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Old 07-16-2008, 01:52 PM
1,764 posts, read 3,949,951 times
Reputation: 2627


Originally Posted by dansdrive View Post
IMO level lots sell best, corner level lots sell better and then everything else seems to slide off from there.

Anyway, if someone wants the home with a latitudinally challenged lot they need to understand the highs and lows of that decision!
My experience selling a level corner lot made me wish I lived on a cliff! I always thought corners were desirable but buyers made a huge issue of the corner being a negative.

I feel extremely fortunate to have literally stumbled upon the home I live in because the lot has everything I wanted-
Good Size (100' of frontage and 140' deep)
Mild Slope (my 3 year old can walk up and down along the side of the house with no problem)
Walk Out Basement
Deep (over 60 feet from the back of the house to the property line) LEVEL backyard
Mature trees
250 foot buffer behind the property line

I smile every time I look out the back of the house.
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:09 PM
Location: Clayton
431 posts, read 1,165,112 times
Reputation: 158
funky can I ask where you bought?

It seem that in Clayton where we are looking the only areas that you can truly find a home with a nice flat piece of prop seems to be a bit out......and as I mentioned previously I have kids and I want them to be centrally located and close to friends and other developments....

I never honestly thought the make up of the yards would be such an issue.....

the original poster didnt mention though how the property would affect his family living , so it could work for them, I just know that a property like that would not work for us unless it had a large side yard that made up for it....
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:29 PM
488 posts, read 1,347,504 times
Reputation: 143
Our lot has a steep back yard and the only drawback for us is mowing it. It is definitely a pain to mow. We do have children but we have enough flat space for them to play and we have a lot of play areas in the neighborhood so that's not really an issue. The big plus for us and the reason that we wanted this particular lot was the view. Our house sits a top a hill with a gorgeous unobstructed view. That to me it is priceless but I do understand it may not be for everyone.
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:40 PM
Location: Lowest Taxed/Highest Q.O.L. CARY, NC
551 posts, read 419,739 times
Reputation: 141
Originally Posted by chriswunc View Post
Recently I am interested in a house. But the backyard seems to be very steep.

What is the potential drawback of this? Thanks!

FWIW, when we looked for homes, we eliminated any property that ran down hill at all and eliminated any that ran up hill by more than a few feet. Most important is that you like the house, but one always has to keep resale in mind. Not planning for possible future scenarios is unwise.
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:56 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
1,105 posts, read 2,371,398 times
Reputation: 598
Originally Posted by North_Raleigh_Guy View Post
Besides, most people donít want to pay extra for something unless it means getting more square footage.
True true true.
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:09 PM
413 posts, read 1,093,974 times
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Here's a slightly different take--again depending on how steep the slope is.
We are in the Piedmont, so many areas are "hilly" and have to be landscaped accordingly. I've seen some beautifully done jobs in Chapel Hill that made fabulous use of the natural slope.
I've also seen in 2 cases now where a homeowner used their slope to their benefit when building a pool. In one case, a homeowner was able to use the steeper drop off for the deep end (8 ft), reducing the cost they were told by simply reconfiguring the pool shape. I've also seen where one homeowner had a slope coming down to their house, and were able to configure building a pool into that slope (pool right off the house, with a nice grassy area beyond that), and landscaped to help with any erosion issues.
I thought both were rather creative in dealing with the slope to their benefit.
We had a slope also, albeit not drastic. We had 2 dump truck loads of dirt brought in, and had it leveled ourselves. Cost was under $500. We now have a large flat area with a slope to the right side of the house that we've terraced for gardening purposes. Works great.
Again, as other posters have pointed out, it's the erosion/flooding issues to be aware of and deal with. If it's very steep and you want grass...well, that can be a danger. I know one homeowner who had that and ended up "naturalizing" the steeper part of the hill.
I disagree with the notion that the "lot is the lot." Just like anything else, with a bit of creativity (and some money, but not necessarily a lot), you can make changes. It depends on how much you love the house/location.
Good luck!
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:13 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
1,105 posts, read 2,371,398 times
Reputation: 598
Originally Posted by Funky Chicken View Post
My experience selling a level corner lot made me wish I lived on a cliff! I always thought corners were desirable but buyers made a huge issue of the corner being a negative.
You get traffic on two sides, which is a negative in my book, along with more street frontage. That obviously depends on the amount of auto traffic around your residence, of course.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:20 PM
746 posts, read 1,915,294 times
Reputation: 386
my lot is "carved" as are the rest of the lots in this subdivision and the neighboring s/d's. I actually love my back yard because the slope creates a natural barrier - kiddos, you can only go to the top of the hill .. and people can't see into my livingroom (though we have wide open windows without treatments). We have a flat part that is terrific for the kids to play, we're on a cul de sac, and as much as there have been times that I've hated it (trying to aerate it is a real beotch), I love it for the privacy it provides!
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:15 AM
91 posts, read 166,802 times
Reputation: 78
We lived on a steep lot for 8 years, with small children. After the 1st year in the house I began to modify the yard which ultimately led to a 100' long by 2' high keystone retaining wall (the block was purchased odd-lot and cost only $1000). The wall enabled me to have a flat grassy area approximately 15-30' wide across the entire 100' of wall. With plantings, additional deck walks/steps and stonework made the backyard extremely attractive and functional for anything you could ever want to do.

At the sunniest end of the wall I also used natural stone that I collected to make more walls to create a 3 tier garden that was awesome!

All work was done by me so the costs there were minimal, aside from a ton of time, the whole makeover cost about $2k (brought in some soil to level and plant with).

As far as drainage is concerned -- if you are buying and building - have the builder pipe all gutters and downspouts to buried pipes (4" solid rather than the crappy black perforated stuff) and run them to where they will not impact you (ie. woods). All other areas can be controlled with grtass, mulch or plantings.

Below the grass area we also leveled an area for a swingset, used 6x6 timbers here.

Good luck!

I attached some pictures, hope they go through.
Attached Thumbnails
lot with steep backyard-backyard01.jpg   lot with steep backyard-backyard02.jpg   lot with steep backyard-backyard03.jpg   lot with steep backyard-backyard04.jpg   lot with steep backyard-garden01.jpg  

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Old 07-17-2008, 09:29 AM
Location: Raleigh, NC
11,685 posts, read 26,655,512 times
Reputation: 7947
If there were few houses on the market, buyers wouldn't have the ability to be so picky.

However, with the amount of houses that are on the market today, buyers can keep looking until they find something that suits them better.

While you are the buyer, ANYTHING that appears to be a negative to you will be a negative to the next buyer, when you are ready to sell.

To compensate for the negative, if it cannot be changed, you need to pay less NOW and realize that the next buyer will also pay less.

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