Planning a perfect home purchase forces you to really consider everything. And even a question as seemingly innocuous as ‘should my home have a yard?’ can become a big deal. In order to help you make the right decision, here’s the things to know when buying a house with a big yard in Florida!
The dreaded homeowners associations
Let’s start out our list of things to know when buying a house with a big yard in Florida with a warning: homeowners associations are a big thing here. Which is typically not too horrible… unless you also have to worry about meeting their requirements concerning yards. You see, a homeowners association can impose rules about your lawn. They won’t really be too egregious, but they can prevent you from adding some modifications you might want. As such, if you are searching for a perfect family home and don’t want to worry about any such constraints, be very careful. Or, at the very least, go over the local HOA rules carefully. Most rules of homeowner associations aim simply to either present a unified neighborhood look, or to make sure there are no homes and yards that look run down and nearly abandoned.
An increase in costs of maintenance
The second of the things to know when buying a house with a big yard in Florida is that it will add to your expenses. Maintaining a yard in perfect condition can come at a hefty price tag, especially if you don’t have the time to do it yourself. And that’s without something going wrong with your property. Sinkholes, for example, are a very common feature of Florida’s landscape. And if your yard is hiding one, it can very well turn into a very large expense to fix in the future. This is one example of why you want a home inspection done, even if you are familiar with the things to look out for. After all, only a professional knows how to properly ascertain whether a yard is at risk of such a thing. That’s on top of the fact that home’s with a big yard are expensive!
A lot more work if you want a presentable home
When you first hear about how expensive it can get to hire people to take care of your yard for you, you might think to yourself “No matter, I’ll do it myself!” However, in case you’ve never had a yard, you need to understand that yard work can be very physically demanding. Not to mention time consuming! It’s not just trimming the grass you need to worry about. You might need to trim trees in your yard, aerate the soil, clean up withered leaves, clear away snow… the list goes on and on, and it’s just the basics. If you do all of that, you’ll just have an ‘okay’ yard. But you likely won’t be able to avoid bald spots on your lawn, and your flowers, if you decide to grow any, won’t be doing great either. Fixing all that naturally takes a bunch more effort and time.
Beachfront properties vs. properties away from water
People who imagine a house with a big yard in Florida typically have in mind a beachfront property. After all, having the outdoor space to set up and admire the water on the horizon may seem like an appealing prospect. However, there’s a lot in favor of a property away from water. First, you need to know that taxes on waterfront properties in Florida are higher. Not unreasonably so, but it is an additional yearly expense you’ll need to tackle. Then, there’s the fact that taking out insurance for such properties is more expensive, too. Especially if they are considered at risk of natural disasters such as flooding. To add to all that, maintaining them is more difficult as well, especially since sand gets everywhere and the weather makes for very adverse conditions for a home. You’d need to invest into maintenance often, or pay more for a sturdy home.
Consider a deed restricted community
Now, we did talk about HOAs already, and about how they can be a bit disruptive. So, to suddenly recommend purchasing a property in a deed restricted community might sound odd. However, such communities are a good idea for several reasons. First, homes with a big yard are far more common in them. They are also reasonably priced, and a deed restricted community is a far better idea for raising a family. This is because the security of such communities is guaranteed, and you wouldn’t be forced to raise a tall privacy fence just to feel secure letting your kids play outside in the yard. In addition to that, restricted communities typically have access to excellent services. If you are doing a long distance move, at least finding movers and transport is not an issue. So, while you’ll definitely have to deal with a HOA, the benefits are worth it.
The appeal of a big yard in Florida
Most of the things to know when buying a house with a big yard in Florida we’ve gone over have been cautionary. However, that paints a rather unfair and unflattering picture. Owning such a house in Florida is honestly a joy! You can spend a lot of quality time outside in the great Florida weather. You can organize parties and events in your yard at leisure, knowing that bad weather is not much of a concern. And you can organize your yard into a perfect playground for your kids! And if you do snag one of the waterfront properties with a yard, that’s a dream experience on its own. So, if you do want to make a perfect forever home for your family, and want it to have a yard, don’t let what we covered scare you away!
To yard or not to yard
With everything we’ve covered concerning the things to know when buying a house with a big yard in Florida, you can now make an informed decision! Whether that’s the right move for you or not will depend entirely on your family’s budget, predisposition, and needs. So, carefully consider everything and make a wise choice!