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Old 03-25-2018, 05:22 AM
 
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I wanted to gather thoughts and opinions on how an "odd ball" house would affect a block, neighbors, home values, etc.

Say there was a normal American middle class neighborhood. All of the homes were the typical house, lawn, and driveway variety. Then say there was the "odd ball" house where the homeowner removed all of the grass on the front lawn and had it professionally landscaped with a variety of plants, flowers, shrubs, etc. It would be a beautiful botanic oasis.

Can anyone think of any negatives to this house being the only one on the block without a lawn?
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Old 03-25-2018, 07:19 AM
 
Location: NC
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Poor maintenance would be a huge negative. Many people think that grass is annoying because it takes a half hour per week to mow a quarter acre, but keeping landscaped areas looking good can take a lot of weeding, pruning, trimming, replacing, mulching, edging--you get the picture--that averages a lot more time spent keeping it looking decent. Often folks get the project of a lawnless yard started, but later it gets overgrown and weedy. However, if plant lovers are willing to spend the time, the lawnless front yard can look really nice--until the house is re-sold to a slacker.
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
Can anyone think of any negatives to this house being the only one on the block without a lawn?
I assume you're asking in regards to resale.

It would be a negative if the neighborhood children typically play in their front lawns (I know the kids in my neighborhood do).

It would be a negative for someone who doesn't enjoy maintaining a garden. I'd much rather simply mow the grass once a week versus maintain a garden.
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:28 AM
 
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It would probably sell very well because it would show beautifully. But who knows what the new homeowner would do with it. I wouldnít say itís a negative for resale at all though - it sets the house apart in a good way in terms of curb appeal from its very similar neighbors - especially if it is still priced well compared to neighborhood comps and hasnít been marked up for the landscaping.

If there was no backyard space Iíd be a little hesitant to take or every scrap of grass, but if there is potential back yard play space for kids there is no downside for selling. Again, that doesnít cover what might happen five years down the road if the new owner canít maintain it.
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
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We owned that house! The house I grew up in. We had a house on a street with other similar homes built by the same builder. Early on we had the house on the road with the best soccer lawn. It was the best size and shape for it. When my older brother reached teenage years and my dad thought he would likely take over mowing, it turned out my brother had horrible grass allergies that would get stirred up by the mower and he couldn't do it! Trying to mow would knock him on his butt. So.... Dad took the grass out. He put in a bunch of rhododendrons and other flowering shrubs and barked it.

It probably didn't look totally alien, because the other homes in the neighborhood also all had some kind of flower beds and shrubs in the front, with bark, it's just ours was BIGGER.

Once the rhodies grew up and looked established it looked like it had always been that way. The place has sold a few times since and it still doesn't have grass. They'd added some rock and other shrubs but the new owners have kept it grassless.

The back yard still has grass.



Heh.... PS.... out of curiosity, since I haven't seen the house in a few years, I just looked it up on Google earth. Still no lawn in the front.... AND.... the house across the street has taken out their lawn now too.

Last edited by Diana Holbrook; 03-25-2018 at 08:55 AM..
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:56 AM
 
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IMO, it would take something more substantial/permanent than landscaping to rise to the level of 'odd-ball.'

Stuff that would perhaps even require a permit to un-do, or which would substantially alter the habitability of the house to un-do.

We looked at a house that had been so "Southwesterinized" with adobe fireplace, kokopellis everywhere, tiles, millwork, etc., but it was in a very average neighborhood. Would have taken $$$$$ just to bring back to normal.
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Old 03-25-2018, 09:47 AM
 
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A professional landscaper understands the surroundings (directly adjacent homes and the overall neighborhood) should influence the design. In other words, good design avoids it looking like an oddball. It might look different, it might look unique but it doesn't clash with its surroundings. This doesn't mean that all the neighbors will love it but a good design that does not clash will minimize issues of all sorts and certainly won't lower property values in the neighborhood or the overall aesthetic value.
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Saint John, IN
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I would think resale could go either way. Either someone will love it or they won't. It could be a negative due to the maintenance that would be needed, but get a buyer who loves working in the yard and it could be a major plus.
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Old 03-25-2018, 12:04 PM
 
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It could be a plus depending on the area. In a dry area, you can use plants that require less water. In a wet area, you could do a rain garden to help use up the excess water and look lovely. Grass, in general, requires a lot of chemicals and care, so low-growing covers requiring less of either or both would make my heart beat faster. In any area, native plants do well with less maintenance and like the poster above said, a professional landscaper could address those things and give you the botanical oasis you dream of.
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Old 03-25-2018, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Athol, Idaho
2,182 posts, read 1,058,232 times
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Out of curiosity where are you? That may matter.

I'm from Phoenix. When I left we sold a house that was desert landscaping and gravel, cactus etc. You could be the only one in the neighborhood like that and not look so odd because even if that were the case people overall are used to seeing desert landscaping. The last neighborhood I left was a pretty good mix of lawns and desert landscaping. I think having a lawn in back where people entertain may matter more. Curb appeal can be established in more than one way.
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