Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

bigger house vs bigger back yard

ok ladies - still struggling with this one....which would you prefer as a mom and why

the bigger house (3500sq feet? ) and .5 acres

or the bigger yard (1.5 acres) 2000 sq feet


Met my husband in 2002
Married my Husband and Best Friend in 2006
Our precious son born October 2011
Found out pregnant with #2 in April 2014
No Heartbeat found May 2014....
D&E done May 30th 2014
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Re: bigger house vs bigger back yard

  • how many people (and pets) do you have living in the house?

    I would rather have more outside.

    I live in 1400ish size house (3bedrooms/2 bath)  and it is just perfect for me, my husband and son.

    Also with the smaller house you can always build onto it with having the extra acreage.

    Are having other houses close to you an issue? with the smaller yard you are more likely to have a closer neighbor.

    as a mom and wife (who does most of the cleaning) i want a house that is easier to keep clean. and would love to have the kids go outside to play.

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  • I think a lot of this depends on where you live. I'm in MN and I can say that a bigger house would be fantastic...I'd probably go for the bigger house since the weather her is so unpredictable.
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  • More yard.  I love being able to build a garden, have picnics & campfires, playing baseball, volleyball, etc.  Plus excess house space just means more cleaning :)
  • Yard!!! Bigger house is more to clean
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  • Where are you?

    If I were in California, where I used to live, the answer would be the larger back yard, hands down.  I'd be outside most days of the year for a large portion of the day.  If I were in the Seattle area, where I am now, I would likely go with the bigger house, since I'd be inside for most of the day half the year.  (DD and I go out in the rain/cold/etc., but not for as long as when it's nice.)

    Do you have money for a gardener or family/friends/neighbors to hire on the cheap?

    Large yards take lots of maintenance, even when they're fairly low maintenance designs.  We spend most weekends with a large portion (half? at least a third) of our free time devoted to yard work of some kind, and we have less than a third of an acre (effectively) - though we do have a lot of back yard.

    What sort of hobbies do you have?

    If you want an orchard and a garden and maybe a goat (half-kidding), then go for more yard.  (I have more garden than I can keep up with in our place, though, so I don't know that I could manage anything bigger.)  If you're more indoorsy - crafts and cooking and whatnot - then I'd go with more indoor space.

    So... my answer comes down how you live your life! 

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  • I'd be happy with 2000 sf - we're in 1400 right now and pretty cramped, mostly for lack of storage space.

    So, if the smaller house has good storage space, then go for the yard. If there isn't good storage space, I'd go for the bigger house.

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  • It would really depend on the size of your family and the location of the house. 

    It's me, dh, dd (15 months) and soon to be a newborn in 1700 sq feet and we're plenty happy. Of course, the layout of the house also has a lot to do with that. There's no unusable space in our house.

    What would you do with more yard? Would you want to plant a garden? Small livestock? Do you have big dogs that would enjoy the space? Or would it just be more work to keep mowed and landscaped? We really enjoy having 2 acres, as does our furbaby (a German Shepherd) but it's a lot of work to keep up, especially during the summer, and we're adding some rabbits, chickens, and a garden to that this spring/summer, so that work is about to triple, but we enjoy working outside. Do you live in an area you can actually enjoy being outside a lot or would you be cooped up inside for inclement weather a lot? 

    It's really dependent on a lot of factors.  

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  • I guess it depends on your priorites.

    Do you spend a lot of time outdoors? Do you have the time or money to keep up with landscaping and gardening? Do you have weather that will allow you to use your backyard as often as you'd like? If so, go with the big yard.

    Are you a homebody? Do you live in a cold/snowy/rainy climate? Do you hate yardwork and/or gardening or lack the funds to pay someone to do it for you? If so, go with the bigger house.

    I really don't like either of your options. I'd prefer a smaller house with a managable yard. We live in 800 sq ft right now, so 2000 sq ft sounds huge to me. 3500 sq ft sounds enormous and I'd hate to have to keep it all clean. But I also live in a cooler, rainy climate. We do spend time outdoors, but the yard/garden tends to get neglected from October - June. And I hate yardwork and gardening, so a huge yard sounds like a burden.

    Basically, I'm an urban dweller. :-)


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  • We are struggling with the same question. We have a small house now, and a big back yard. The yard is awesome when it's nice weather and we spend a lot of time our there. In the winter, the house is just too small for us and it can feel stressful. For me personally, I'd want a bigger house with a decent sized yard. For the kids, I know the yard would be more important.

  • I vote smaller house. I would not want to keep 3500sq ft clean. My opinion changes if you can afford hired help though.
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  • Bigger house. Additions are expensive if you need them later. Public parks are free.
  • We have a half acre lot with a house that is 5,000sq ft and might I just say.... the yard is plenty big. We plan on finishing it off with a patio, playlet when DS is old enough and place for garden. Right now DH hates to mow already. We had looked at lots with 2 acres and SO GLAD we didn't. Yard work takes enough time as it is!!
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  • I'd go with the 2000sq ft house.  Our house was 1200 sq. ft. ranch (full basement, about 3/4 finished) on a half acre lot and we just added on just over 600 sq. ft.  The 1850 or so sq. ft. is perfect.  I love our house and really wouldn't want it any bigger because there's already enough to clean.  Also, someday we'll finish the new basement (we put full basement with egress window under the addition) and have another 600 sq. ft. of room. 

    Our yard is plenty big enough though, so if you went with the bigger house, it'd probably still be enough yard for you.  My husband would love to have over an acre though.

    Married 8/9/08
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  • I'd do the bigger house, but it's hotter than Hades here from June-November.  Plus, the half acre gives me plenty of room to garden, so my outdoor hobbies are covered.  

    I agree with the PPers - your location, family size and what you plan to do with the land/space matter a lot.  House layout also matters a lot.  I'd run a pros and cons list and see where I ended up.

    BFP#1 4/17/10...EDD 1/6/11...M/C 5/28/10 BFP#2 11/19/10...EDD 8/4/11 Squeaker born 7/30.
  • Bigger house.  You are in your house more than you are outside, in general.  Like PP said, parks are free, and you can make do with whatever yard you have. 


  • Just reading the subject line I picked bigger house.  But with those choices I think I would pick the bigger yard.  I am looking for a 2000 sq foot house though (with DH, 3 kids, and I in mind). If I found the house I wanted with 1.5 acres...I would be in heaven!  Although, this is with the mind that the other house would be a bit too much for me.  Too much to clean/heat/keep cool/ect.


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  • Pips09Pips09
    Sixth Anniversary 250 Answers 2500 Comments 500 Love Its
    Personally, I would pick a bigger yard, hands down. But we love being outside and that would be the priority for us. As long as the house is big enough to be comfortable now, you can always add on to it later. You won't be able to add on to your lot size.
  • libra31libra31
    500 Comments Fourth Anniversary

    image chicsahm:
    We have a half acre lot with a house that is 5,000sq ft and might I just say.... the yard is plenty big. We plan on finishing it off with a patio, playlet when DS is old enough and place for garden. Right now DH hates to mow already. We had looked at lots with 2 acres and SO GLAD we didn't. Yard work takes enough time as it is!!

    This.  Including the finished basement ours is 4500 with .5 acre.  Our yard is plenty big.  We have a large rainbow swing set, just put on a 500sq ft patio and have plenty of yard space.  

    DD(7), DS(4.5), DS(2.5), DS(baby)
  • MisNMisN
    Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments 5 Love Its

    To me even the smaller yard is huge and would meet our needs (and we spend a lot of time in our backyard).   I'd consider things like neighbourhood, schools, places to walk to.  If even I'd lean towards the bigger house.

  • We went from a small house and a bigger yard to a bigger house and smaller yard and I definitely like the bigger house. Like others have mentioned .5 acres is plenty big and you always have parks and trails to go on as well.
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  • Another vote for bigger yard. I love to garden so I could really go nuts on 1.5 acres. Plus, a larger yard tends to mean more privacy and it's tons of space for kiddos to run and play through the years.
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  • Is there anything in between?  3,500 sq ft and 2,000 sq ft is a big difference.  I think back yard is more important but .5 acre is a decent size lot.  I am picky so would probably need more info about both houses to make a decision!
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  • Um.  I live in Chicago so I don't actually understand and cannot comprehend what a half acre yard is but it sounds FREAKING GIGANTIC.  Why would you want such a big yard? Don't you have to mow the lawn? pay landscapers, etc? What do you want to play football in the yard? 

    I would pick (in your specific circumstance) bigger house, because seriously what the heck do you need more than 1/2 an acre of land? Are you going to have horses or something? 

    (answered by a city girl OBVIOUSLY).  You should see our yard it's so small but we love it because we have GRASS lol. 

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  • It would depend on where you live.  We have 4 seasons, but I think .5 acre would be plenty for us.  I always need more storage for kid toys and old baby items, so I would go for bigger house.
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  • Bigger yard/land, hands down. 

    We're actually in the process of selling our house to downsize & get more land. I like privacy & plenty of room for DS to play outside. 

    "They tell me you were born premature, my child, but this is only partially true.. 
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  • Bigger yard hands down.

    Bigger house = more cleaning and housework.  I can't even keep up with the cleaning and housework in my small ranch. 

  • image skibunny59:

    Bigger yard hands down.

    Bigger house = more cleaning and housework.  I can't even keep up with the cleaning and housework in my small ranch. 

    If you asked DH the same question he would probably disagree with me and go for the bigger house.  He does the yard work and he HATES it.  We have a 1/3 of an acre now and he hates mowing it and it takes forever.

    I still would vote for bigger yard.  I love our yard and so does DD and our dog.  And I hate housework and cleaning. 

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