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Old 05-16-2012, 09:02 PM
 
5 posts, read 6,432 times
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Is there a local regulation in King County that mandates that all new homes must not have back yards? I have looked in Talus, Issaquah Highlands, and 2 Camwest communities in Kirkland and none of them have yards big enough for a dog to play in. And these are $600k+ homes! It's frustrating. What's the reason for that?
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Near Graham WA
1,184 posts, read 1,524,019 times
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It maximizes a homebuilder's profit by squeezing more units into a given amount of land.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:32 PM
 
577 posts, read 523,738 times
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It's hard to make money for everyone these days, so developers do what they need to to make the plat profitable. It's not just King County, the general trend everywhere in the country has been smaller and smaller lots for decades. There are exceptions but that's the trend. You'll have better luck looking at older properties. Average 80's lot is at least a 1/4 acre. Average 60's lot is probably close to a half acre. Of course this depends how far out you are too, I'm referring to burbs near Seattle. There's a new neighborhood near me, on the model home you can hardly step out the back door without falling into a big retention pond.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Seattle
907 posts, read 914,737 times
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People want big houses - they want lots of bathrooms, bedrooms big enough for large beds and walk-in closets. They want multi-car garages big enough for their SUV and master bath spa/suite/swimming-pool rooms. They apparently need a 'great room' and a living room. It makes for a heckuva lot bigger footprint than those 3 bdrm/1 bath, 1300 sq ft ramblers they used to build. And developers want to sell more of them, so they divide the land into smaller plots. Plus - people are busier and not everyone wants a yard. To many people it's just a big, unused, expensive maintenance vacume when all they really want is a patio big enough for a BBQ.

Several years back we lived in a 1936 farmhouse - it was on 3/4 of an acre so swerver's math seems about spot on.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:40 PM
 
8,726 posts, read 16,409,193 times
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Depends who you ask. Developers say that new homes are so close together because that's what homebuyers want. That they want big houses on tiny lots. Personally, I think that's BS. New homes are so close together because then the developer can make more money, and justify it by saying they're just catering to what their customers want.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:09 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle, originally from SF Bay Area
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All of the above is true, but there are still homes on big lots available. One development off of 212th in Sammamish is all 1/2 acre lots and 3,000 sf homes, but they are starting at closer to $1,000,000. For more affordable homes on big lots you may have to look at older ones, many in my area are on 1/3 acre lots and are at or under $500,000. If your budget is more than that you have some $ for
updating.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:35 AM
 
1,575 posts, read 4,657,932 times
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We recently bought a new home and we are among those who didn't want a big yard. And our dog is a toy breed On the other hand, the closeness of homes to each other is one reason why we didn't seriously consider the Issaquah Highlands.

We did notice that builders that do offer big yards make a big selling point about it, like this small development in a nice part of Renton:

Community - Madison Place
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Woodinville
2,573 posts, read 2,097,037 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ira500 View Post
Depends who you ask. Developers say that new homes are so close together because that's what homebuyers want. That they want big houses on tiny lots. Personally, I think that's BS. New homes are so close together because then the developer can make more money, and justify it by saying they're just catering to what their customers want.
Totally agree. It's what the builders and land owners want, not the customers. I despise those new neighborhoods where you can't even fit a 12" ruler between the houses (not an exaggeration, dead serious) and the backyard literally ends less than 10 feet from the back door. It would stress me out to be that cramped, not to mention it looks terrible.

Even in older neighborhoods near the city, seems like every week an older house is torn down and 5 townhomes are put on the lot. That's a heck of a profit for the builder and owner.
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:19 AM
 
56 posts, read 71,097 times
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I had an awesome realtor just a month ago take me to lots of different houses just north of Seattle and the new'er' houses were on postage stamp lots. I didn't even have enough room in the back yard to change my mind.

If you look you can find new'er' homes with land but you won't find anything new up north either.
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:25 AM
 
4,373 posts, read 3,106,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foe3643 View Post
I didn't even have enough room in the back yard to change my mind.
Heh! Also, due to the mountains to the East, water to the West and the Growth Management Act, land is limited, making it more expensive for developers. You can still find older homes with acreage in areas like Fall City, Carnation, Duvall, Monroe, etc. Newport Hills in Bellevue has larger lots but I think those homes were built in the 60s.
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