When You’re Shopping for Your Dream Home Don’t Forget the Outdoor Living Space

‘Tis the season for house shopping. Spring is when the most homes go on the market and if you’re looking for your dream home you’re probably embarking on a circuit of Open Houses in the neighborhoods where you’d like to live. If you haven’t read our articles on How to Get the Most Out of Open House Season and the 5 Questions to Ask When You Go to an Open House, you might want to do that before you go to the next Open House.

You know when you look at a potential home, whether it’s at an open house or private tour, you need to size up the house. You know what you’re looking for—is it structurally sound? Does it fit your ideal lifestyle? And is it generally worth your investment in terms of price, locations and schools?

But don’t forget, you’re buying the yard too.

How will you use your outdoor space?

Do you need space for outdoor buildings to store larger equipment like a riding lawnmower (or just anything you want to keep away from the main residence?) Do you need a place for an outdoor patio, quiet shaded hammock spot, or a pool if there isn’t one?

Will you have pets or children outside? What kind of fence will it take to contain them and keep them safe? If you or your guests are older, or have physical challenges, there may be some kinds of surfaces or terracing that would make it difficult for them to enjoy the outdoor spaces.

How much privacy do you want to have?

Do you value your privacy and personal space? If so make sure there is ample space to chill without the threat of a nosy neighbor. Check the neighborhood or municipality guidelines to see if you would be allowed to install a privacy fence if the one that is there isn’t adequate.

Do you want to try out your green thumb?

If your dream home needs to have a plot to grow vegetables, or you have specific landscaping preferences, or if you’ll be bringing transplanted specimens with you when you move in, do your research to see if this yard will support the growth of your garden. Soil is important, but it can be changed to suit. You’re mostly stuck with the shade and sun patterns, however.

Trust us, it’s better to ask the granular “what-if’s” now before you commit. Don’t get lost in the romance of the home, thinking “Oh, it’ll be fine” or “I can put up with it, really.” Not having the outside possibilities that are important to you can cause just as much stress as a kitchen that is too small or a dining room that is too dark.

So take time now to honestly evaluate the outdoor living space during your next open house. You’ll thank us this summer and for many seasons to come.


We’re here if you need to close on your dream home fast (we are, after all, the “home of the 8 Day Close”) and we can help you get the right mortgage for you even when your credit isn’t great. Call your local office, or fill out our easy on-line form, to get one of our licensed loan officers working on the right financing to get you into the home of your dreams!

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