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Why Are Backyards Important?

Read all about why backyards are important, the most common ways people use them, how they impact your property value, and more in this post.

Family dinner in backyard.

If you’re house hunting and looking to narrow down your options, you may want to know why backyards are important and how they affect your life as a homeowner or rentee. 

In general, backyards offer lifelong benefits that increase the overall quality of life for homeowners, children, and pets, while also increasing the value of the home and providing space for future home additions.

There are a lot of benefits to living in a home with a backyard, but there are also other things to consider such as maintenance and added costs. If you’re trying to figure out whether or not a backyard is important to you and your family, this article will help you decide.  

Table of Contents

Are Backyards Overrated?

This comes down purely to personal preference. If you don’t value a backyard, then they may seem overrated. But to people who enjoy the opportunities that a backyard brings them, they’re not overrated at all.

It’s also worth noting that the size matters, too. If you have such a small backyard that you can’t even plant a garden in, it may seem totally pointless. The same applies if the backyard is located in a community or town where there are such strict rules that it’s almost impossible to utilize the backyard to its fullest potential. 

Regardless of the size or location, there are obvious health and wellness benefits to being outside, such as reduced stress and soaking up some Vitamin D. Getting outside can even help with depression and strengthen your immune system. Having a backyard is one of the easiest ways to get outside on a regular basis and experience these benefits, which is why so many people value having one.

What Are Backyards Good For?

BBQ in backyard with friends.

There are virtually endless uses for a backyard, but these are the most common ways people use theirs. 

Entertaining

Backyards are great places to entertain, which is why so many people list a backyard as a must-have. Depending on the size of the yard, you can have enough outdoor space to host parties and events or even just some simple cookouts for a small circle of friends.  

Freedom to do outdoor activities

There’s nothing quite like having your own outdoor space where you are free to do whatever activity you wish to do. A backyard lets you do outdoor activities like tanning, exercising, stretching, star-gazing, and pretty much anything else you can think of. 

Provides lifelong benefits for kids

Having a backyard is especially important when you have kids for more reasons than just getting fresh air or running around. According to Child Mind Institute, being outside on a regular basis helps kids develop social skills, reduces stress, teaches responsibility, encourages creativity, and so much more.  A backyard is also a fantastic tool for learning and doing things like science experiments. 

Keeping pets healthy and happy

An obvious use for a backyard of any size is giving pets space to explore and be outside. Different breeds need different sized yards, but a backyard is essential for keeping pets healthy and happy. 

Gardening and Homesteading

One of the biggest reasons people consider backyards to be important is because they give you the chance to be more self-sufficient and grow your own food. Even a small backyard can offer enough room to grow a bountiful vegetable garden and maybe even keep a few hens. If the yard is large enough and in a zone that allows homesteading, raising your own animals is yet another opportunity for the homeowner. 

Relaxing oasis

Some homeowners prefer to use their backyard as an outdoor oasis to escape the rest of the world. Whether you want a pergola, hot tub, or a she-shed to unwind in, a backyard gives you somewhere to create your own outdoor retreat.

Creative space for homeowner

Having a backyard is also great for getting creative. You can grow beautiful flower gardens and decorate them as much as you like or have that envious lush green lawn that everyone will praise you for. Backyards offer homeowners the chance to be creative and show off their own style. 

Space for home additions

Something that many people overlook as a benefit to having a backyard is the potential to add on to the house. As long as the zoning allows it, your backyard can be a holding place for extending your home or building something like a large deck. 

Privacy

Even if you live on a crowded block in the town, having a backyard provides some privacy and space between you and the neighbors. Not surprisingly, this is one of the main reasons homeowners prefer a home with one.

Do Condos Have Backyards?

Grass behind condo building.

Most condos don’t have backyards and many don’t have outdoor space at all. The exception to this is usually a detached condo, where you may or may not own the yard your condo sits on. Each condo is unique and offers different things with different rules, but in general, they’re not known for having backyards.   

How Much Value Does a Backyard Add to a Property?

According to this article from Today, a well-kept and thoughtfully landscaped yard can increase a home’s value by 11.3%. Of course, the final number is different for each property and varies based on factors like location, size, and the current housing market. For instance, a large backyard in an urban area where yards are rare will be worth much more than a yard in a rural town. 

What Are the Cons of Having a Backyard?

man in green hat mowing grass.

There are pros and cons to everything and backyards are no exception. There are downfalls to having a backyard, which is important to consider.

Maintenance

Backyards of any size require attention and regular maintenance. For basic upkeep like mowing and trimming weeds, you can expect to spend a couple of hours or more per week during the Summer. Then depending on your location, there are things like snow removal. 

Of course the bigger the yard, the more maintenance is required. 

Added costs

Backyards are added expenses, no matter how much you DIY your lawn care and landscaping. They can even impact how much you pay for your home insurance. You can really rack up costs if you choose to outsource to a professional landscaper or mowing crew, too.

Possible property damage

There’s also the possibility of property damage from things like trees or large outbuildings in your backyard. If your location is known for storms or flooding, you will need to be especially diligent in preventing property damage and then of course fixing any damage that does occur.

Summing It Up

As you can see, there are many reasons why having a backyard is important. It offers opportunities for you, your family, and your guests to enjoy themselves and experience lifelong health benefits. A well-kept yard can even add to your home’s value or offer space for future home additions.

Like anything else in life, owning or renting a home with a backyard does come with significant considerations to think about beforehand. For example, there’s the maintenance, added costs, and potential for property damage.

For most people, experiencing the benefits of a backyard far outweighs the cons and is one of the leading factors when buying or renting a home. At the end of the day, only you can decide whether a backyard is important for you or not.