Photo by Amie Fedora

Update: Whatever sort of outdoor space you have in your home, it’s sure to be a big consideration when moving or remodeling. Many people enjoy large gardens filled with a variety of plants, shrubs and flowers, but there are just as many people who don’t want the hassle of maintaining a yard. Whether you’re simply too busy and not green-fingered enough, or are no longer mobile enough to keep up with the demands of a yard, there are a variety of reasons why you might want to consider moving to a house with a more manageable outdoor space.

For many, the yard is an integral part of a house. A yard is land to call your own, a place to plant a flower or vegetable garden, or an expanse of grass that you take pride in keeping green and manicured all summer long. No matter what it is about a yard, most of us want one. The question is, how big a yard do you want? There can be good reasons for wanting a smaller yard as well as a larger yard. In urban areas and suburbs, yards are often small. On a 4,000- or 6,000-square-foot lot, there is little room if you want more than one of the common yard features: a lawn, a garden, a dog run, or a pool. Elaborate landscaping can be expensive and is difficult to justify for any reason besides your own enjoyment. Even if you choose to add every possible feature to your existing yard, the yard is only so big; you cannot add on to it. Therefore, if you want a yard with all the amenities and room to grow, it may be wiser to look for a new home.

If you are on the other end of the scale, with little interest in maintaining a yard, your choices are limited. You can let it go to weeds (but this won’t make you popular in the neighborhood), or you can hire a gardener to keep your yard looking manicured. Finally, you can move to a new home with little or no yard.

Many private communities feature maintenance-free homes. This is especially attractive to owners who may also be interested in downsizing from a four- or five-bedroom home to something smaller that is easier to care for inside and out. Closely related to the need of many for a yard around their home is the need for privacy. Many houses in new subdivisions, especially those with two-story homes, lack privacy. The homes have as little as 10 feet of separation, and many windows face each other. Going outside offers no privacy because the second-story windows in adjacent homes offer ample opportunity for others to see you in your yard. Your desire for a certain type of yard and a certain level of privacy are an important factor in determining whether you should move or remodel. Take the time to understand what you like and don’t like about your current home as well as how important improving it is to you.