- Nashville, TN, has the largest yards in the U.S., with a median home lot size of more than 11,800 square feet.
- The South dominates the ranking being home to eight out of 10 cities with the largest yards.
- Five cities have a median lot size of over 10,000 square feet.
As we learn to fit more activities than ever into our homes, from entertaining and making room for multigenerational families to working from home, living space and outdoor space in particular have garnered a whole new meaning for today’s generation of homebuyers.
But while having a large yard to go home to has become a top priority for many, not all places are created equal. Some cities do consistently better than others in providing adequate space for gardening, enjoying your pets, barbecuing or simply soaking up the sun in your backyard.
Our team at StorageCafe analyzed data from the 50 largest cities in the United States to find out where you get the best chances at an expansive yard. As a magnet for both businesses and new residents, the South stole the attention pretty much in every field of real estate in the last 10 years, and lot square footage is no exception.
The South dominates the top 10 ranking for largest lot sizes, with eight southern hubs making the cut. Surprisingly enough, the Midwest steps up with two strong contenders. Here’s a rundown of the 10 best cities for large lot sizes in the U.S.
The South holds strong to its love of outdoor space with Nashville, TN, first in the nation for largest yards
If getting a nice backyard is a deal-breaker for you as you shop for homes, Nashville, Tennessee, is your best bet. With a median lot size of 11,813 square feet, Nashville stands out as the city that provides the most lot square footage among the 50 largest U.S. cities. The average size of a home in Nashville is 1,831 square feet, which means the house takes up a mere 15.5% of the lot, giving you plenty of space for any type of outdoor activity you prefer.
If Memphis is more your style, you have a good chance here as well at decent outdoor space. It may have less square footage than Nashville, but it fares much better compared to most urban centers. Memphis landed sixth in the nation for largest yards with an average lot size of 9,622 square feet.
Moving across the Tennessee border to Georgia will give you the second largest lot sizes in the country, starring Atlanta with a median lot size of more than 11,500 square feet. That means you’ll have plenty of room to install a pool and tend a garden, plus space for kids to run around and build their forts. The median house size in Atlanta is 1,953 square feet, taking up less than 17% of the lot. With a backyard full of possibilities that only add to the airy interior spaces, Atlanta truly gives families a chance to live large.
Louisville, Kentucky, is third in the ranking and another southern hot spot in terms of backyard space, offering a median lot size of 10,890 square feet, more than enough to create a comfortable spot for relaxing outdoors.
In the hunt for a larger backyard, one state that buyers will surely want to check out is North Carolina. Charlotte and Raleigh occupy the fourth and fifth positions in the ranking with some of the most generous lot sizes in the nation. The average lot size in Charlotte is 10,601 square feet, with the house taking up roughly 17.9% of the land. Raleigh lot sizes clock in at 10,500 square feet, offering a nice place to make some s’mores or relax by the pool.
If bathing in the Florida sun is on your wish list, installing a pool and loungers in your backyard is highly achievable in Jacksonville, a city that offers an average lot size of 9,100 square feet.
The Midwest boasts two of the top 10 cities for large living
Midwest cities also offer generous lot sizes, with Indianapolis, Indiana, ranking eighth with 8,981 square feet, followed by Minneapolis, Minnesota, with an average lot size of 8,978 square feet.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, wraps up the top 10 list as a city that embraces both multicultural vibes and large living. Here you can enjoy a cozy 1,674-square-foot home on a generous 8,771-square-foot lot that meets plenty of the criteria for people looking to significantly upgrade their living space.
Is a big yard really for you? Consider the pros and cons
It’s true that having a big yard means having the space for the things you love — from entertaining friends and playing with your kids to gardening and having fun with your four-legged companion. But it also means more work.
When you are searching for a home, the inevitable question of yard size arises. You may love the idea of a private retreat, or you may dread the hassle of upkeep. Weighing the pros and cons is always a good idea. Here are a few thoughts that are worth considering.
- You can enjoy the health benefits of having an outdoor area like reducing stress and improving your well-being and focus. In addition, it enables you to extend your living space by adding seating areas, outdoor cooking areas, or installing a garden tool storage unit.
- The backyard is a safe space for your kids to play, exercise and interact with nature. Your friends, family and neighbors will be more likely to come and visit, especially if you install a grill for barbecuing and plan to throw memorable outdoor parties. Not to mention that your pets will love it too!
- Having a backyard increases your home value over time, especially if you make it functional with a new deck or patio and invest in some landscaping for privacy.
- You can’t skip yard work. After purchasing various hoses and sprinklers, you’ll need to either do it yourself regularly or hire professionals. Either way, keep in mind the task can be time-consuming, expensive and labor-intensive.
- Having an outdoor space means sharing it with nature — besides the nice trees and plants, you’ll also have to deal with thorns, weeds and potential pests that can harm your plants or pets.
- You also need to plan ahead for the winter months when you have to store your gardening equipment, tools and outdoor furniture. One way you can make storing seasonal items easier without cluttering your home is to get a storage unit. Self storage is generally inexpensive and it offers flexible month-to-month leases. To give you an idea about how much storage units cost, we’ve included below pricing information for the 10 cities with the largest backyards.
Self Storage Rates For the Top 10 Best Cities For Large Living
Ultimately, a big yard can be a rewarding investment, but it requires time and effort to keep it in good shape.
If the pros outweigh the cons and you are ready to upgrade your living situation, any of these 10 cities will provide you with some great outdoor space options.
Check out how all 50 cities rank in terms of lot sizes in the map below.
Matei Popescu contributed to this report.