When Vogue’s “73 Questions With Kylie Jenner” premiered on Sept. 23, the brief house tour didn’t disappoint, and, in fact, the layout is actually a bit boggling.
As Jenner answered questions like “What’s the craziest rumor you’ve heard about your family?” (“That we are all actually bald”), and “What you’re favorite red carpet look?” (her 2019 Met Gala outfit), she led Vogue through her sprawling abode and it was hard not to notice that her backyard is actually smack dab in the middle of her house.
During the interview, Jenner walked Vogue through two living rooms at the front of the house, both of which opened up to the center courtyard. Within that courtyard is a standard-sized swimming pool, several chaise lounges and side tables, a tennis court, daughter Stormy’s swingset, a full-size bar and dining table, projection screen, and an outdoor living room space with a firepit.
And each of the rooms that touch the courtyard — including Jenner’s kitchen, family room, and formal sitting room — are fully open to the outdoor space, giving “open concept” a whole new meaning. If you’re brain is buzzing… yeah. Same.
This home, mind you, is just one of several Jenner owns, and actually, it’s her most recent real estate purchase. She bought this Holmby Hills, LA mansion for a cool $36.5 million back in April 2020, according to Realtor.com. The courtyard is just one of many impressive features of the house, which also has a home theater, gym, and several apartments and guest houses with covered parking spaces for nine cars (with 20 additional parking spaces outside).
Why have a backyard when you could just have a massive center courtyard?
Nice-looking curb appeal is always a plus, but there are a few red flags homebuyers will want to take note of in a front yard. Here are five things real estate professionals across the country say to be on the lookout for.
Depending on the state you live in, rain gutters may not be a requirement for your home. In states like South Carolina, gutters are not mandated by building codes, according to Irina Bordyn, a real estate agent for Healthy Realty in Charleston. “We very often get gushing rain falls, so if homes have no gutters, that can cause issues by the foundation,” she says.
A home without gutters is cause for concern. And if a house does have gutters, it’s important to watch where the water drains off to. “A lot of times they’ll drop at the sidewalk, which will cause the underneath of the sidewalk to wash out, so you’ll see cracks in the sidewalk,” says Dawn Griffin with the Dawn Griffin Group in St. Louis, Missouri. The biggest red flag of all? Water rushing back toward the house.
Although sewer lines are underground, when there are issues with them, they can be seen in the front yard. Sewer laterals leading from your home to the city’s main sewer line often run through the front yard, according to Griffin. She warns that when there is a break in the line, wastewater may not make it to the main lateral, but instead pool below the grass.
“As it pools 10 feet below, the top of the ground softens, and in the ground you’ll see a divot, almost like a little ditch,” she says. “You’ll see the ground itself isn’t flat anymore.”
In addition to changing the grade of your yard, pooled waste water can shift or soften concrete surfaces, such as sidewalks and steps.
While trees are the highlight of most outdoor spaces, in some instances, they may be more maintenance than they’re worth. Debris from particularly tall trees can end up on your roof. Soggy foliage can then damage roofs made with materials such as asphalt. “It gets soggy as well, then moisture enters the house,” Bordyn says.
The Charleston real estate agent also advises against trees that lean too close towards the house. “When you have a storm and a fat heavy branch lands on the roof, that can cause damage,” she says.
When inspecting a yard, don’t forget to peek at the corners of the house. Water can collect near the corners of a home, according to Moises Worthalter, a broker for Worth Real Estate Consultants Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “That’s usually where termites come from,” he says. “Termites seek water and the water creates crevices for them to come through.”
He also advises to look for signs that a home’s owners have been dealing with a pest problem, such as remnants of termite spikes, which are inserted into the ground to detect and prevent termite activity. In short, keep an eye out for “anything that will give you insight of something that may be happening on the property,” Worthalter says.