The Whole Nine Yards
The idyllic image most people have of a house includes a big backyard. But how big a yard do – or don't – you need? The following questions will get you thinking about your answer.
- Do you have, or are you planning to have kids? What about pets? Big backyards can accommodate entertainment like playground equipment, pools and trampolines and make for an ideal spot to let your dog run around. But you may not need a big yard if your home is of walking distance to parks, playgrounds and other recreational facilities, where your kids – and you – have greater opportunity to socialize.
- Do you have a green thumb? Big yards obviously offer more room for gardening and landscaping, as well as outdoor storage space for tools and supplies. But green thumbs can be accommodated in small yards, too, thanks to the growing trends of container and vertical gardening – so think twice before writing off that otherwise perfect house with the modest yard.
- Do you like to entertain? If so, your ideal backyard may include features like a deck, room for a barbeque, outdoor furniture, fire pit, pool, hot tub, or even an outdoor kitchen! To meet these needs, you'll want a generously sized yard.
- How much time do you have for maintenance? If the answer's "not much", a small yard may be just the ticket. But a big yard needn't scare you away from an otherwise great house; with some smart planning – planting native species; including more "hardscape" elements like rocks and paving stones – you can have a large and lowmaintenance yard.