If you had to choose would you pick a bigger backyard or a bigger house?

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:

  1. Having other houses close to you an issue
  2. Less house to keep clean and the kids can play outside
  3. Vegetable and flower gardens, picnics and campfires
  4. Active kids with any sport involving a ball and a stick
  5. Beautiful weather year-round makes the yard an extension of the house
  6. Large animal pets, barnyard animals, chickens
  7. Enjoy working outside
  8. Bigger house is just too expensive to maintain/clean/heat/keep cool/etc.
  9. You can always add on to your house but you won’t be able to add on to your lot size
  10. A larger yard tends to mean more privacy
  11. Hate house work and cleaning
  12. The amount of time, energy, and effort to maintain a big house is too much
  13. Bigger house means you have to own more stuff to fill it … just too much temptation to accumulate stuff.
  14. Yard is more environmentally friendly than house
  15. Like big kid toys like motorcycles, snowmobiles, boats, etc.

Reasons to go with a bigger house:

  1. Grew up in Cambridge, what’s a yard for?
  2. With unpredictable weather a bigger house gives you more inside space to spend your time
  3. Really love house cleaning (yes, some people really do)
  4. Large yards take lots of maintenance
  5. Into crafts and cooking and love to entertain
  6. More storage space
  7. Hate yard work and it’s just a burden
  8. If you can afford a housekeeper, a bigger house is all living space
  9. Additions are expensive if you need them later
  10. Public parks are everywhere and they’re free
  11. You’re in your house more than you’re outside in general
  12. We went from a small house and a bigger yard to a bigger house and smaller yard and I definitely like the bigger house
  13. A large home is the home of our dreams
  14. A large home stimulates more social interaction among the members of the family
  15. 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.