Which is better?

Asked by Rebekah, Seattle, WA Wed Apr 2, 2008

...Having a large yard (that you own, but have to maintain), or living across the street from a nice park?

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Bryan R. Lov…, , Lynnwood, WA
Wed Apr 2, 2008

This is a question that I get to answer all the time. The answer always depends on the individual preference. However here are a few things to keep in mind in regards to both.

Large Yard...
- You own it, it is yours to do with as you please.
- More space for your outdoor equipment such as trampolines, slides, play equipment and gardens.
- Larger lots sell for more usually (both when you buy and sell)
- More to maintain and keep up... more yard work.
- More space between you and your neighbors.

Next to park but smaller lots
- Minimal yard maintenance.
- Equipment that is maintained by someone else.
- Room for larger activities such as frisbee etc.
- Usually accompanied with association dues.
- You are limited on what you can do with it.

There are other benefits but this gives a good idea of their differences.

I hope this helps in some way. Every buyer has different wants and needs. Ultimately there is more value in owning more land but some prefer the ease of smaller lots.

Best Wishes,
Bryan Lovell
Web Reference:  http://www.homelantern.com
2 votes
Cary, Both Buyer And Seller, Edmonds, WA
Tue May 6, 2008
I lived right across the street from a park and I would NEVER do that again. You have people constantly parking in front of your drive way. I almost got hit in my own driveway by someone late to a soccer game. I had to put a gate across my driveway so my kids could play safely during baseball and soccer season. The dump garbage out of their car let their dog use you yard to go to the bathroom. We even had people come up to our door and ask to borrow tools or worse yet use our bathroom. At night you get teenager's hanging out drinking, smoking pot, leaving used condoms around etc.... Being next to the playground was nice at time until summer arrives and the parks department holds classes there and preschools decide your neighborhood park makes a great place for them to visit. 30 plus kids (two classes) with 3 or 4 adults supervising makes you want to head for home. I put a play set in my yard just so I wouldn't have to take my kids there anymore. There are just too many unsupervised kids for me to be comfortable with the whole thing.
1 vote
Carrie Haymo…, Agent, Seattle, WA
Mon Apr 28, 2008
One of my favorite questions - one advantage you have in your area is that the yards are very nice and for the most part large. I own 2 homes off 3rd, I would choose the yard personally.
Web Reference:  http://www.RealtorCarrie.com
0 votes
Hale Redmond, , Marketing, Sales and Buyer's Agency
Sun Apr 13, 2008
Your question is a very subjective one, so I am not certain that there is a "right" answer. Many buyers prefer smaller low maintenance yards because they are too busy, or they prefer to devote their free time to activities other than gardening or yard maintenance. However there are also those that prefer to have larger yards for privacy issues, a desire to garden, pets etc. If you wanted the park option instead of a yard I would suggest being in close proximity to the park rather than directly across the street due to issues of noise and after dark activities, which can be issues with buyers when it comes to re-sale.
Web Reference:  http://www.haleredmond.com
0 votes
Rob Graham, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Apr 3, 2008
I think in the minds of most buyers it is preferable to have a yard. It is the acess to vs. it's mine mentality. Especially if you have pets and / or kids. The yard wins.
0 votes
Leonard Fial…, , Seattle, WA
Wed Apr 2, 2008
I like to answer this question with a few of my own.

Are you purchasing as an investment or something to live in?
If an investment, then I would agree with most everyone who has responded. Yards (square footage) add to the value of a lot)

If something for yourself then....What do you prefer?
Purchase the property that you most want to work with. Something that will give you joy. Purchasing a home over a condo will increase in value at a greater rate anyway and keep in mind, there is always a buyer for the type of home you have. Just make sure it is in the right price range!
0 votes
Mark Despain, Agent, Seattle, WA
Wed Apr 2, 2008

Generally, and all else being equal, houses that sit on a larger than average lot in the same neighborhood will be valued higher. But it would be difficult to compare a like house with a large lot to a house that is on a popular park like Green Lake. I agree with some of the other respondents' comments that it is essentially a personal preference more than an financial consideration.
0 votes
Ardell Della…, Agent, Kirkland, WA
Wed Apr 2, 2008
There was a house for sale here in Kirkland a couple of years back with no yard and built next to a park. It was on the market a long time and didn't sell for as much as the owners had hoped. The agent kept saying "your yard is next door...it's the park!"

From a value standpoint, yard trumps park nearby. Some yard and a park is best. NO yard and a park only works for a view house.
0 votes
Julie Hall, Agent, Kirkland, WA
Wed Apr 2, 2008
Well, it depends on what you want to maintain. It also depends on whether you want the possibility of a busy park across the street from where you're living. For resale, I would guess that having a fenced yard is a nice feature and with some simple, low-maintenance landscaping, it could be a nice asset. The answer to your question depends on your preferences -- both are nice assets and add some pretty green space.
0 votes
Rick Moore, Agent, Kirkland, WA
Wed Apr 2, 2008
I believe that is a personal preference for most. There are good and not as good points to both options.

First ask yourself, 'Do you like to garden, mow, weed, fertilize, seed, etc." If not, you may want to settle for a smaller plot of land or go with the home across from the park.

The question about the park is, "Are there specific hours it is open to the public, will there be kids hanging out after hours, will it attract trouble, do you mind having a lot of strangers hanging out across the street from your house, will you use the park yourself."

If the answer to the majority of those questions is no, again you may want to go with a smaller plot of land or buy the home with the large yard. It comes down to which you enjoy more, yardwork, or people?
Web Reference:  http://www.rickmoore.com
0 votes
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