What’s going on with your neighbor’s front yard?

I came across an interesting front yard recently while snapping comp photos during an appraisal inspection in West Sacramento. None of the eclectic lawn decor is actually fixed to the ground, so it’s considered personal property and could easily be removed. But situations like this bring up the principle of conformity in real estate, and cause us to ask questions. Could it impact market value when the front yard presentation doesn’t fit with the look of the rest of the neighborhood? Would an atypical lawn potentially dissuade you from purchasing the house next door? What might decorations like this do for relationships with neighbors – both good and bad?

Comments are welcome below. I’d especially like to hear from home owners as well as real estate agents. Share your story.

If you have any real estate appraisal, consulting, or property tax appeal needs in the Greater Sacramento Region, contact me at 916.595.3735, by email, on our appraiser website or via Facebook.


  1. Heidi says

    I find it interesting that the house and surrounding landscaping look so well-kept. Usually when I see these types of yards, the rest of the house and yard look like they’ve been neglected.

    For me as a buyer, it would depend on the degree of the lawn art. We moved in to our house with a next door neighbor that has quite a few little decorations, but not like that – more along the lines of wind chimes and little gnome-type stuff. It doesn’t take over the yard or make it stand out really, it’s just not my taste. So that didn’t dissuade me.

    I might be dissuaded by the one above though, mostly because I think it says a lot about how they care about their relationship with their neighbors. I’m all for “your property, do what you want with it,” but there is a level of respect you show your neighbors when you mow your lawn and make sure your place looks semi-decent, you know?

    • says

      Thanks for the thoughts, Heidi. This subdivision was built between 8-10 years ago, so it is very new. You’re right about the house looking great. I think you hit the nail on the head about balancing personal style with a responsibility to the community and neighborliness. Very well stated. Living in a home is not just about what goes on within our parcel lines, but also about how our actions impact others too.

    • says

      Thanks Rachael. I feel similar to you. I appraised a house in Sacramento once that had the entire front yard taken up with garden gnomes and other little statues. The rest of the house was also a mess. Sometimes the way a front yard looks is indicative of the interior too (not always though).

  2. says

    Well, one thing that pops out at me is the orderliness of it all – the barricade made of the concrete blocks, yet they are spaced and stacked so uniformly. Makes you wonder . . .

  3. Kristi Gilleland says

    I think it would be cool to have neighbors like that. They would probably be interesting people. That took time and effort, and, while it isn’t my taste, it shows that they have an artistic rather free spirit, and I like that.

    • says

      That’s a great attitude, Kristi. You’re right they might score points in the interesting department. I would love to know them. For me, I think I’d rather my neighbors not have elaborate themes in their neighborhoods. It is definitely interesting though. That’s for sure.

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