When you’re searching for the perfect home, yard size might not be one of your top priorities. However, it is an important factor to consider if you want to avoid big-time buyers’ remorse after your boxes are unpacked.
According to a first-time homebuyer survey conducted by Zillow.com, almost one in four homeowners had a regret about their yard once they moved in. Of the 24 percent who would have done things differently, 12 percent wished they had bought a home with a bigger yard, while the other 12 percent wished their yards were easier to maintain.
The lesson here: Be realistic about what you want in a yard before you buy. As you start narrowing down your top choices, here are a few things to think about in regards to the outdoor space at your future abode.
Do you want to install a pool or build a deck? Perhaps you’d like to start a garden, buy a chicken coop, or create an outdoor dining area for entertaining guests. You’ll need plenty of space for these improvements, so be sure to plan accordingly.
A large yard means a bigger water bill and more time spent cutting the grass. If you don’t want to deal with the expenses and upkeep associated with a big yard, you may want to go the smaller route.
Even if you don’t have kids or a dog right now, consider whether you might grow your family in the future. If having space for them to run and play is important to you, make sure you buy a house with enough room for a swing set or dog run.
If you’re looking for privacy, a yard on the larger side might be the best choice for you. A bigger lot means more space between you and your neighbors. You’ll also have more flexibility with landscaping, which can provide additional privacy.
Odd-shaped lots are harder to resell. Typically, potential homebuyers look for ample space in both the front and back yards. Your future home should be situated on a level, rectangular lot for the best chance at resale.
Photography: Kate Ballis/Corbis