Twila E. Palmer's Blog
Are you on the fence about whether to buy a house with a big back yard? Although it's not always a bed of roses -- especially when it comes to upkeep -- the benefits can easily outweigh the drawbacks. Spacious yards are extremely versatile and can play a key role in creating fond family memories. Here's some food for thought on how you can use that extra outdoor space on your property to accommodate your interests, your goals, and your family's needs.
- Cultivate a vegetable garden. If you have a green thumb and a passion for growing your own food, a big yard can afford you that opportunity. Backyard agriculture is something the whole family can enjoy and get involved in. It's also a fun way to educate your kids about nature, farming, and where their food comes from. As a side note: If you're serious about pursuing this hobby, you may want to have an adjacent shed set up to protect your gardening tools, fertilizer, and other supplies. Building a greenhouse for growing flowers is another option to consider. Once you get backyard farming down to a science, you can save money on groceries and enjoy an abundant supply of organically grown fruits and vegetables. There are many sources of helpful information, both online and off, including Cornell Cooperative Extension.
- Special occasions: When you have room for a couple of picnic tables, a swing set, and a volleyball court (60 feet by 30 feet), then you have the basic ingredients for fun birthday parties, family gatherings, and backyard barbecues. Plenty of space also lends itself to frisbee games, badminton, Bocce ball, croquet, kickball, and anything else your group is up for. Whether you're planning a family reunion, a graduation party, a child's birthday, or a backyard wedding, a good-size residential property can provide the perfect setting.
- Expansion is an option. When your new house comes with some extra outdoor space to work with, all kinds of options are available to you. The possibilities can range from the construction of a sun room or additional bedroom to an in-law apartment or even a guest house with rental income potential. If a new swimming pool is on your "wish list," a spacious lot can help make that a reality.
- Room to run and play: You may have an energetic Labrador Retriever that loves to play fetch or a growing family that thrives on sports activities. Regardless, there's nothing like a big back yard to make all that possible. During the winter months, you can even use a multi-acre property for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. Creating your own skating ring is yet another option.