How to have privacy even if your yard is the size of a postage stamp

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA

Privacy please!

Are you looking for a home that offers privacy from the neighbors?  A home where you don't have to be fully dressed in order to enjoy your morning cup of coffee?  You are not alone!  (Even if you want to be alone!)  Privacy is the #1 feature my buyers are looking for in their next home.

You don't need five acres to get some privacy.  

Land is expensive in my area.  And buyers shouldn't have to pay a hefty price just to get some privacy.  Unless  the land will be used for farming or raising horses, for example, I advise my privacy-seeking buyers to consider homes on smaller lots.  It is possible to have privacy even if the lot is the size of a postage stamp.  Here are a few key phrases that may reveal a hidden gem in your search for your next private home.     
 

"Mature landscaping"  This has become so overused in marketing but don't overlook it.  Buyers should consider that many times mature landscaping means dense shrubs that can provide privacy.  Soaring Arborvitae (a popular screening shrub) and rhododendrons as tall as a small office building can do wonders in creating a back yard oasis.  

"Fully fenced"  Currently I live in a neighborhood that does not allow fences.  (That's where the Arborvitae is really important!)  But fences are not just for buyers with kids or pets.  Privacy fencing appeals to just about everyone.

"Home backs to a _____"  This means no backyard neighbors!  As a Realtor, if I was paid a dollar every time a buyer said they didn't want a backyard neighbor, I could be running my own country.  No matter if the house backs up to a greenbelt, a golf course, a forest, a park, a lake, wetlands, even a storm retention pond - anything but a neighbor - my buyers are in heaven.  Just make sure what the home backs up to is something that isn't readily buildable (like a vacant lot). 

Consider house design.  Unless you are living on five acres, more than likely you will have neighbors to the sides of your house.  Some homes are designed without windows on the sides, which is great to create privacy.  Out of sight, out of mind!

What could be.   As a buyer looking for homes, try to see the house for what it could be.  Check out these ideas for creating privacy on houzz.com.  You'll be inspired, and you may be able to see the potential for a home that other buyers may miss.


If you'd like help in finding your next home that offers some privacy, contact me today and let's get started!

 

 

Posted by

 

Francine Viola, Realtor
In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

 

Serving Buyers and Sellers in Olympia, Tumwater, Lacey and Thurston County, WA

Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc.  |  Olympia, WA

 

Cell:      (360) 359-0689

Email:  Francine.Viola@cbolympia.com

Web:     www.FrancineViola.com

 

       

 

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Home Buying
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Washington Thurston County
Tags:
privacy
no neighbors
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Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Great read, Francine... My 2nd home sat on a lot (though not a postage stamp) was skinny and the homes on bothsides were pretty close. Fortunately, I could have a high fence and at both ends of the patio in back I built large privacy panels from cedar and boards and lattice. It was a lifesaver and made our little back area private and enjoyable.

Feb 12, 2014 07:38 AM #1
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

We have a number of townhouse that back to each other.  I suggest to owners a few well placed potted plants on their deck will help screen them from the neighbors.  Not complete privacy but a start.

Feb 12, 2014 08:04 AM #2
Rainmaker
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Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great job!  Love the Houzz.com photos of what to do on small lots.  Makes me want to do that for myself!  Thanks for the idea!

Feb 12, 2014 10:19 AM #3
Rainmaker
526,283
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

Hi Rene - it's definitely important to be creative!  Sounds like you created a nice little space!

Hi Cindy - good ideas!  It's amazing what some potted shrubs can do!

Hi Jan - isn't houzz.com addicting?!  I could spend all day on that site!

Feb 12, 2014 11:38 AM #4
Rainmaker
523,478
Lisa Friedman
Great American Dream Realty - Essex, VT
30 Years of Real Estate Experience!

Francine - good post. I had relatives that bought backing to deep woods years ago. The land behind them was ultimately sold to a developer who planned a couple hundred condos.  They wouldn't have minded so much except that the developer decided to build the tennis courts at the far end of his property which was literally about 15 feet from property line on their half acre lot. The amount of noise at the tennis courts really impeded their quiet enjoyment. It is very important to check these things out ahead of time - what can be built, how close, etc.

Feb 12, 2014 11:59 AM #5
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Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Francine, finding that house with privacy that isn't in the country can be challenging, you suggest some very good alternatives. 

Feb 13, 2014 12:32 AM #6
Rainmaker
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Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

Hi Lisa - yikes!  That's scary but easily can happen.

Hi Adrian - thanks for your support!  I appreciate your comments!

Feb 13, 2014 08:52 AM #7
Rainmaker
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Nancy Conner
Olympia, WA
Olympia/Thurston County WA
Love your tips about ways to find privacy without having to buy acres & acres - and we're certainly lucky to have many green belt areas or other natural buffers in many neighborhoods. Great post!
Feb 13, 2014 08:59 AM #8
Rainmaker
526,283
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

Hi Nancy - gotta love those buffers, for sure! :-)

Feb 13, 2014 09:00 AM #9
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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Francine, I hear it too that they don't want close neighbors. Many of the things you mentioned will get that same effect without having to buy the Ponderosa.

Feb 13, 2014 11:57 AM #10
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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Francine, I hear it too that they don't want close neighbors. Many of the things you mentioned will get that same effect without having to buy the Ponderosa.

Feb 13, 2014 11:57 AM #11
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Cool post - in the neighborhood I've been selling recently, the green belt lots went first. Not a big surprise right?

Mar 10, 2014 03:21 AM #12
Rainmaker
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Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Hi Francine-you mention lots of creative ways to create privacy, good stuff. 

Apr 06, 2014 10:56 AM #13
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Francine Viola

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