How to Decide How Many Acres You Want

Verani Realty

House with large front yardBuyers must make many important decisions when narrowing down potential properties to buy. One big decision is choosing how much land they want to have. Some people picture a nice lawn with room for a dog to roam and kids to play; others picture barely enough grass to require a mower.

How big is that yard you are picturing? Is it an acre or more – and how much is an acre exactly? It’s important to understand and consider what is ideal, what will be more than you need or can care for, and what is too small and confining for comfort.

Here are some facts to guide your decision:

  • Home lots are sized in acres. An acre is 4,840 square yards, or 43,560 square feet.
  • While that three acre lawn looks amazing and majestic, mowing it will take you more than a couple of hours each weekend. Every acre of lawn takes additional time to mow. For example, one acre will take approximately 101 minutes to mow with a push mower, 25 minutes with a riding lawn mower and 10 minutes with a zero turn mower.
  • If you don’t want to do yardwork yourself, remember that the more acreage you have, the more landscaping will cost you. The price for weekly mowing, leaf blowing, hedging and shrub trimming (as needed) runs, on average, $70-$90 for a one acre parcel with basic shrubbery around the home.
  • Property taxes are calculated based on your total acreage and the value it holds, so having more acres will increase your tax bill.
  • Long driveways are beautiful, and your house setback can offer privacy and a quiet setting, but it costs more for upkeep and snow removal.

If you decide that a home with several acres is the right choice for your lifestyle or what you wish for in a property, here are some tips to help trim back the time (and money) you will spend on yardwork.

  • Less lawn means less mowing, and there are many creative ways to accomplish this. One way is to create new or expand existing landscaping boarders around your house or foot paths so there is less grassy area that you must mow. Plant low-maintenance shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses that add interest and require less time and maintenance than mowing. Add a thick layer of mulch in between the plants to smother the growth of any weeds.

  • Plant hosta (a leafy green perennial) around your tree trucks and along any side of your house that is not landscaped. It curbs weed and grass growth almost as much as the wood mulch does, and it makes the area looked lightly landscaped and finished without weed-wacking.

  • Create rock gardens with perennial areas in corners of your yard. Add some crushed stone and a bench and it will look like a sanctuary to relax.

  • Add a patio area with crushed stone or pavers. This adds entertainment space and cuts your lawn mowing time.

Only you can decide how many acres it will take to make a property feel like home. It is valuable to note visually what an acre looks like and consider how much acreage you need for family activities and privacy.

Want more info on how to buy the right house for you check out our helpful House Hunting Tips!

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