If you want to go big, look to the South. That’s what the data says, according to StorageCafe.
Seven southern cities made the top 10 hotspots for spacious living, including Raleigh, NC, Atlanta, GA, and Charlotte, NC, which occupy the first three spots in the ranking. A couple of midsized Californian cities also make good relocation candidates for people hunting for space — Bakersfield and Fresno placed eighth and ninth, respectively. Tulsa, OK, rounded out the top 10.
Large homes with expansive yards will always hold caché and appeal, but something else drove the recent desire for additional space. As homeowners emerged from the pandemic, it became clear that many sought to use their homes for various uses. Buyers want a place where work, play, entertaining friends and family, and a sense of privacy (due to larger lots) can all be achieved.
Raleigh reigns supreme
North Carolina, along with Texas and Florida, is a top destination on many people’s migration radars. All of North Carolina’s major cities still have cheaper living costs than other urban centers. The state is maintaining a robust employment market and has many excellent schools. Raleigh, in particular, provides ample opportunities for those looking for roomy housing.
The average single-family home in Raleigh is 1,947 square feet, while residential lots average about 10,500 square feet. To put things in context, that is roughly the equivalent of one-fifth of a football field. In Raleigh, homes typically occupy less than 18 percent of the lot, leaving residents with a sizable backyard where homeowners can invite over family, grow an ample garden, and play with their children.
The biggest homes
But let’s say a buyer is less concerned with outdoor space and simply wants a large home. The Midwest is the answer. Milwaukee, WI, led the charge, with homes averaging 2,450 square feet. These Wisconsin homes sit on much smaller lots when compared with Raleigh’s, at around 5,840 square feet.
For the best of both worlds — a large lot with a spacious home — check out Omaha, NE. The city ranked fourth on StorageCafe’s list. Many Omaha homes provide access to plenty of indoor and outdoor space.
The median home size in Omaha is 2,432 square feet, the second largest among the country’s 50 largest cities. Median lot sizes in Omaha range around a little under 8,500 square feet. Although Omaha’s 29 percent lot occupancy is greater than the other top 10 cities, there is still enough backyard space for residents to use.
Avoid Philly and Chicago if space is your priority
Regarding home and backyard square footage, Philadelphia is last among the 50 major cities nationwide. Residents end up with typical lot sizes of roughly 1,420 square feet due to the nature of the housing inventory, where multi-level townhouses are standard. The usual residence is 1,280 square feet in size.
In Philadelphia, lot sizes shrank 35 percent between 2013 and 2022 compared to the overall inventory. A median lot size of 1,420 square feet dwindled to barely 915 square feet. Due to the substantial increase in townhouse construction compared to detached single-family home construction, there has been a dramatic decrease in lot sizes during the previous ten years.
Another metropolitan hotspot where maintaining your backyard won’t take too much time is Chicago. The median lot size is approximately 1,700 square feet, but most of that space is occupied by the house.