since the kids will be soooo young, if you only stay 5 years. do you have pets? if i had a dog i would totally need a year (in fact we’re waiting to get one until we move into our house!) otherwise, i think it’s totally fine. especially since it has a deck and you said you loved it!!

    Post # 26
    Member
    1119 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2009

    For us our own yard was important when we were looking for a house, mainly because we don’t want to move to another house later on when the kids are older and need a larger yard to run around in. If you’re thinking that you’ll be moving in around 5 years’ time, have no kids now, and no plans to get a dog, I think the townhouse with the park close by is a graet option.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!

    Post # 27
    Member
    3525 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    For us it would be a dealbreaker. But from your post it sounds like it won’t be for you. Especially your rationalization makes a lot of sense because you don’t plan on staying more than 5 years. And with babies I think having a park nearby would be good enough.

    Post # 28
    Member
    1523 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    I think it depends on your circumstances, really. Fiance and I bought a 2,000 sq ft house this spring with a small front and backyard. I was worried at first, but honestly we have a nice deck and Fiance spends only 20 minutes mowing it, woohoo!

    I think having a big yard is important if you have a dog, especially a big dog. For kids, I think having an outdoor area is nice, but you could probably do without it for the first few years of their lives. Our neighborhood has tons of sidewalks and we are within walking distance to a playground so I think we will be OK for kids. We also could put up a small play structure in our yard.

    So, my opinion is to realistically assess your needs. Fiance and I have learned that we don’t really need that much yard and it’s a lot to maintain!

    Post # 29
    Member
    65 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: June 2008

    I’d love a yard!!  Doesn’t have to be huge- I really just want a little corner of peace and privacy in the world for our family to enjoy!

    Post # 30
    Member
    372 posts
    Helper bee

    We love not having a yard!  When we were looking at houses we originally wanted one, but now we love not having to deal with the maintenance. 

    Post # 31
    Member
    453 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2009

    Mommy chiming in here-my house sits on about an acre and a half. We have a covered deck off the double french doors from the eating area in the kitchen. It has a built in bench that goes around two sides, with stairs going down the third side next to the grill. I have yard inside my fence-which is great, especially with the little ones. I put the play pool out in the back yard, water sprinkler, sand toys, ride on toys, etc. Kids could play with no worries about their wandering off and I could containter garden to my heart’s content. I also have a full size hammock on a stand under a tree in the fenced in area that is perfect for reading. I enjoy entertaining outside alot when the adults are on the deck (it’s maybe 5 steps down into the yard) and the kids are playing in the yard-makes for a “together, but not on top of each other” type of gathering. I did alot of entertaining when my children were very small this way and it was also nice to have family and friends over with older kids, because they got to play outside the fence.

    I also have the majority of my yard outside the fence, with grapes on one corner of the lot, a woodpile on the other corner of the lot and the middle (sort of has five points) joins onto the back yard of my neighbors, which I have adored as my kids have gotten older-more space has meant HUGE games of hide & seek, tag, etc. and lots of room between our houses has meant no fears of balls hitting windows and breaking glass. Its a sort of community backyard where the yards join together and it’s very nice for outdoor recreation.

    We also have a horseshoe pit/game area set up back there and we’ve had some cookouts where the guys are playing horseshoes, there is a badmitton net up and then still room for catch football or soccer.

    I can’t imaqine our family life without a backyard-but I live in SW Georgia, where it is HOT (as in 90+) and swimming weather from April thru October (yep! We hit 92 today with icky, sweaty, gross humidity). With temerate winters where I live, we tend to use our outdoor spaces alot more, almost year-round, than some other parts of the country. Of course, I also have alot more grass to cut and since my home is older (built in the 70’s), there are also quite a few older trees on my property to cut around and clean up after they dump their leaves, acorsn, pine needles and branches (pecan trees are famous for dumping their branches in wet weather).

    I value our yard and am grateful to have it as a safe and family friendly place to stay at home and play-whether that be child or adult. 🙂

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