Section Space vs House Space

Brent Palmer
Published on March 13, 2017

Section Space vs House Space

The ¼ acre (or 1012m2) kiwi dream is getting rarer and rarer in New Zealand. Most new developments are built on sections less than 600m2, to increase margins and reduce the environmental impact. The supply of homes on larger sections are less likely to meet demand. This is because the value of homes close to a town puts the price out of reach for many home buyers. However if one wants this dream, then most would have to sacrifice the size of the home. Here are some positives and negatives for both situations.

A Big House with a Smaller Section



If you love to entertain, whether it be kids parties, dinner parties or family gatherings, it’s so much easier in a larger home. This is why modern homes generally have large open living spaces. There seems to also be a trend toward larger decking and covered outdoor areas.

Storage space:

If you have, or are planning on having children, storage will be a big factor. As time goes by you end up saving things for the next child and by the time that phase is over, you end up with multiple versions of everything for each different child.

Hobby space:

If you’ve got a passion for cars, crafts, or music, for example, these all take up space. You’re a lot more likely to enjoy that hobby if you’ve got the space to do so.


Large power bills:

Generally the bigger the house the bigger the bill. You have more air to keep up (or down) to temperature, more lights to brighten, bigger hot water cylinders and more bathrooms.

More to clean:

It may seem idyllic to have a big home, but the reality can be different. If you’ve got a cleaner it’s not so much of a problem, but it can be a full-time job if you’re planning on doing it yourself with a family. I’ve heard many comments from clients over the years saying they want to downsize to something more manageable as it’s too time-consuming to clean.

alfresco out door living

Less space outside:

For many kiwi families with kids or pets, a large yard is a must. Having somewhere private where you can enjoy our beautiful climate, entertain or play is very valuable. If you put your money into the square meterage of the home, chances are the section will be small. But hey, some people do prefer a small low maintenance section.

A Small House with Bigger Section


Room for the Kids/Pets:

If you’ve got kids or pets nothing takes the stress away more than being able to put them outside. Knowing you don’t have to worry about a pet inside the house while you’re at work, or seeing your kids playing in your own backyard, without having to walk them down to the local park, takes some of the pressure out of one’s day to day routine.

dog on big section


A large section usually comes with privacy from the neighbours. This is something that really appeals to potential buyers, and can completely change your living experience. Not hearing your neighbours or not having to close your curtains all the time gives that feeling of your own space which can be invaluable.

Room for the extras:

Whether it be a pool, deck, orchard or workshop, you’ll need extra space to accommodate these plans. There is no point putting in a pool or a deck if there is no room left for grass. So, a larger section enables you to carry out these big plans, adding value to your property in a way that you can often do yourself.


Bigger commute:

More often than not, a larger section comes with a larger drive to work, shopping, and extracurricular activities. This means more time lost shuttling about or waiting in town between events. It also means more fuel expense and wear on your vehicle. It may also come with a move away from your known neighbourhood, friends and/or support network.

An older home:

To be able to afford a bigger section within your price range, one often has to settle for an older home. Many homes developed years ago before section sizes began to decline still have decent sections – if they haven’t been subdivided yet. This usually means more maintenance, no double glazing, older appliances and out of date layouts to name a few downsides. However, they can also have great home improvement potential.

The cost of landscaping:

It can seem like such a simple thing, planting a few plants, building a fence, freshening up the bark, doing some vege boxes etc – but boy it can add up. When you increase the volume to a large section, you can end up having so much space that you want to do some sort of feature or something extra with it. Naturally, this has the potential to get out of hand!

landscaped section

To get through this process, have a good hard think and decide what your priorities are – then stick to them. Don’t only consider the short-term, but the long-term too if you’re planning on staying for a while. Also don’t get distracted by properties outside this decision once you start to look, as you just can’t compare them.

About the Author: The above article on Section Space vs House Space was written and provided by Brent Palmer, a local leader in the field of Richmond and Nelson Real Estate sales, marketing, advanced technology for home selling, and social media.

You can contact Brent Palmer here, or at 027 544 9921. He has helped many people buy and sell homes in the Nelson, Stoke and Richmond areas for years, and would love the opportunity to help you as well.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a real passion for helping people sell their homes in our Nelson and Tasman Region, as well as the marketing, social media & advanced technology for home selling that goes along with it. I’d love to have the opportunity to sit down with you discuss how we can work together to get you the best price.

I help people buy and sell real estate in the following Nelson and Tasman  towns  & neighbourhoods: Wakefield, Brightwater, Hope, Appleby, Redwood Valley, Mapua, Stoke, Tahunanui, Atawhai and of course, Richmond and Nelson City.

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