The Pros and Cons of Corner Properties

In the many years I have been working with buyers, I have only run into a few who would not consider buying a house on a corner lot. So this is not a heated controversery. It is, however, something to think about in your home search. Here is simple a comparison of the pros and the cons of buying a home on a corner lot:

The Pros
* Corner lots are often bigger because they not only include a yard, but the large side yard of the adjacent street.

* Corner lots are more private because they have one less neighbor immediately next door.

* Corner lots can allow unusual landscaping such as installing a circular driveway.

* Corner lots can allow easier access to the back yard for storing a RV or a trailer behind a fence.

* Corner lots can allow more sunshine into the house itself because there are fewer homes closeby that potentially can cast shadows.

* Corner lots allow you to have more on-street parking adjacent to your home.

Here are the Cons

* Corner lots mean more landscape maintenance that is visable from the street.

* Corner lots are potentially create a smaller back yard if the lot is mostly outfront and to the side of the house.

* Corner lots can deminish your privacy in your back yard if there is visability from the adjacent street or if the lot is small enough that people out on the sidewalk can hear you in your back yard.

* In the case of sewer improvements or sidewalk maintenance where local authorities assess repairs based upon the per foot of street frontage, corner lots can be more expensive to own.

* Corner lots can potential have move light exposure at night from street lights or head lights.

I think that for every buyer who dislikes a corner lot there is a buyer who prefers one. So don’t let the corner lot issue be your primary criteria when buying a home, unless you have exceptionally strong opions about the pros and cons above. I personally live on a corner lot and I LOVE it. My lot has large hedges on the two sides with a circular drive between the two streets. I pull into my driveway and I feel like I’ve come home to my own private park. Ray Hartshome, a partner with Chicago’s Hartshome Plunkard Architecture, calls a corner home “a rare home”. He says that a corner home is “a rare home that’s distinctive in a world that makes distinctive homes more valuable”. Perhaps that statement goes a bit overboard, but I do like the sentiment.