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Old 12-08-2009, 10:04 PM
 
Location: CA
2 posts, read 2,318 times
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Thanks to all for the input. We want to use the space for a garden, fruit trees etc and even a half an acre would work. We will check out some of the areas you suggested. Keep your fingers crossed it is a tall order.
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:44 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,893 posts, read 10,207,903 times
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Growing up we easily had some fruit trees and a garden in half an acre with lots of space left over. You don't even need that much, although it would help if you had something else that is in short supply around here: a flat yard! I have a 1/3 acre lot, but it's on a hill. I could still put a garden out there, and trees. There are gardens right here among my neighbors. But it would certainly make things easier if flat. Plus I never thought I cared about a flat yard until I had to mow this lawn all summer. I would almost enjoy that activity if it were flat; the steepest part of the hill makes it rough.

Anyway, a lot size of even 1/3 to 1/2 acre is still going to be tough closer in, but they're out there. You have to check the specs in the real estate listings (hopefully it includes dimensions which you can then translate into square feet; an acre is 40,000 sq ft). Then if any are big enough you'll have to check it out, because it could drop off a cliff or something with a lot less usable yard.

Typical close-in lots are under 10,000 sq ft (1/4 acre). Even 5000 (1/8) is not uncommon. But you'll see some places advertised with "double lot" perhaps, and if they're 7000-8000 lots to begin with, you should really be in good shape. If you want to keep focus on the ability to walk to some businesses, you're really going to be better off focusing on usable yard instead of an acre or more. Some dwarf fruit trees and a garden, you can probably fit that in a 1/4 acre if it's all usable and flat and the house isn't too huge (and the front yard isn't too big and the driveway doesn't take up too much space, but this is all possible).
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:54 AM
 
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So we moved from a 3300 sqft lot to a 12160 sqft lot (both in Regent Square), and the latter now feels HUGE to us (although we both grew up in suburbs with much bigger lots). Now that is a little over 1/4 acre, but the house footprint is pretty big and there is a driveway and front and sideyards . . . basically, it isn't designed to maximize any given outdoor space, although with our modest garden plans we still feel there is plenty of space available. But in any event, I agree if it were laid out a little different, you could have a pretty nice space for gardening and fruit trees, at least for a lot in a walkable neighborhood. And the bottomline is that it is going to be very, very difficult to find much larger lots in walkable neighborhoods.

By the way, one of the more reasonable neighborhoods in the City in which to look for larger flat lots is Friendship. Those big old houses aren't quite as inexpensive as they used to be (even if they need a lot of work), but at least there are a decent number of flat lots in the 7000-10000 sqft range that won't be completely outrageous in price by Pittsburgh standards.
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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12160 sq ft IS pretty huge for where you are. My lot in the sticks (well, near the sticks anyway) is only 13000 and change. Having a 12000 sq ft lot in Regent Square is sweet. Are there many like that, or is yours one of just a few?
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:44 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,901,765 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg42 View Post
12160 sq ft IS pretty huge for where you are. My lot in the sticks (well, near the sticks anyway) is only 13000 and change. Having a 12000 sq ft lot in Regent Square is sweet. Are there many like that, or is yours one of just a few?
This definitely isn't the only one, but there aren't many. The original plan for this area had roughly 6000 sqft lots, and some parcels were double these full lots, so there are a few of these 12000 sqft lots scattered around (often on corners). In fact I believe there were a few more in the original plans, but over time some of the double lots were subdivided and new smaller houses built next to the older bigger houses. Anyway, of course Regent Square is a small neighborhood, and this type of lot is only a small percentage of the lots, so it ends up being only a handful of lots this size (which is part of why we grabbed this property when it came on the market).

Incidentally, it just occurred to me that there are some pretty big lots in the part of Edgewood next to Regent Square before you get to the Busway, which are quite walkable from Downtown Regent Square (I believe some are actually over 20,000 sqft, maybe over 30,000). That is a less level area, and those houses also only rarely come on the market, but it would be another place for the original poster to keep in mind.
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:13 AM
 
43,017 posts, read 50,553,628 times
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Highland Park has rather large yards for a city neighborhood, but no East End neighborhood has the size yard the OP wants unless she's got some serious money.

Does the OP need to take schools into consideration?
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