what do you think about a house with no front yard, door opens close to street? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 09-04-2011, 12:55 AM - Thread Starter
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There's a house with no front yard, the front door of the house opens about 2 or 3 feet from the sidewalk/street so basically opens onto the street it seems like. I've never not had a front yard with a house, so Im unsure about this. It doesn't bother me in the way of using that space, as we always use the back yard anyway, and this house DOES have a back yard so that's okay. It's just that the front door of the house is so close to the street I guess, and will that be a bad thing? People walking past so close to our home? Cars driving past so close also, although it is a very quiet side street so the car noise shouldn't be a problem. It's almost like having a front garden gives a house more protection or something, so im not sure about this idea.


Any thoughts? what do you think? Anyone else have a house like this, how have you found it?

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#2 of 11 Old 09-04-2011, 08:54 AM
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 I think it depends a lot on what the area looks like. Are the other houses close together and close to the road? If your house is the only one that close it would feel so out there and unprotected. Personally I would prefer having a buffer zone. 

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#3 of 11 Old 09-04-2011, 09:29 AM
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Well, our house has only 2-3 feet of front yard too, but it's not quite the same situation. It is a townhouse, and so it's the parking area and internal complex road that is near the house, not the city road. So there is no sidewalk, and no people walking right in front of the house except for the neighbours walking to and from their cars that are parked right there. We don't use the front yard, and it is no big deal. In your situation, I think it would depend on how busy the area was, and how safe it felt. For me, if it felt safe, and there wasn't very much people or car traffic on that road, then I wouldn't let that stop me from moving there.

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#4 of 11 Old 09-04-2011, 10:17 AM
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I lived in a home similar to what you are describing for five years.  The lack of a buffer zone really grated on me--I actually didn't like being in the front of the house (inside) because I felt somehow exposed.  It probably didn't help when a neighbor backed into our gate--I always wondered if someone would drive through the wall one day.  I think it, like the previous poster, that it depends on how safe you feel in the property.

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#5 of 11 Old 09-04-2011, 11:11 AM
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My last house had a bit more of a front yard than you are describing (maybe 10 feet, including the sidewalk area), and almost a half acre of back yard. I loved it. I felt like there wasn't a lot of privacy in the front of the house, but with the layout of the house, that was OK - we spent most of our time in rooms that were in the back of the house anyway.

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#6 of 11 Old 09-04-2011, 06:35 PM
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It reminds me of my condo.We were on the end,so everyone walked past to get to the parking lot. I did not like it.I MIGHT be ok with it if the back was big and fenced,or I could fence/grow something tall in the front to create a buffer.

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#7 of 11 Old 09-05-2011, 03:11 AM
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Which rooms face the street? How big are the windows and how high up are they?


My sister lives in a town house, and when I visit her, I feel so exposed because the living room faces the road with big windows more or less going down to the street. Even if it is not a very busy road, since it is a residential area side street that ends in a park, people walk past with their prams, dogs, going to the grocery store etc. throughout the day and each and every one of them can look right into the living room. My sister do draw the curtains, of course, but it means the living room becomes a very closed off, dark space.


Personally, I could probably live with the kitchen facing the street on ground level, or a bathroom. I would feel too exposed if it was a more personal room, like a bedroom, living room or office where I want to be able to withdraw from the world.

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#8 of 11 Old 09-05-2011, 12:38 PM
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My house is like that.  Our door is about 4 feet (mostly porch) from the sidewalk, then the road is right after the sidewalk.  Almost all of the houses on this street are less than 10' from the sidewalk though, most being 4'-5' of mostly porch like us, so we don't stand out at all.  The living room and one bedroom are at the front of the house.  Ds has the front bedroom, but he keeps his blind down most of the time anyway, being a typical 12 year old boy.  We've always had decent blinds in the living room to give us privacy in the evening.  The floor of the living room is about 2'-3' off of sidewalk level, so it's not like people are walking by at our height, which also helps with privacy.  It doesn't bother me at all anymore.

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#9 of 11 Old 09-05-2011, 01:02 PM
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Our house is similar, in that we are much closer to the road than our neighbours. However, we have considerably more setback than the house you describe. There are pros and cons. On the positive side, I find it draws us out to the community in a way that a deeper setback would not. We know all our neighbours and people frequently congregate in front of our place to socialize. We also don't have a back yard (we live in a 5 unit strata with a shared back yard), so the kids play on the sidewalk and the wide boulevard a lot. We have lots of kids in the neighbourhood and because my kids primary play space is public space, it's hard to get rid of the other kids when it's time to bring mine in for dinner or whatever. I also have to supervise all the time, as we don't have a fenced back yard to toss them in.

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#10 of 11 Old 09-05-2011, 01:13 PM
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When we lived in a condo, I felt exposed if we wanted to open the blinds on the front half of the condo. Everyone walking by could see right into our entire downstairs area. It also made it a little tough, because we'd have to walk to the other side of the complex to let DD play on the grass. It isn't horrible if you have good neighbors, but solicitors are common in new housing, so I felt like we really did have to hide behind closed blinds. Sometimes when we'd have company and the windows and blinds were open, a neighbor would pop up at the window to say hi. That didn't weird me out once we knew them, but some of my family were weirded out by it.

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#11 of 11 Old 09-08-2011, 09:05 PM
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I grew up in a house like that. It was a neigborhood of 2-family houses and "triple deckers". Almost no one had a front yard, or the front yard was about the size of a dining table. But, we did have back yards.


So, I wouldn't be bothered by it. After all, in many neighborhoods where people have front yards, you rarely see people hanging out in them. It's usually the side yard or back yard.


But then, I've also lived in flats for the past 30 years, so the idea of people walking past my door (or above my head) doesn't bother me (much - I was glad when the lady w/ the three dogs moved out of the flat next to ours).

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