There’s one buzz word real estate agents use that is utterly true. That word is lifestyle. When you buy a house, you really are buying a lifestyle with it.
Australia is famous for its large grassy backyards (cue kids running through sprinklers, dogs chasing their tails, and a vegie garden against the fence). In an era where playing in the street is no longer considered good parenting, the backyard is where kids run and play and get sunshine and exercise. As far as lifestyles go, it’s a good one.
About ten years ago, the laws governing the ratio of house size to backyard changed, allowing larger houses on smaller blocks – so a lot of newer houses have multiple large bedrooms but a postage-stamp yard. The “Australian” lifestyle isn’t what is used to be, which is a sad thing and a harmful thing.
CJ and I both grew up with grassy yards (he actually grew up on a farm until he was twelve, and the love for rolling hills and long views is still engrained in him), and one of the main reasons for buying our house with Louisette the age she is now is so that she can run outside. We bought quite a small house, with quite a small yard, which matters very little in terms of OUR lifestyle (I pretty much hate the outdoors until the weather is utterly perfect, and CJ can brave almost anything, but he’s happy to walk to public places) but it is a little sad that we’re accepting/being a part of the slide away from a more outdoors-oriented culture.
The up side of the compromise is that the house is a bit larger – which means more room for books. It wasn’t a difficult decision 🙂 And it’s still a yard, as opposed to what we have now – a balcony. I’m so looking forward to the day when I say, “Okay, kid. Go play outside.”