Portland November 10, 2019

Why is it so hard to find a house with a yard?

One of the top requests I get from homebuyers is that the house they buy has to have a big yard. A place for kids to play safely. A place for dogs to run around. A place to garden. A place to drink tea in the summer afternoons.

But the houses in Portland, and even the suburbs, don’t come with yards. If they do, you pay a premium and then some. When a house with a big yard comes on the market, you can expect to fight it out with other buyers who want the same rare acreage. Many buyers will say that the yard is a non-negotiable feature. You could live without a garage or a third bedroom, but the yard is a must. Is it, really?

The houses in our town may all be crowded together, but we also have parks, and lots of them. 94% of Portlanders visited their local park in the last year. Almost every home in the metro area is within walking distance of a public park.

I encourage buyers to consider how a nearby park can be a great alternative to a large yard — and you don’t even have to mow it! Don’t be too quick to rule out a home due to a small yard. Some postage-stamp lawns are adjacent vast green spaces. A condo with no yard at all may have its own park within the community.

In a town like this, you may find everything you want out of a yard in a park down the block — don’t be too quick to rule out homes with tiny lots!