Would you ever choose a house with only a small back yard? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 06-10-2010, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are currently living in an apartment and looking for a house. I have just found one which is the right size inside and in a perfect location....however, it has a smaller back yard than what I was hoping for. I really want a larger back yard, but a small one is better than none at all I guess? So should I take it or not? what would you do and what are your thoughts on this? I'm really not sure if I should compromise on this or not.

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#2 of 20 Old 06-10-2010, 08:33 AM
 
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I would - in fact I prefer smaller yards. Less to take care of and in general even a very small yard has room for a bit of a garden and play area. I guess this also depends on your definition of "small' and 'large' in terms of yards. I like to live urbanish also, so houses tend to be closely placed which naturally means smaller yards.
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#3 of 20 Old 06-10-2010, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by annekevdbroek View Post
I would - in fact I prefer smaller yards. Less to take care of and in general even a very small yard has room for a bit of a garden and play area. I guess this also depends on your definition of "small' and 'large' in terms of yards. I like to live urbanish also, so houses tend to be closely placed which naturally means smaller yards.
This is very urbanish, the houses are all next door to eachother one after the other. But after living in an apartment with neighbours both above, below and at the sides...it's an improvement just to have neighbours at the sides.

There is enough room for a small area to play, like to put a trampoline, a small patch of grass, and a little area you can put a couple of chairs or a bench.

I just had my hopes on something bigger....where my dog can run around madly chasing her ball, and my dd can play ball games with her friends or me, room to have some sofa type garden chairs for the summer, and a patio table to eat out there with a parasol, plus room for a small vegetable patch, and somewhere to build a shed to put gardening equipment and garden toys in.

I will try to get the measurements of the garden, so you get a better idea.

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#4 of 20 Old 06-10-2010, 10:34 AM
 
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I would wait. Once the excitement of having a new house wore off I can imagine started to feel peeved over the lack of yard space.

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#5 of 20 Old 06-10-2010, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok I found out the garden is 30 feet long. And it is very narrow because the houses are all next to eachother and narrow themselves too.

30 feet just doesn't seem like a decent size for a child and dog to play out in....the other houses I looked at previously all had gardens of between 45 and 75 feet, again they were quite narrow, but it didn't matter because of the garden's length.

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#6 of 20 Old 06-10-2010, 11:15 AM
 
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Yes, we have lived in houses with very tiny back yards. I'd rather have a little space than none at all. If the house has a floor plan you really love I'm sure it could work out for you! We once had a house that had a beautiful pool in the backyard, but no grass. Not sure if I'd go that route again!

Hope you find what you are looking for soon!
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#7 of 20 Old 06-10-2010, 02:04 PM
 
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I wouldn't. I like the country though and need my space. I'd rather live in a camper in the country on 5-10 acres than have a nice house in the suburbs with no yard. It really depends on what you want in the property though. I would consider though that if the land/yard/property is what you want the house can be remodeled/added on to better suit your needs. If you find the right house you can't just add more yard later. I agree with the pp that once the "new" wore off the yard would probably be a major peeve.
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#8 of 20 Old 06-10-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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A large yard was my #1 requirement when house shopping. I love to garden, and I just like having room around my house. Makes me feel like I have more privacy.

That being said, I think it depends quite a bit on your family, and the neighborhood. If you have a small yard, but a park across the street, then it all sort of balances out. Some people are more "indoor" people and some people are more "outdoor" people. My hubby is more an indoor person, so he doesn't really get the value I place on a large yard. To him, it is just more to mow, weed, and upkeep. So sit down and really evaluate what you want.

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#9 of 20 Old 06-13-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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I'd personally keep looking, but I have four children and like to use our backyard for social gatherings (so, lots of people out back).

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#10 of 20 Old 06-13-2010, 07:07 PM
 
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Are you buying or renting? If you're renting and the house fits in your budget and the timing is right, I think you should take it. Last year we moved from a no yard apartment to a house with a small yard, and we love it.

If you're buying, I think you should wait until you find one you love, and it sounds like a big yard would be a requirement to love the place.
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#11 of 20 Old 06-13-2010, 09:25 PM
 
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Keep looking. You'll need some space and with kids you seem to need more. Picnic tables, hammocks, lawn tennis, treehouses, barbecue grills..... it gets tight.
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#12 of 20 Old 06-16-2010, 04:15 PM
 
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If you have a dog, a larger yard is a good idea. Otherwise, big yards are a PITA and I'm never getting another one unless the property comes with a riding mower.
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#13 of 20 Old 06-16-2010, 04:27 PM
 
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I think it depends on the availability of a "big" yard in your area. If big yards are typical, but this one is small, then I would pass. But if you think you will have to search for months to find one house with a decent yard, then I don't think I'd spend too much time searching. Where we are, small yards are the norm, compared to what I'm used to. So, when we found our house last year, the huge yard was THE selling point. We have two boys and a big dog. The house itself is nice too, but I have to say that the yard with it's little patio and a big tree and built in swingset is what tipped the scale. And we always appreciate it.

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#14 of 20 Old 06-18-2010, 12:37 AM
 
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What are you using the yard for? And how important are these uses to your lifestyle? If you want the yard in order to have, say, a large vegetable garden and an athletic dog, and these two factors are very important to you, wait for the right house. If you want it because it "might be nice" for the kids to have some room to run around--but there is a park nearby--pounce on the one you're looking at now.

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#15 of 20 Old 06-18-2010, 01:54 AM
 
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I'd keep looking. We have a large backyard and I LOVE it. We have a deck, a lot of lawn, big shady trees, a wooden playset. When the weather is nice, my kids will spend at least half the day out there. We have big family BBQs, friends over to play, etc. I would genuinely miss it if we moved somewhere with less yard.

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#16 of 20 Old 06-18-2010, 03:34 PM
 
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I don't think I would ever be completely happy if a house only had a small yard - I really enjoy sitting outside in the summer, and being able to plant a few flowers / vegetables.
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#17 of 20 Old 06-18-2010, 04:07 PM
 
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I think a small yard can be great, especially if there is a good city park and/or community garden space available nearby.

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#18 of 20 Old 06-18-2010, 05:08 PM
 
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We chose a house that had a back yard that was much smaller than we wanted. Well, we bought the lot and built the house, but same thing.

We loved the area...we wanted to live in this particular area for a variety of reasons and the lot size was the norm.

There are at least three parks within walking distance of our house.
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#19 of 20 Old 06-18-2010, 05:41 PM
 
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Like others have posted I think it depends on your priorities. I lived in apartments for years and we always had a container garden. Now that we are renting houses the yard is the first thing I look at. I cannot imagine buying a house without an large enough yard. I would rather have less house in order to have more yard.

But this is because I aspire to growing most of my families food. We garden on every spare patch of dirt in our small yard right now (they won't let us tear up the grass unfortunately ) and I think we'll have enough tomatoes for the rest of the year. But that's about it.

Oh, and if you have a small house and a large yard its like having an extra outside room...so your house doesn't feel quite so tiny. Our place now is about 850 sq feet so thank goodness for our yard!
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#20 of 20 Old 06-18-2010, 08:59 PM
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as others have stated, it's about how you want to use the space.

now, i will be honest, i prefer a smaller yard because i find it easier to garden in, in the ways that i want. for example: path to freedom folks are homesteaders on a small lot. ground force--a UK tv show--made beautiful, multipurpose front and back gardens in harry-potter/privet-lane style yards, urban plots, etc. i mean *tiny* yet beautiful and functional yards.

for me, these small plots are emotionally manageable to create something amazing. I have a small space outside of our apartment--say about 5 ft wide and about 20 feet long--that is available for planting. i'm planning out a medicinal herbal cottage garden in that space, and adding window boxes to our bay windows (we have two). this will allow for a fair bit of gardening, i should think.

but, i think that another question has to do with how large the dog is, how the child(ren) play, and so on. i don't think that small yards harmed kids (DH grew up in a row home setting with a small yard--about 15 ft wide and 30 long--and i had some in CA that were smaller than that. SO, it's not the end of the world to have a small yard.

all that said, *if it is not what you want, then keep looking.*
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