The Australian dream of owning a house with a backyard is being impacted on due to housing affordability around the country. As our major cities continue to grow, high-density housing continues to expand, pushing detached housing with backyards further and further out.
But is a backyard really worth it? Or is something like a town house more manageable? We’ve weighed up the pros and cons of living with a backyard.
Room for pets
If you have plans of owning a pet, especially a large dog or a number of dogs, they will appreciate having space. Not to mention once you start adding in the dog kennels, bird cages and chicken coupes!
Children’s play area
Kids love playing outside, but sometimes it’s not always possible to get down to the local playground. Having a backyard means the kids can play outside in a securely fenced area without leaving the house. The kids will also be able to get hands-on with gardening if that’s something they’re interested in.
Backyards provide a natural buffer between you and the neighbours who live in the house behind you. Most home owners don’t want to hear their neighbours throughout the day, or at night and a backyard provides a lot more space between you and them compared to a unit or town house! Backyards also provide you with more private space to store things.
Having a large enough yard means there may be room for a granny flat in the future. It also helps to have a large yard when the time comes to sell the property. Laws may change in the future regarding the zoning for higher density living, allowing the construction of town houses on your block.
Maintaining a backyard requires work, especially if you have a garden. Mowing the lawn can also be a frequent task when the weather is right. You’ll also have to worry about leaves from trees filling your gutters and clearing those in time for bushfire season. Pruning bushes, shrubs and growing your own produce is also time consuming.
Sometimes more maintenance leads to more costs. Keeping a lawn mower and a whipper snipper running costs money. You might also need to call in a landscaper to design and fix your yard upon first moving in. Large trees in your backyard can also have a negative impact on your insurance and you may end up paying more for it.
If your backyard has a large tree in it, storms can be a dangerous time. Trees may be brought down completely or lose branches during a storm. Having a large yard means it may be subject to flooding if maintenance isn’t kept up and drainage isn’t properly maintained.
Living in a house with a backyard means you’ll have to move further away from the city centre. That could increase your commute travel times to work and may make it more difficult and costly in the long run.