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What do I look out for when buying a home with a yard?

September 7, 2020

Rebecca Mitchell, Senior Sales Agent at Lane Cove, says this is a brilliant question and that in the wake of COVID-19, more expansive yards are back in vogue.

Before COVID-19, larger backyards were not as central to buyers as they were even 10-15 years ago. With more children using devices for entertainment these days, it’s fair to say the backyard cricket test match wasn’t as popular as when Steve Smith or David Warner were boys.

But that all changed with the pandemic, lockdowns, and the event of home-schooling, and now the Aussie backyard is back in demand. Young children have energy to burn, so backyards with more room to kick a ball or space for swing sets and trampolines are extremely attractive to mum and dad buyers.

Also, with more people working from home, there has been a surge in the popularity of granny flats. These standalone structures require bigger yards with many granny flats now being used for home offices.

In terms of the more aesthetic features to look out for, a backyard should be north east facing to allow you to enjoy the lovely sun in the morning. This is perfect for enjoying a delightful Sunday breakfast on the back deck and will also provide some friendly early afternoon sun. A north-east facing yard will also help you avoid the hot westerly rays in the afternoons, especially during summer.

Apart from being north-east facing, an ideal backyard is dead level and is in a quiet street. If you have plans for a pool or an extension, then a bigger backyard is worth considering. Typically, a same level extension is less expensive than adding extra levels to the existing home. Likewise, retaining walls can help level out backyards. But there will be costs involved in creating a level yard.

If installing a pool is part of the plan, be sure to check there are no easements. If there are easements across the backyard, it’s harder – but not impossible – to build a pool.

For more as advice about what to look for when buying a house with a backyard, contact your local Raine & Horne agent today.