Whenever anyone engages me a conversation about real estate (which is quite often) or when I’m at a party and need a little conversation starter I ask “If you had to choose would you pick a bigger backyard or a bigger house?” You’d be amazed at the answers I get. There is one consistent response. The answer I get the most is … “It depends on how you live your life”.
If you’re wrestling with this very question, I think the best thing you can do is make a personal list of pros and cons to help you with making the decision. Here are some of the responses I’ve gotten, I hope they might help you jump start your own list.
Reasons to go with a bigger yard:
- Having other houses close to you an issue
- Less house to keep clean and the kids can play outside
- Vegetable and flower gardens, picnics and campfires
- Active kids with any sport involving a ball and a stick
- Beautiful weather year-round makes the yard an extension of the house
- Large animal pets, barnyard animals, chickens
- Enjoy working outside
- Bigger house is just too expensive to maintain/clean/heat/keep cool/etc.
- You can always add on to your house but you won’t be able to add on to your lot size
- A larger yard tends to mean more privacy
- Hate house work and cleaning
- The amount of time, energy, and effort to maintain a big house is too much
- Bigger house means you have to own more stuff to fill it … just too much temptation to accumulate stuff.
- Yard is more environmentally friendly than house
- Like big kid toys like motorcycles, snowmobiles, boats, etc.
Reasons to go with a bigger house:
- Grew up in Cambridge, what’s a yard for?
- With unpredictable weather a bigger house gives you more inside space to spend your time
- Really love house cleaning (yes, some people really do)
- Large yards take lots of maintenance
- Into crafts and cooking and love to entertain
- More storage space
- Hate yard work and it’s just a burden
- If you can afford a housekeeper, a bigger house is all living space
- Additions are expensive if you need them later
- Public parks are everywhere and they’re free
- You’re in your house more than you’re outside in general
- We went from a small house and a bigger yard to a bigger house and smaller yard and I definitely like the bigger house
- A large home is the home of our dreams
- A large home stimulates more social interaction among the members of the family
- Really love to decorate
As I said before, your decision really depends on how you live your life. I personally don’t think there really is any one right answer for everyone, but the results of my totally unscientific research suggest that the majority of people tend to want a bigger yard.