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  1. #1
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    Default Do kids really need a big backyard as they get older?

    Do kids really need a big yard as they get older or are they always out at sports, friends? Mine are 6, 4 and 3 at the moment. I’ve got a big block and I get really overwhelmed with all the gardening. Ok if you like gardening but I don’t. It was supposed to be our family home and an extension done. Now I’m a single Mum I can’t see how I’ll ever afford a $200,000 extension!! Anyway, I’m trying to think ahead and can’t make a decision. Stay in my old 1924 house - love the area, can walk to the beach, big block should increase in value, but only 3 bedrooms and one bathroom, needs a new kitchen and bathroom. Or buy a new house, same area, probably need to drive to the beach, smaller block so can’t fit trampoline, but 4 bedrooms for when the boys don’t want to share a room, 2 bathrooms, low maintenance garden, car under carport. Downfalls probably won’t increase in value as much and may be attached to house next door (my kids are noisy!!). I know it comes down to what’s important in my mind but I can’t decide. The thing is what’s the point in having this big yard if in 8 years the kids decide to live at their Dads or they stay there a few extra nights and I’m stuck drowning in gardening.

  2. #2
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    I’m somewhere in between. I personally think it needs to be big enough for a few toys and to kick a ball. Our yard is long and narrow 15x5m and it’s good at the moment. We have a trampoline and still room to play. My issue with no/tiny yard is that there are days I don’t feel like going to the park and I don’t want to have to.

  3. #3
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    Well I have a nearly 13 year old who still uses our yard. We do have a big swing attached to a tree and a trampoline. She uses the trampoline a lot. I even updated our trampoline at Christmas to a 9ft x 14ft rectangular one.

  4. #4
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    Is your yard big enough to build a granny flat if you can stretch the budget to do so? That way you have income coming in from it and less property to maintain. It might even increase your value enough to access equity in the property to begin on your most urgent renovations.

  5. #5
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    I think the answer to your question will vary. Some teens will love a large yard and others won't. Mine are teens now and never go in the yard. For us a bedroom each is more important than a large yard.

    Having said that, I am in a very similar position - large yard (that has become a jungle because it is too much for me), not enough bedrooms, house needs money spent on it. I live in a 90's pocket of an older suburb that will always have much better capital growth than new builds a couple of suburbs away.

    I actually have been bogged down in indecision over sell vs stay for years and in some ways wish I moved before the maintenance issues reared their ugly head. On the flip side I love where I live because the houses are widely spaced on 1000m2 plus blocks, houses are mostly wooden and we get a good breeze. It seems like it is 10 degrees cooler here than in the newer area where there are large houses taking up most of the 400m2 blocks.

  6. #6
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    Yes. I thought of a granny flat but I wouldn’t be able to get any funds from the bank, especially being a single parent. I have a huge shed out the back that I thought of renting out to someone for storage but it’s probably not the best idea renting my shed to a stranger when I have young kids!

    I know it’s a hard one because bigger blocks normally have good capital growth but in saying that I’m surprised how expensive the new houses are further from the beach on their 340 ish blocks. Your house sounds nice with a cool breeze but I hear you with not being able to keep up with the gardening. Maybe I’m just thinking too far into the future. Sounds like it depends on the child, whether they will use the yard or not. Yes, if you don’t feel like going to a park and the kids are climbing the walls you need a bit of a yard! Thanks everyone

  7. #7
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    That sounds like an amazing asset and in your position I wouldn’t want to lose it.

    We have a big backyard, and it’s not just a backyard it’s a full on garden with hidden pathways etc, it’s an awful lot of work and although we all love it out there, the kids (12 and 8) could also easily live with small yard as long as it had a trampoline.

    Can you simplify the yard to make maintenance easier, take out garden beds etc?

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    I’d stay where you are now and move if/when the kids need more space inside. Reason being that it sounds like an amazing investment and who knows what will happen in the next 4-5 years. You might come into some money, get a different job, re-partner - and will then be kicking yourself that you sold this amazing asset. If that doesn’t happen these always the option of selling it later and hopefully you would have made more money off it.

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  10. #9
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    Would paying someone to help with the gardening be an option financially? Even just during peak growth periods, it can make a big difference. We have a huge garden, for me making the decision to outsource some of its maintenance was, frankly, life-changing. It turns out I don't enjoy gardening the way i imagined I would before buying the house.

    It sounds like you live in a great spot and like your house is big enough for you and the kids at present. That gives you a bit of time for the dust to settle on life as a single parent, and to make the decision about houses with a clearer head. Like others have said, you don't know where you'll be at in a few years' time.

    As for what the kids need, they adjust. I think a big garden is a 'nice to have', rather than a 'need' - if you've got a good park nearby (or a beach like in your case, which would be a dream come true for me), you're sorted.


 

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