Debb Dodges Raindrops - Exploring Clark County Washington

Multi-Gen Housing - Going A-Lawn For The Ride

Equipment Costs Are Items to Consider in Multi-Gen Housing


Our multi-generational clients in Clark County often end up buying family estates with large lots or acreage. So we always encourage them to consider the expense of lawn and landscape maintenance in their budgets.  If you can afford a gardener - read no further - you’re set!  But if you’re like most households, lawn and landscape maintenance is a shared responsibility.  Even if you choose to have a reduced-grass yard, there is maintenance: watering, weeding, and seasonal cleanup. Although outdoor work is very rewarding and can be healthy, you will also need to take into consideration the physical abilities of all members of the household.


For this article, we’ll focus on keeping lawns mowed, since most households will have some grass. The type of mower you will need, of course, depends upon several factors: size of lawn, seasonal requirements, and abilities of household members. The average lot size is .2 acres or around 9,000 SqFt. For that size, a walk-behind mower will probably work, and there are several options: manual reel for small lawns, rotary electric (including cordless) for medium lawns, and rotary gas engine for the larger areas. Of course, there will be some overlap between  categories, but prices range from $100 to up to $400 for the self-propelled gas models.


Another Advantage of Multi-Gen Living: Taking Turns on The Riding Lawn Mower



The next category up is where the fun begins - riding lawnmowers. You may decide that, due to larger acreage, or the physical agility of household members, you will need a riding mower. This ubiquitous symbol of suburbia has evolved into more than comfort and convenience for the homeowner - some models are true workhorses for all types of landscape activities.  


Starting at the lower end, prices range from $600 to $900 for a classic riding mower with one purpose: cutting grass.  As you move up to heavier and more robust models, the prices range from $1,000 to $1,500 for a category known as lawn tractors. A sturdier and faster version of the riding mower, lawn tractors also offer a few accessories such as utility carts for hauling around supplies or tools.  



Many of our multi-gen clients in Clark County have purchased family estates with an acre or more.  Once you reach this size, you will need to consider the type known as a garden tractor. Ostensibly a powerful mowing machine, this category offers sturdier frames and engines for bigger jobs.  You can also find many accessories that turn it into a multi-purpose machine, including tillers, chippers, and even snow plows. These tractors can range in price from $2,000 to $7,000 and are often a miniature version of full-blown farm production tractors, but are well worth the  additional investment for their versatility.


Whatever your size yard, or physical needs of your household, be sure to include an evaluation of the size and category of equipment that will suit you best.For more insight into multi-generational living - call us at Harcourts The Carl Group - We’re Your Locals.  We understand this lifestyle - and live it too! 


( Written by Bernard F. Stea, JD, Managing Broker)  


ViewHomes™ grew out of our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. Starting together in an urban environment, over the years we've gravitated towards areas with smaller populations and less density. We now enjoy our lifestyle in a rural environment, but with close proximity to metropolitan areas where we appreciate all the amenities of fine restaurants, shopping, and an easy drive to an international airport.
Living in ViewHomes™ is like having “elbowroom for the soul”.






Hi Debb - Good overview. I love my riding lawn mower - it's totally changed my attitude about mowing. I have a cart and a plow attachment, but that's basically useless in more than 4" of snow. My best add-on is a bluetooth headphone for listening to tunes while I toodle around scaring the rabbits.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) almost 5 years ago

Debb - there are some nice toys there.  Another alternative is to have someone cut the lawn.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) almost 5 years ago

Debb this is a very smart post. Rarely do home buyers think about the 'real' upkeep a big yard will take along with the costs.   And I was thinking what guy wouldn't like those 'toys' that Grant Schneider  and Dick Greenberg love!  Rarely do we see those here in the Phoenix Metro area as we have mostly desert landscaping.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) almost 5 years ago

Dick Greenberg - my husband says a beer holder too. ;)

Hi Grant - yes, the ultimate solution. Ha.

Anna - that's right. Not much lawn to worry about in the desert. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) almost 5 years ago

Debb good post and Everly thought about the cost of equipment to keep three plus acres in shape 

Posted by Joe Jackson, Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty) almost 5 years ago

Nice rides, I agree I think a beer holder is a great addition.  Blue tooth, not sure you'd be able to hear anything, ...........I wonder, be cool if you could

Posted by David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor, Your local Expert (Keller Williams Realty Phoenix) almost 5 years ago

Debb and Bernie,

Good post and I like the types of mowers pictured and discusssion of price ranges.  However,

Come on, own up to it...This looks like so much fun to ride around to "mow" the lawn...a beer, tunes, etc...yah!  What is wrong with hiring a gardener. just sayin..:LOL.  A


Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) almost 5 years ago

You post definitely qualifies for multi-generational Debb. I just closed on a mortgage that was three generations buying a three family together, that was my picture as multi-generational.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) almost 5 years ago

Joe p There's much to consider when buying a family estate with acreage. :) Or even a home with a large yard. D 

Hi there David,  it might be okay not to hear too much.

I know, Alexandra, I know. Lol. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) almost 5 years ago

Joe Petrowsky We just bought a multi home estate that way. My sis and brother in law - my husband and me, and my parents. - in the country on an acre plus. And, the lawn tractor in the bottom photo, that's ours! I really do  live the lifestyle I sell. :)

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) almost 5 years ago

Good afternoon Debb, you are such an authority on multi generational homes and who would have thunk that you also know your lawnmowers??? I always had the kind you actually push but I know that my grandson Isaac loves riding around on his dad's lap when they choose to mow!

Posted by Joanna Cohlan, Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes (Fresh Eyes For Your Home) almost 5 years ago

Loved it when I had a riding lawn mower.  A great way to meditate.  Maybe kids in multi generational families pitch in to help, mine did not.

Posted by Chris and Dick Dovorany, Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty ( Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida) almost 5 years ago

Hi Debb Janes ,  We had a walk behind and then changed to a walk behind self prepelled and now as we are getting older,  I have a small rider and an electric start self prepelled walk behind.   No more yanking on cords!  Sometimes its not how big the yard is, it is our physical abilities that help us make some decisions.

Great blog Debb.

Posted by Larry Johnston, Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN (Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC) almost 5 years ago

Debb - an excellent for families to take a look at the needs and the capabilities of mult-gen families.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 5 years ago

Really fun post Debb. I have to admit that I have not cut a lawn in many years. I am so allergic and my excuse is that I am too busy.

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) almost 5 years ago

Nice overview of the various lawn mowing options. We have a push mower that works just fine at the moment, although for some reason our backyard grass refuses to grow (which makes mowing that area easier!).

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) almost 5 years ago

Our HOA cut the grass but hubby still has his mower to spread grass seed and haul. With a half acre there is always something to do in the yard.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) almost 5 years ago

I remember, and have used, the old PUSH type mower with the spinning blades. Now that was a work-out! Where are they today?

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 5 years ago

Debb, the first thing I ever drove was a riding lawn mower and a tractor. This is definitely something to consider when purchasing acreage. Great job pointing out what's needed to take care of a multi-gen home.

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty) almost 5 years ago

Hey all, I actually am one of the weirdos who likes to mow lawns. I prefer to the push mowers for small parcels, but can't wait to ride on our lawn tractor. I used to drive our tractor all over the 9 acres we had as a raspberry farm, it was a brief durration in between our Alaska years. At any rate, I was about 9 or so and my dad hid the tractor keys from me. Lol. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) almost 5 years ago

Hi Debb and Bernie -- a very well-written and comprehensive look at the reality of lawn maintenance.   I also remember mowing the lawn as a child --- my parents' yard is not that big so I was walking behind the mower never sitting on top of a machine.   I loved to make sure I was creating the perfect manicured look.   Of course, after I left home -- they hired a gardening service.    

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 almost 5 years ago

Oh and Richie Alan Naggar -- push mowers are still around, newly re-branded as a green alternative.   

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 almost 5 years ago

OH, geez, Debb, my hubby would be ALL OVER this post. He would start making those same sounds that Tim Allen did in Home Improvement. 

We have versions of this, some working some with blown tires! Sears is GREAT for supporting their warranties. Just an FYI. A potential $600 charge was FREE to Larry and he was the 2nd owner of the mower! 

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) almost 5 years ago

Multi-generation housing is getting pretty popular here in Boise, Idaho.  I have several builders that I work with that have some incredible designs and it is so much better (and cheaper) than having your loved ones warehoused somewhere for $3k - $5k a month.

Ironically, I need to write an addendum for one of my pending sales since the underwriter wants me to state the riding lawn mower has no value in the sale of the home (since it is personal property).

Posted by Jim Paulson, Owner,Broker (Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) almost 5 years ago

In our neighborhood, people buy golf carts, but clearly there is a need for a riding lawn mower on a larger property and taking turns with a multi-generational family can be like riding on the family golf cart in our neighborhood.

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) almost 5 years ago

Richie Naggar, the old timers still use that type of mower in our small city.  Most of our homes sit on 1/4  lots, more or less. 

Posted by Dan Derito (Success! Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

I'd love to have a homestead where I needed a riding mower. That would be the best. 

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) almost 5 years ago

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