I was shocked when I first came to Florida looking for a home. The yards were tiny compared to the acres (s) we were used to in New England. After seeing 17 homes in two days (I don’t recommend it unless you’re a quick decision maker) we ended up buying in a gated community with a guard on a double cul de sac street with ½ acre!! We loved it for about 10 years, then the kids were grown, activities faded, and we were bored in the country with our big lot, big house and big pool.
We gravitated to the gorgeous Gulf beaches and boater’s lifestyle so it made sense to relocate to the Bradenton Sarasota area. We live here full time, work, kids go to college and work so we needed access to everything including major roadways, shopping, schools etc. We ended up with a smaller home, smaller driveway & garage, no pool and tiny yard (1/8 acre) that is shockingly close to our neighbors on either side. However, we are super central to everything and this makes a great tradeoff. First of all, yards grow year round here so either you’re paying for it or spending a good amount of time doing the upkeep. Pesticides, fertilizers and water to have grass are essential. Round up, not my favorite but used regularly here. So what’s the solution? Privacy landscaping!! You can’t imagine the year round color and delightful smells that you can surround yourself with in your cozy yard. Hedges fill in before you know it and you find yourself at the local nursery discovering different types of palms, citrus, flowering trees and hedges and changing out perennials becomes a rewarding hobby as you see flowers take off and provide instant gratification.
So, once in a while you hear your neighbor splashing in their pool or smell their dinner cooking on the barbie, so what? Listening to a small child running around picking up Easter eggs is a precious sound. The alternative is to go live in the country, buy some acreage, listen to the Cicadas at night and wonder why you feel lonely.