From a barbecue area to outdoor storage space and vegetable gardens, this checklist will help grow (see what we did there) your ability to find the perfect backyard to suit your lifestyle.
- Check the condition of fences and retaining walls. Boundary fences are typically owned equally by you and your neighbour, so consider what condition the fences are in and factor in the cost of any maintenance which may be required. Check to see if the fences are fit for purpose, particularity with pet and small children. It’s also a great idea to check the gates, locks and latches are up to scratch.
- Scope out the outdoor living area. Consider the size of the patio or deck area, if the property has one, or if there is enough space to build an outdoor living area in the future. See what direction the outdoor living area is facing, and if it’s north-facing it will likely get the all-day sun which is on most people’s checklist. Consider if the outdoor living area has a nice indoor-outdoor flow with the kitchen, entertainment and barbecue areas. As a bonus, if there is lavender or rosemary planted nearby, these can act as natural bug repellents which is great for outdoor dining!
- Check out the barbecue space, because we all know barbecues are a kiwi must-have! Again, see how well the barbecue area links to the other living spaces, especially the kitchen, and if there is enough clearance space to prevent any fire hazards.
- Does the garden and lawn area suit your lifestyle? This space can vary tremendously between properties, and you have to be realistic about what you’re after in outdoor living – low maintenance or high maintenance. You may need a large grassed area to account for swing sets or a trampoline if you have children, or in contrast, you might want a low maintenance garden and minimal lawn area to upkeep. If you enjoy homegrown produce, be sure to check if or where the vegetable patch and herb garden is.
- Check the condition of the swimming pool, if the property has one. Take note of any cracks and future maintenance which may be required, plus the flow it has with any other outdoor entertainment areas.
- What outdoor storage options are available? Think garden shed, wood sheds and pool sheds. If the options are limited, check if there is space to build extra storage sheds in the future.
- Consider what security measures are in place – this includes security gates and outdoor security lighting. It’s also common for some properties to have some form of security camera system built-in to the house.
- Don’t forget to check the condition and placement of the washing line. Hanging out the washing is enough of a chore, without the washing line falling apart or being placed in a shady spot.
For more checklist ideas throughout the property hunt process, download our free open home checklist today.
Want to know what to look for at your next open home viewing? Check out our free checklist here!