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Old 01-04-2019, 06:48 PM
 
977 posts, read 1,365,695 times
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Large lots wasted on huge front yards: but why?
I am looking at houses on large lots in Texas cities, and elsewhere.
Most of them seem to utilize larger lots the same way, they push the house back away from the street and have little backyard. This results in most of the land area to not have privacy. You don't put up a pool on your front yard, neither sit down without a shirt there for reading a book, nor you invite 30 guests to hang out on the front of the house. The backyard is for that purpose. But if the backyard is small, you may not fit a pool and a few trees in the same time there, just like you don't with cheap small-lot houses. The center of the house seems to be behind the center of the lot in both small and large lot houses.
I want to buy something where I can put up several large trees, a pool, a Jacuzzi, a covered and an uncovered patio, a veggie garden, a few fruit trees, several flowerbeds, a shed, some lawn... that i could enjoy in privacy. Privacy is the key.

What is so good about wasting most of your lot area on a front yard instead of a fenced off private backyard?
Why do developers do this?
Do home buyers prefer this also, or is it some sales trick?
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:12 PM
 
Location: planet earth
3,562 posts, read 1,269,961 times
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This is a good question.

In my mind, it is simply very poor, ill-thought out design.

The majority of the land should be in the back yard, where you can enjoy it in privacy. I think the "reason" for such big front yards has to do with ego and "showing others" that you have a big yard.
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
4,124 posts, read 2,266,189 times
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I live in the country, and I actually mourn that, on a 20 or 40 acre property, the house is all too often, relatively speaking... right by the road. IMHO, the best properties have the house right in the middle.

On a small lot, while I can see the benefit of a back yard also, I'd think people want to be as far from the road as you can get. For safety... for noise. Is that why, perhaps?
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:21 PM
 
986 posts, read 442,843 times
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In some subdivisions it’s the setback requirements. The one we are building in requires 40 foot setbacks, which is a whole lot of space when your lot is only 100 feet deep, as it is with some of the smaller parcels.
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:34 PM
 
Location: on the wind
4,976 posts, read 1,914,955 times
Reputation: 17538
Probably lots of reasons to pick from.

Buried utilities may have needed more cleared space. Using the front means less distance from the arterials in the road ROW. Lower installation costs and easier access for repairs.

Many people prefer being farther from the road. Its quieter. If the road wasn't always paved it could also mean less dust in the home. Also more privacy inside if the windows aren't right next to traffic and pedestrians.

Maybe the architect preferred a larger front yard because that distance sets the home off visually.

Many homeowners like to showcase their home and their gardening skills in the front yard.
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Old 01-04-2019, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
6,071 posts, read 7,293,567 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
I live in the country, and I actually mourn that, on a 20 or 40 acre property, the house is all too often, relatively speaking... right by the road. IMHO, the best properties have the house right in the middle.

On a small lot, while I can see the benefit of a back yard also, I'd think people want to be as far from the road as you can get. For safety... for noise. Is that why, perhaps?
I agree with this. I do understand the reasoning though. Many houses in rural areas are by the road is because of the cost of building a driveway farther back. It may also be related to location of utilities being near the road and the cost to bring them farther in the property.

We live on a larger property (16/17 acres). Our house is farther back from the road compared to most of our neighbors--about 200 feet. It has nothing to do with showing off as one poster said. It has everything to do with being the best location to build. The land naturally slopes down at this point so it worked more easily for a walkout basement. It also affords us more privacy and quiet.

The usable area in the backyard is smaller, but we managed to build a pool, have a play set for the kids, have a garden on the side of the house, etc.
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Old 01-04-2019, 08:27 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,631 posts, read 40,063,787 times
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McMansions need estate like front lawns.

For rural properties, remember that in many places those roads were originally wagon tracks.
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
7,671 posts, read 2,424,075 times
Reputation: 10562
Quote:
Originally Posted by nobodysbusiness View Post
This is a good question.

In my mind, it is simply very poor, ill-thought out design.

The majority of the land should be in the back yard, where you can enjoy it in privacy. I think the "reason" for such big front yards has to do with ego and "showing others" that you have a big yard.
I really like deep front yards. They put your house farther enough back that your privacy is much better and it's more difficult for package thieves to get your stuff.
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
4,124 posts, read 2,266,189 times
Reputation: 11450
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrah View Post
I agree with this. I do understand the reasoning though. Many houses in rural areas are by the road is because of the cost of building a driveway farther back. It may also be related to location of utilities being near the road and the cost to bring them farther in the property.



Yeah - I know that's the reason... utilities and roads both, the installation is charged by the foot, but I do appreciate when someone bore the expense to run it back a ways.
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:49 PM
 
10,600 posts, read 6,843,855 times
Reputation: 11241
In my neighborhood my house was built farther from the street than I would like but it's an older house and yes it gives you a useless huge front yard and a smaller back yard and to make matters worse we have a township line about 15 feet that the town owns since we don't have sidewalks and there is a swale in the front.

what also makes it worse is that it takes longer to mow my front yard than the backyard and I prefer a smaller front yard so it's easier to maintain since that's what everyone sees from the street. In the summer in SW Florida all the rain and sun makes the grass grow like crazy too, you need to mow it every 2 weeks, I try to put it off a little longer, plus it gets so hot that I can only do the front on one day and the back on another usually

Where I grew up in the northeast the lots were small 25 feet by 150 and the old homes were closer to the street and had a large back yard, they build them so close with porches so that you can't even get a permit to make a small driveway to fit one car.
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