(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 # 32
    Member
    1568 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 1996

    Absolutely don’t worry about having a yard for the kids at the ages you’re describing. There is no way they’ll notice having one or not before they are even five years old. If you have found a place you guys like and can afford, go for it! Excitement!

    To opine beyond the limits of your poll (not that you asked, but anyway) πŸ™‚ I would put in a plug for staying in the city even after the kids get bigger. By that point you might be able to afford a DC place with a small yard, and also I would underscore the point that it’s common for kids in cities to enjoy nearby parks. From undergrad, grad school, and my professional work, I’ve read a ton about the value of living in a community where you can walk to retail and mass transit, and the value for growing children of enjoying urban parks, so I say give it a try, you might be surprised at how pleasant it can be for everyone. (Not to mention it’s so much easier on the environment.) Imagine walking the kids from your doorstep to the zoo, museums, monuments, parks, farmers markets, the cherry blossoms, the National Book Festival… without having to mess with beltway traffic. (I think I just made myself jealous of your future kids’ fantasy childhood.) Balance all that versus the value of a plot of grass you’ll have to water, fertilize, mow, rake, spray with pesticides, and then sometimes sit in during the two weeks of DC weather every year when it’s not stiflingly hot or freezing cold. Maybe worth considering! πŸ™‚

     

     

    Post # 33
    Member
    45 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I think in your situation, I wouldn’t worry too much about the yard.  I happen to love my backyard, but I live in a suburb of cleveland, so green space is pretty prevalent and everyone has a yard. But I lived in DC for a while and I loved it.  I don’t think a yard is a deal breaker. 

    Post # 34
    Member
    567 posts
    Busy bee

    @chelseamorning, i’m a dc girl too! i know what it’s like…yards and garages are like urban myths in dc.  if you love the house don’t worry about it! or, you can always try a dc suburb like bethesda, which is where my fi and i will be living.  i will want at least a small yard when i start a family.

    Post # 35
    Member
    1813 posts
    Buzzing bee

    for small kids, I don’t think a yard is a big consideration if you are going to move in 5 years

    However, if you have a dog, I think you should get a small yard.  As much as you hope you will walk your dog as often as ever, a sick baby, etc. may not allow for it.  You should at least have a small area to let them out in to relieve themselves if needed.

    Honestly, you should buy the house you want now.  Most people can’t really know they will still be in the same job/city in 5+ years from now…life happens, so enjoy it now!  πŸ˜‰

    Post # 36
    Member
    2015 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    It’s a must for us!

    We currently live in a city, and not having a yard took so long to get used to. While we plan on being city-dwellers for a while, we definitely want a house with a yard once we’re ready to settle down and buy a house. And we don’t even care about the kids! Haha. We want it for ourselves and our doggie πŸ™‚ Every night we walk by houses with yards, and I’m so jealous.

    Post # 37
    Member
    567 posts
    Busy bee

    @littlestbirds, what’s wrong with DC weather??! πŸ˜‰ it was 75 degress on monday in only in the 40s today! it’s so nice waking up to a big fat surprise of a weather forecast every day!

    Post # 38
    Member
    100 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: April 2010

    My fiance and I had one major requirement for a house: a big yard.  What happened?  Costs too high for a large lot, not getting the first house that we wanted, several weeks went by, still no house… We fell in love with our home because nobody had lived in it, so it was sparkling clean, and pretty much what we wanted… but the yard was small.

    Two of our neighboring houses have college students living in the 4-5 bedroom houses, so you can imagine what kind of noise they make when they have parties.  We barely have any room between our houses, so sometimes it feels as if they are inside our home!!  We totally regret not waiting until we found a home that fit all of our wishes… Especially with the market, knowing that we have to stay in our home for at least another five years… it’s disheartening sometimes.

    So please, WAIT until you find your perfect home!  Time flies after you buy a house, so waiting a few more months will make absolutely no different in the grand scheme of things.  You’ll be happier if you get everything you want!!  I promise!

    Post # 39
    Member
    383 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    We aren’t even considering a house without a big backyard. For me, my DH, and our black lab it is out of the question. We like to entertain and some day hope to have little ones running around back there.

    A yard is totally dependent on where you live, though, too. We live in the midwest (WI) so most houses DO have big yards- a fair amount don’t, too, but again, we wouldn’t consider those.

    Post # 40
    Member
    188 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2009

    DC area here too πŸ™‚  Get what you think works for you.  We close on our house next week and HAD to have some sort of a yard (ours is maintained by the HOA).  We have a small dog and couldn’t imagine not being able to take her right out side when we got home (we looked at a pent house on the 18th floor and knew that wouldn’t work… hehe).  If there’s a park or something close I would say that is sufficient for small children.  I have a 7 year old and as long as something is close, he’s fine! Good luck!

    Post # 41
    Member
    4122 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I’m in Hampton roads and our yards aren’t much better than NoVa or DC area… For us, since we have a 52 lb Standard Poodle, the yard is important, however, even more so for our future kids. Honestly, In my townhome now, I wouldn’t want my kids playing in the park… the kids around here are bad influences… and we do have drugs and gang activity.  It’s the kind where if you don’t know trouble, trouble doesn’t know you, but still.  I mean, seriously, I turned a corner (luckily going REALLY slow!) and a girl was laying on a skateboard, going head first into the road 10 feet around the corner.  I almost ran over her head!  And the parents just watch like I’m the moron.  I would really want a safe place for my kids to play, free from cars and the other kids I don’t want my kids to be like.. haha.

    Post # 42
    Member
    1317 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    We want a yard. One of the big perks for us living in his hometown and not mine is because houses here have massive yards! Yards like these just don’t exist in bigger cities. But I suggest you consider exactly what you plan to do with your yard. Gardening, landscaping, or just room for the kiddies to run?

    We’d always wanted a little veggie garden and have the future kids help grow carrots or tomatoes. Summers are really nice here so eating outside is another reason why not having a big yard would be a deal breaker. But if we lived in my hometown, having a small yard would be good.

    Post # 43
    Member
    682 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    If you are from D.C. then you already know propertly lots are considerably smaller in the city then they are in rural areas. So, you are going to get varied answers. Those that grew up with tons of land will probably always vote that it’s a necessity. I’m a city girl, raised a child in Chicago and had a rottweiler and never needed a yard. I raised a well adjusted boy, we enjoyed the parks that the city had to offer, daily walks and were involved in sports, etc. Nothing like a yard is a necessity, it’s a just a matter of personal preference.

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