How important is the backyard to a home’s value?

backyard and value
How important is a backyard?

We all know that neighbourhood, amenities and transit affect property values. But what about the property itself. How does your backyard affect your property value?

Here are a few things to consider about backyards 

View 

The maximum view angle from your backyard is 180 degrees wide. Homes with larger view angles, or better, fuller views are more sought after than those with narrower views. 

The house on the corner or the houses next to the house on the corner do not have a 180 degree angle of view. This also affects the amount of natural light into the backyard and into the home.

Exposure to neighbours

No one likes neighbours having a totally unobstructed view into their backyard. The more privacy from neighbours the better.

Depending on lay of the land, the exposure problem might be dealt with by installing a privacy fence or some trees and shrubberies. 

Privacy

Besides exposure to neighbours (above) other privacy factors include: 

  • Distance to neighbours and
  • Home density.

The more privacy, the more space, the more desirable. 

There is not a lot you can do about home density or distance to neighbours. Older neighbourhoods, especially 1930s through the 1970s tend to have large lots with much separation between dwellings. If privacy in high on your wish list, then focus in on neighbourhoods of this age range.

Slope

No one likes backyards that slope upwards. Homeowners feel that upward sloping backyards may lead to wet basements. And they could be right if proper grading has not been done. 

Downward sloping backyards are much more desirable. Downward sloping backyards tend to take care of many of the issues mentioned above (privacy, exposure, view…).

Flat yards, many feel is best. They are easy to landscape and hardscape, they are suitable for kicking he ball around, installing a swimming pool… 

Backyard width

When we talk about lot size, we use frontage and lot depth as our measurements. For the sake of this blog post ‘width’ and ‘frontage’ can be interchangeable. Older homes in mature neighbourhoods tend to not only have larger frontages but also mature trees and landscaping that add to their overall desirability.  

Landscaping

Gardening for many people, myself included, is a pastime that is more or a chore than a hobby. If gardening is your hobby and pride and joy, you may hear a negative comment when selling your home — the yard requires too much work. 

Sure it is an easy fix and a mostly phantom objection, but it still hurts. 

Hardscaping

Some people prefer patios for their permanence and lack of maintenance, others prefer decks for their look and comfort, but either way, you will like to have somewhere to hang out in the back yard.

Sheds and other structures

Shed are useful to keep the gardening tools and equipment. Kid’s play structure is nice to have if you have kids. 

Pool

Some homebuyers specifically go looking for homes with pools. Others, specifically strike homes with pools from their lists. 

Backyard orientation

One last thing to consider is the orientation of the back yard. Does it face east, west, north or south. That is important for your morning and evening enjoyment, be that your morning coffee on the back deck or summer barbecuing after work. 

Conclusion

From the above I’m sure you can see how important backyards are to houses. Do not overlook backyards when searching for your next home. 

Further reading

My personal quest for a backyard pool contractor

Three credit score myths that are totally untrue

Things that bother people about their neighbourhoods

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