The American lawn has been on a steady decline in overall square footage since the late 70s. In contrast, the average size of the American home has grown since that time. It seems that the modern home buyer is demanding more house and less yard. So, can a smaller yard actually boost a home’s value?
There are many reasons that people are craving a smaller piece of lush green lawn to surround their abode.
Less Work and Maintenance
With busy lifestyles and hectic schedules, people just don’t have time to spend taking care of a large piece of property. Let’s face it, we have become a society of convenience and it is not convenient to spend an entire Saturday cutting, weeding, and watering a yard. Unless a family has small children, most people don’t use a large yard. It is much easier to maintain a small strip of grass dedicated for pets or children.
Having a deck or patio is actually more useful to the average American homebuyer. Some of these outdoor entertaining areas are seen as another living space to be used and enjoyed just as much as the living or family room.
Taking a page from European formal gardens, the American yard of the mid to late 20th century, with vast areas of green trimmed grass, showed that our country was becoming a “civilized society.” However, in the last decade, a push towards being more environmentally friendly with locally sourced foods, upcycling, and cutting back is beginning to show in the American lawn.
Instead of using precious water resources to water lawns, many homeowners are turning to native vegetation that does not require additional water other than what mother nature provides.
Some homeowners even turn to artificial turf or natural materials such as gravel to cover their once green lawns, in order to cut their water consumption and their time spent maintaining. This has led to a shift in how the typical yard is seen from the once green carpet of a home’s exterior to a burdensome area to be dealt with at great expense to a homeowner. This is leading to a small and manageable yard becoming a plus for homebuyers.
Bigger Yard/Smaller House
In urban areas, a smaller yard can mean a larger home. Many times, when homebuyers have to choose between a larger house or larger yard, they will opt for more home. Since a bigger yard means less space for a house’s square footage, it makes sense that a smaller yard would be advantageous.