Play ground replacing 64 acres of wood in the backyard--Impact

jjaykkay(5)November 7, 2005



Being a neophyte to this forum and a new home owner (bought my first house 1 year back), I am really gratified to see this forum which actually is quite welcoming.

Here is a question which is nagging our household for the past couple of days:

Will a school + baseball/football ground replacing a quiet,serene swathe of woods in your backyard increase or decrease your home value.

Our Backyard:

Here are some facts:

My neighborhood is a block (nearly a cul-de-sac) located on a country road in the suburbs of Boston. Here are some vital stats on Our town, Stow,MA 01775

-30 miles western suburbs of Boston

-Top 10% of mass in terms of school ranking

-Top 5% of mass towns in terms of per capita income

-Total population 5000 (~2000 families)


Our house located on a acre lot in a quiet block has its backyard overlooking a privately owned 64 acres of woods recently acquired by the town for the purpose of building school and play ground.Previously the land was eyed by private developers who periodically tried to see if the land would 'perk' to develop into housing neighborhood.But the town reserved the right to buy and finally bought. Though we are relieved that the 64 acres are not to be converted into thickly settled neighborhood, we are really sad that the town plans to cut all or most of the trees to create play grounds. The town is planning to give just 20 feet buffer zone between the abetting houses and the planned play grounds.Being Naturalists/Tree-huggers we are (me and my wife) particularly saddened that the swathe of trees are going to be cut down. Imagine,I had a lump in my throat when a couple of trees in my thickly wooded lot fell down in the recent storm!We particularly fell in love with the house for the serene thickly wooded backyard.Though it was not a conservation land we were hoping that the trees/view would stay with us for some time (kiddish!).SIGH.

Alright.I guess we will have to deal with the emotional impact.Now I have look into the economic impact.Here we are .Stuck with a question. What will happen to my property value (apart from us losing all those beloved trees). With my prime mover in my buying decision (paid a premium for the view ..paid 15K extra after CMA over comparable houses in the neighborhood) vanishing, what should i do?

Option1: Bail out- Look out for another house with a view? (We were planning to upgrade to a near by town after 10 years after saving some money .Should I advance that move by 9 years ;-)Apart from that we faced ZERO buyer's remorse or post purchase dissonance after buying this house. The house has been and IS AWESOME..

Option2 :Stay put and see what really is going to materialize in the next couple of years in our backyard?

Your esteemed/experienced views are welcome please!



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Count yourself lucky they are leaving a buffer.
Something you may want to seriously consider is making sure that they don't have field lights. They put lights on a field near where I grew up, now the neighbours have a white glow in the backyard. No more stars. I wouldn't be able to live there, that's pollution. I step out my door at night and the only light is the stars/moon and that's plenty.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 2:41AM
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The only reason to make a rush to sell is if you think you might sucker a buyer into falling in love with the view as you did. (No, I really don't think you are that dishonest.)

Perhaps give it a year or so after the destruction to make up your mind. Unless the real estate market gets real weird real quick, the longer you stay, the more you will realize from your investment in your house.

You might also try to augment the buffer with a dense planting of evergreen trees to help shield you from the clearcutting, should it occur.

By the way, has there been a bond issue or anything to fund construction of the new school? If not, clearing of the trees could be years and years away. Your original timetable could still be a viable option.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 10:52PM
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