21 Reasons Why Corner Lots Are For Suckers

For the six people left in America that are still looking to buy a home, I thought I’d pass on a little advice and save you a serious case of buyer’s remorse.

Don’t be fooled by real estate agents that try to tell you that a corner lot is highly desirable.   They’re not.

Oh sure, you’ve got a bigger lot and neighbors on only two sides, but as a former corner lot owner, trust me when I say the cons far outweigh the pros.

In fact, besides often being more expensive to buy, here are 21 additional reasons why corner lots just aren’t worth it:

1. Noise, noise, noise. Double street and sidewalk frontage means double the noise from pedestrian and car traffic.   Pull up a chair and crack open a cold one; I’m just gettin’ started.

2. Unconventional configurations. For example, the front yard of a home on a corner lot is usually bigger than the back, and the garage may be located around the corner.

3. Yard – lots of it. Larger lots mean more to mow.     It’s even worse when the lawn is big but not so large that it justifies buying a riding mower – which is usually the case.

4. Yard – lots of it (Part II). All things being equal, larger lawns have higher landscape costs.

5. More trash to pick up. Cars stopping at a stop sign are more likely to dump their trash on your big front yard.   You’re also liable to get more trash because…

6. Corners make great school bus stop locations. Hey, I have kids too.   I’m just sayin.’

7. Less privacy. Yes, you have one less neighbor, but in exchange for that you get foot traffic on two sides of the house instead of only one.   Trust me, if you’re worried about privacy you’d be better off with the extra neighbor.   Speaking of foot traffic…

8. Kids and other pedestrians like to use corner lawns as a shortcut. When given the choice, most people will save 16 seconds of their life by cutting across the front lawn of a corner home.   But before you get any bright ideas, just remember this…

9. Less privacy (Part II). Many jurisdictions severely restrict privacy fence heights or prohibit them all together for traffic safety.   Even if there are no privacy fence restrictions, corner lot owners have   to deal with…

10. Higher fence costs. Having one less neighbor to deal with is terrific!   Well, unless you need to borrow a cup of sugar.   Or you’re trying to get your neighbors to share the cost of a new fence.

11. Double tax assessments. Because corner lots border streets on two sides, you get hit for twice as many sidewalk and street assessments.

12. Double set-back requirements. Owners of corner lots may be subject to city or other jurisdictional easements or set-back requirements on two sides of their property, rather than just one.

13. More dog poo. Although I haven’t taken the time to do a definitive scientific study, I’m quite certain the probability of an off-leash neighborhood dog pooping on a corner-lot front lawn is 100 percent.   Prove me wrong.

14. Greater risk of a car crashing into your house. Okay, I admit it; the probability of this happening is about as likely as Christina Aguilera hiring Taylor Swift as a vocal coach, but it’s hard to argue that it ain’t true.

15. Bigger snow jobs. For those of you who live in colder climes, more sidewalk means more snow to shovel.

16. Less privacy (Part III). Corner lot backyards are exposed to the public.   That can be a nuisance if you’re trying to have a private family barbecue – or sunbathe in the nude.   (Not that I do that, but to each his own, right?)

17. More light pollution. Increased street lighting and headlights from cars turning corners can be a nuisance.

18. Yard – lots of it (Part III). Folks on corner lots have more leaves to rake – especially those who live downwind from adjacent parks.

19. More vulnerable to burglary. Because there are fewer neighbors surrounding the home and more escape routes – courtesy of streets on two sides – homes on corner lots are bigger burglary targets.

20. More pressure from neighbors and associations. Because corner homes are often considered gateways to streets or cul de sacs and neighborhoods, the appearance of these homes are often held to a higher standard by the community and neighborhood associations.

21. They are harder to sell. Most realtors will tell you that corner lots are tougher to sell.   Gee, I wonder why.



Comments

  1. 1

    Dr Dean says

    Len, I agree. I bought 3 lots in a subdivision and got the developer to move the road….

    Now I am “the cul-de-sac” Much more privacy. And I left my lot 80% wooded.

    Now guests love being in the “woods”, even though we are in the city limits.

    • 2

      Rick says

      I am like Dr Dean, Left the trees along the long side of the lots and also built a fence, on 3 sides. The fence works well with the trees to still the noise and the fence keeps the dogs out and mine in. As far as more lawn… Think deck. The more low level deck you have the less grass you have to cut. As for under the trees the grass does not grow well, so this is where we set up an out door fire pit and can use it even in the winters. Did’nt have to move the street. Sure would like to buy the neighbours house and tear it down and have more around deck.

  2. 3

    Sal says

    Owned a corner lot once. I was thankful when I finally sold it. I think the car traffic from the two streets bordering my home was probably the biggest annoyance. Not just engine noise, but big thumping bass from people with giant sound systems in their cars! It would shake my house when they stopped at the corner stop sign. I also winced every time I head somebody screech their tires at that stop sign. Never again.

  3. 4

    everyday tips says

    I have never wanted a corner house, you just seem so exposed. Plus, all that snow to shovel – blech. I really can’t think of any advantage to buying a corner house. I wonder if the price is lower?

    I live on a cul de sac like Dr. Dean, and I don’t know if I could go back to living on a regular street. People have to drive slow because of the turn around, and we barely get any traffic.

    Also, I am sure that realtors never tell prospective homeowners that corner houses are miserable to sell.

  4. 5

    Little House says

    I always thought corner lots were terrific, because of all the land! Well, now I know better. I didn’t know about the double tax assessment. Good thing to keep in mind in the future. :)

  5. 10

    Bret @ Hope to Prosper says

    Hey, you forgot the one positive, lot’s of parking. But then again, that just means twice as many neighbors will park their clunkers in front of your house.

    I live one house away from the corner and I’m thankful I don’t live next door. Both of my neighbors who live on the corners planted huge hedges around their houses for privacy and security. Luckily, we live downtown and don’t have any associations to deal with.

  6. 11

    Headless Mom says

    We actually love our corner lot. We live in a quiet neighborhood here in SoCal (yes, one of the few left,) and since we’re in a hilly location we’re the only flat lot around. The city no longer allows property owners to ‘flatten’ their lots, but you have to let the natural hillside stay a hillside, so we’re actually lucky to have it. The street next to us dead-ends into 2 small cul-de-sacs and we have a horse trail that runs behind our property. The only disturbing noise is when a neighbor has a loud party, and that can happen anywhere.

    That said, I see your point.

  7. 12

    Squirrelers says

    I bought a corner lot home before (don’t live there now), and liked how it was positioned on the street, with nice curb appeal.

    However, I soon discovered that it was not as convenient having a smaller backyard than front. More important, however, is the extra yard work and snow shoveling.

    Corner houses are just more work. Better to have a manageably-sized interior lot, at least in my view. But to each their own!

  8. 13

    BeantownB says

    What about corner lots where both streets are quiet? There’s one for sale in my area. The price is getting so low that it’s becoming attractive. Inside is pretty nice! Exterior is nice as well. Move in condition. It’s probably not selling because…well…besides being a corner lot, the pricing of all housing in my area is down and theres a ton of inventory on the market.

    However I agree about the bigger front yard than the back and I aslo do not care too much for it. However the back yard is decent. The back yard also has a deck, but I feel as though we are visible to all the surrounding neighbors (and they are visible to us). Still though, besides all that, I don’t think this particular corner lot is all that bad.

  9. 14

    Jennifer Barry says

    I spent most of my childhood in a house on a corner, and most of this list is totally accurate. We were out in the country so we didn’t have sidewalks or a lot of traffic, but we definitely had little privacy and a lot of useless land. It looked impressive having the house on top of the hill, but it was dangerous to mow or to walk down the front yard in the winter. Since the lot was undeveloped for a while (wonder why?) the dogs were all used to using the front lawn as a toilet too. We actually fired a realtor for repeatedly showing us corner lot houses when we specifically said not to.

  10. 15

    Len Penzo says

    @Dr. Dean: You got the developer to move the road!? Now that is some real pull!
    @Sal: I was stuck on a corner for seven long miserable years. I know what you’re talking about when you mention the cars with the throbbing woofers.
    @Everyday: I live safely inside a small quiet cul de sac now too. The only traffic comes from one of my eight neighbors. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. :-)
    @Little House: More land does not always equal better, IMO! (Although that is how my real estate agent sold it to me when I was younger a bit more naive.)
    @Bret: More parking is a double-edged sword. Like you said, you’re more likely to get clunkers or strange cars parked in front of your house at times.
    @Headless: If I didn’t know any better, it sounds like we could be neighbors!
    @Squirrelers: I’m with you. If I had to live in a corner house, I would insist that it be a home that was set on an angle, with the front door pointed directly at the corner. I think that would give me maximum privacy.
    @Beantown: My mother-in-law lives on a corner lot bordering two quiet streets. That negates 90% of the noise problem (she still gets the cars with the booming bass boxes). But all the other problems are still there. Her house was even hit by a burglar who stole quite a bit of valuable stuff that was never recovered.
    @Jennifer: I wish I had fired my realtor before he sold me my first home on a corner lot. :-(

    • 16

      Dr Dean says

      YO, Buying three lots made it worth their while. :) This was way before the housing boom.

      I suspect that will be the case again over the next few years.

  11. 21

    Jenna says

    As one of those six Americans looking to buy a home, I couldn’t agree with you more. The noise is enough to make one run away. Thanks for all the other things to consider!

  12. 22

    Naomi says

    Funny…I currently own a house on a corner lot, purely by accident. I had no opinion of corner lots before I bought this house. After living here for several years, I have decided that I will only buy another house if it is a corner lot! I absolutely love it. The biggest reason – light. I get incredible natural light inside my house. I go to my friends houses, and it doesn’t matter if it the house faces north, south, east, or west…it is always dark and dreary compared with mine. In the Pacific Northwest, it makes a HUGE difference.

  13. 23

    sewingirl says

    My SIL bought two lots, the corner one, and the one next to it. She built on the next lot, and left the corner lot empty. That worked out great. Its like a buffer to all of the noise and traffic. Yup, she has to mow it, and hires the local kid to run a snowblower down the sidewalks when necessary, but its like having a park right next door. And if it ever gets too annoying, she can just sell the lot!

  14. 24

    Kim at MMI says

    As a corner-lot house owner, I totally agree about the snow shoveling! We have more than twice as much sidewalk to shovel than our neighbors (which I remind him of often and sometimes, out of sympathy, he will use his snowblower to help dig us out!).

    That being said, I agree with Naomi’s point about the light– I am solar powered!

  15. 25

    Len Penzo says

    @Joe: I’m happy I could save you a lot of heartache!
    @Jenna: If you give me 30 minutes I bet I could come up with a few more. :-)
    @Naomi: Where were you when I was trying to sell my house 14 years ago? ;-)
    @sewingirl: If you’re going to buy a corner lot, I guess that’s the way to do it. (You and Dr. Dean haven’t been trading notes, have you?)
    @Kim: Don’t leave me hangin’! So what is your verdict? If you had to choose, pro or con? :-)

  16. 26

    Nicole says

    Our house is on the corner of not two, but THREE streets. There’s only sidewalk on one side though. Two if you count the side the HOA takes care of.

    #20 has been one of the biggest sources of stress for us. So many certified letters from the HOA about our lawn. UGH.

    And yes, we get more dog poo. Dang dog owners.

    • 27

      Debbie says

      We had our pick of lots in NC and we CHOSE the corner lot for many reasons. We have a decent size back and front yard, and it’s on a graduated hill so a car won’t be driving into our house. We have green space/park across the street and neighbor on one side set back so we have a lot of privacy. We also put in leland bushes along the side of our street-facing yard and that gives us complete privacy. We actually have one of the prime lots in the neighborhood and love it! Would not have built our house on any other lot in this subdivision. I do agree with the noise factor though as far as the bedroom is concerned. Kids on the street side facing the side of our house play basketball all day long and I’m ready to strangle the monsters! But at least they don’t start until after we’re up for the day and it doesn’t interfere with anything else since the rest of our living space is on the other side of the house. There are pros and cons to a corner lot (not extra tax assessment here), but we’re happy with the pros.

  17. 28

    Craig says

    Our house is a corner lot. A lot of what you say is true but it also depends on the neighborhood as well. Our block is small, with only a handful of houses on it. We don’t really have issues with traffic or dogs really.

    And yes, there is more lawn but for us that means we get a nice little place for the kids to run around on which we wouldn’t have had if we weren’t on a corner.

    I’m not looking forward to snow though, I will say that.

    I think for us, coming from NYC, having a little extra space from the corner is well worth the extra work.

  18. 29

    Lora says

    We lived on a corner lot for 2 years and it was horrible! Teenagers constantly cut through our yard to get to their friends house across the street faster. Little kids used it as their personal park (not sure where the parents were)

    All the foot traffic on it, as well as dogs destroying it, kept the grass from growing very much at all. It turned into a dull brown dust bowl by August. Not pretty.

    However, I would own a corner lot again- if I owned an additional 10 acres next to it, out in the country. I crave privacy, and that’s probably the only way to get it :)

  19. 30

    Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer says

    I can’t believe I disagree with you on such a benign topic! Our last home was on the corner and we loved it! It was worth the extra exposure not to have a neighbor on that side.

    Being in Southern California, no one walks so no extra foot traffic (haha!). Our lot really wasn’t that much bigger than the rest so not too much extra yard work.

  20. 31

    Money Reasons says

    I’ve never liked corner lots! For most of the reasons you identified above and some that I didn’t consider like “dog poo”, I’ll never have have one!!

    The parents of my best friend growing up had a corner lot with lots of yard (5 acres). At night when other teens would be out drinking, sometimes they would cut the corner to sharply on my friends corner and turf the yard. My friend has a ditch in his yard, and once in winter teen even got their cars stuck in it.

    No corner lots for me, thank you very much!

  21. 32

    Len Penzo says

    @Nicole: You poor thing. You sound like you need a hug.
    @Craig: Give it time, my man! Give it time. Your thinking will come around eventually. ;-)
    @Lora: I will admit, as population density decreasses, many of the more annoying issues I list also disappear.
    @Kay Lynn: No doubt, there is a group of folks who really do appreciate corner lots. I know the real estate agent that sold me my corner lot house was, apparently, a HUGE fan of them. Dang real estate agents.
    @MoneyReasons: Amen, brotha! Readers: you can’t say you haven’t been warned! :-)

  22. 33

    Deedee says

    After living for fifteen years in the country, over a mile away from any neighbors, we were really excited to move “to town”. We absolutely adore our home on a corner lot. The only item I agree with you on (for OUR situation) is #15 – extra snow shoveling. We live in a very quiet area up in the hills, and our lot actually is lower than street level (a bridge from the sidewalk to the front door) so nobody cuts through our lot. Except the deer. Yeah, we get a bit of deer poop in the yard. but no more than anyone else in the neighborhood. Our backyard is WAY bigger than the front yard. We have a lot of privacy from tons and tons of pine trees surrounding our home. As well as fencing. And it is a very quiet neighborhood (did I already say that?) with very little traffic. And the one drawback – snow shoveling – can you believe that many times some of our neighbors come and help us with the side while we are doing the front. So, in many situations perhaps corner homes can be less than ideal, but no problems here with ours. I think people should consider corner lots on a case-by-case basis and not generalize. I am more than a little bit offended that you are calling me a sucker. I am living in my dream house. And I would one hundred times rather live on my corner lot than in some suburban cookie cutter neighborhood in the middle of the block.

  23. 35

    ctreit says

    I have never been tempted into buying a corner lot. While you can list 21 reasons why corner lots are for suckers, I could not think of one single reason why I would want to buy one.

  24. 37

    Invest It Wisely says

    My grandmother used to own a small corner lot home. It was quite charming, located on two quiet streets, and these were narrow roads without sidewalks but with ditches on the side. Set about 12 feet in from the road were the privacy hedges. So, there wasn’t much of a problem with a lack of privacy or with people cutting across…

  25. 38

    Tim says

    A lot of what you say may be true of big city corner lots, but we have one within walking distance to stores yet 2 blocks down from a forever wild woods, big trees so no cars can hit our house, no big front yard (26′ from road) but huge back and side PRIVATE yards. Very little traffic of any kind, maybe 8 cars go by a day mostly people who live around here. A few people walk by, not many. Small/medium city, huge benefits of location. House on one side 50′ from our attached garage and back neighbor about 40′ behind the trees. QUIET, peaceful, plenty of room for pond, living/party spaces, pets, no sidewalks at all. Nothing is better than having as large a piece of earth as possible, you can add on house or just live with breathing room. Snow isn’t any more work (driveway and front sidewalk to mailbox) than anyone else and riding mower OR regular one is quick and easy. Space is a necessity, we would never buy a house squeezed into a slot between 2 others – even if we HAD traffic noise it would be massively preferable to hearing neighbors music/kids, having people be able to peer into our windows.

  26. 39

    Tim says

    PS -Our house cost so little, being a bank owned property, it is worth almost 5x the price we paid for it 10 yeard ago. Suckers? We have a house we can pay off with one check any time we want, tons of equity, a house that lives like country in a city for convenience. Is sucker is spelled “Heaven” then call us suckers. The suckers are ANYONE who pays more for a property than its worth, not ones who are lucky enough to find corner lots affordable and perfectly located.

  27. 41

    Jay says

    Grew up on a corner lot in Florida and now live on a mock corner lot in the Northeast(house in the corner of the development and the road curves a full 90) so I can see where the “disadvantages come into play, but if you happen to be lucky enough to find a corner lot that:
    A – (past) is in Florida, then snow isnt a factor on the sidewalks
    B – (past) has a driveway in the back yard with a 6 foot privacy wall, then sound and privacy are not really issues.
    C – (past)Happen to be on the corner lot of a shorter dead end street then traffic is not really an issue since the only people driving in front of your house are your neighbors. (I will say that is was entertaining to see the annual idiot go flying down the road right off into the retention pond at the end thinking that the road went through)
    D – (current) is on the inside of the corner/curve then the whole light thing is awesome. (excellent natural lighting, and no headlights in my house)
    E – (current)has an “L” shaped lay out that dampens the noise from the corner and offers tons of privacy.
    then it aint a bad thing at all, in fact, it’s pretty nice.

    Based on the other comments here, I’d say that it all depends on the neighborhood, location, and layout that really determines weather it’s a “suckers” deal or a nice way to live.

  28. 42

    JayJay says

    What REALLY matters is LOCATION, LOCATION,LOCATION! We bought a very nice home in a great neighborhood, in a great town! Our corner lot has room for the kids to play, separate lawn areas (Do you want sun? Or Shade?) where you can find solice, shade or the current games that the boys are playing! And the view – FROM NEARLY ANY window!
    I like having a big yard (to go with the big house)! Our dogs and cats enjoy having the extra space too!
    We had 50 people over for a Christmas party and parking was EASY! And it is kind of nice to decorate for the holidays, knowing that whoever goes by will get to enjoy it!!!

  29. 43

    Len Penzo says

    @Jay and @JayJay: You guys aren’t related, are you? Seriously, though, in the end it does all depend on location. However, I think the vast majority of corner lots, especially those in typical suburban settings, are really terrible for the reasons I’ve given.

  30. 44

    jr says

    not me folks, corner lot on a culdesac henderson,NV. GREAT! neighbor has a 2 story looking down on his bizness, mine clear view to skies. good points 2 consider though. some lame like more snow 2 shovel. typical out of shape american huffing and puffing wimp all over that reason not 2 buy. kids cutting across the grass shortcut…. yea 1 time.

  31. 45

    Cemlyn Jones says

    HI Len. You are talking about the outside corner plot. ie the corner at the entrance to a street, road or cul-de-sac. We had a corner plot at the bottom of a cul-de-sac. It was wedge shaped. Small entrance to the drive (but plenty big enough for a large car) but almost immediately it widened. Exact opposite. Small front garden, huge back garden. Back of the road was onto a forest. From our back garden and all the back windows of the house we could not see another house. Some traffic from people turning around but normally only from people visiting neighbours. No passing traffic at all. No traffic noise at all even though the road at the entrance of the cul-de-sac was very busy. There were 2 corner plots like mine and they were the higher priced lots on the street. When we sold the house it did not even get into the advertising. The realtor came around to value the house and called back that afternoon with a buyer. I agree with all the points you make about the corner at the entrance to the street but definitely not about a plot like ours.

    • 46

      Len Penzo says

      You’re absolutely correct, Cemlyn. I was referring to standard corner lots at the entrance to a street — which naturally most corner lots are. Your old house sounds like a bit of heaven.

  32. 47

    geo says

    Being a car guy, the corner lot allow a side gate,
    being able to get a trailer or car, tractor into the back yard. Also, appreciate side parking that cul da sac don’t provide

  33. 49

    DRCULLEN says

    I live on corner lot and have lived here for 15 years. I have a 3′ rock wall all the way around to the back and then it is 8′ on the exposed side. No foot traffic, no dogs to clean up after and no snow since it is in south Texas. I would never own a home that is boxed in with neighbors, that is where the noise comes from and not the two streets. A little lawn work does the body good.

  34. 50

    financialwizardess says

    I live on a corner lot, and I love it, but I hate to admit you are right on many of your points. Dang it, I never thought of it that way. However, we do live in a community with very high block walls around each backyard, so we actually get quite a bit of privacy in our yard. And we are blessed to have a traffic circle near our house, so if anyone’s house is going to get hit by a car, it’s the one across from us. (Although the screeching of the speeding cars before they hit the traffic circle has made me map it out in my head to prove this to myself.)

    • 51

      Len Penzo says

      I hate traffic circles. They are a scourge and a hazard — although I realize traffic engineers will tell you otherwise.

  35. 54

    Rooster says

    I think this is more a case by case basis on town/location.

    My math says this:

    1) Would you rather have 100% noise, guaranteed from a noisy next door neighbor that is there 100% of the time (ie, a kid playing in their back yard

    2) A random possibility of someone walking by certain hours of the day making noise?

    I’d take #2 over 1 anyday in So Cal where backyards in the middle are wedged right up next to loud neighbors (more likely than not)

    Plus a west facing corner lot brings so much light.

  36. 56

    Seth says

    We just purchased a home this summer and it just so happens to be on a corner lot. I grew up on a corner 3 lot house with no neighbors and all the “elbow room” one could ask for, as my dad would put it (he was a country boy growing up). So I rather liked the idea of a corner lot. Looking at the market, I was more open to any house within our budget that we liked and every house we looked at was not a corner lot. The very last house we looked at (after almost putting in an offer on another house) became our actual purchase. It wasn’t even in the running, but we looked at it as a comparable and absolutely fell in love with it. It is in an older neighborhood (1920-40s homes) right next door to the #2 elementary school in the state. It sat on the market for 2 years and the price kept going down and down. We get a lot of foot traffic right before school start and right as school ends, otherwise no cars or people are seen in our section of the neighborhood and similarly all summer long there is not a soul to see. On our two streets, one side has restricted parking during a good chunk of the day for school and then at night it is free parking, but by then no one is in the neighborhood for any reason so no one parks there. The yard size is manageable and we live right next to a giant playground/park so we didn’t want a huge backyard anyway. It is also one of the few homes with a two car garage and a two lane parking slab/driveway. Most homes in our area do not even have a 1 car garage, let alone extra parking in front of their garage. The two sidewalks will be the biggest issue come winter time, but someone on our block has a snow blower and does the whole side of the street as our house is on. Overall, I would say it is one of the best purchases we’ve made. The location is key.

  37. 57

    Gordon says

    I disagree the author totally.

    In Toronto, many corner lots have 25% more land than your neighbor. It is given to you for free with all disadvantages taken into consideration by the law. More land you can share without more property tax. Setback taken into consideration for your privacy and noise issues. Why should we say no to a corner lot?

    Instead, I think at least in Toronto, Corner lots are for smart persons!

  38. 58

    Snow Blower and Snow Removing says

    The very last house we looked at (after almost putting in an offer on another house) became our actual purchase. It wasn’t even in the running, but we looked at it as a comparable and absolutely fell in love with it. It is in an older neighborhood (1920-40s homes) right next door to the #2 elementary school in the state. It sat on the market for 2 years and the price kept going down and down. We get a lot of foot traffic right before school start and right as school ends, otherwise no cars or people are seen in our section of the neighborhood and similarly all summer long there is not a soul to see.

  39. 59

    Floyd says

    You mention more fences. Hmmm, I count two fences, 90 degrees apart on a corner lot and two fences parallel on either side of your house if you are a non corner lot.

    • 60

      Len Penzo says

      Read it again; I didn’t say “more fences.” I said you have one less neighbor to share fence costs with. In most California suburbs, at least, the street side with no neighbors is fenced too.

  40. 61

    Kunte says

    We have lived on a corner lot since 1991. It is our first, and probably only, house. The lawn and snow maintainance hassles did not strike me until recently, but hey that’s what your kids are for. When the 16 year old boy moves out in two years I will need the excercise so will mow the lawn but will buy a snowblower (currently have 4 snow shovels which the wife gives me heck about). Add another negative there is a lot more lawn to water so the water bill is high. With a daughter in college the wife said I am going to have a brown lawn this summer. The two streets by our house are only used by the people in our sub so the traffic is not too bad. Our back yard is small but private in that most or it is blocked by the house on one side and our 2 1/2 car brick garage on the other. Planted arbs to block the house to the east and have liked both sets of neighbors to the south so the chain link fence is fine. Have a nice three season glass breeze way between the house and the garage which adds some living space. We live across the street from a park with two tennis courts, a basketball court, a play structure, a soccer field and a baseball field. In a suburb where the houses are 15 feet apart I like our corner lot. Weird thing is my brother has a corner lot is the south end of city, must be a genetic mutation or something. come to think of it, our last apartment before the house was a corner lot. I must be messed up bad.

  41. 62

    M.Amanda says

    Whoa, I never realized there were people who considered a corner lot a negative!

    Almost ten years ago while looking for our first home, I had no opinion. Now I really like our small town corner lot.

    The pluses: only two neighbors, one of which almost doesn’t count as their house is across an alley and almost completely blocked from view by our garage and back fence; bigger lot which means we are one of the few properties in the neighborhood with room for a playset for the kids, open grassy area for playing and picnicking, an oversized garage, and a good-size deck and above ground pool; parking!; we are nosy and enjoy sitting on the front porch watching people drive and walk by.

    The minuses: like you said, traffic (my kids play on the one side where our yard meets the neighbors’) and noise, though it’s more due to one street being one of only three leading into a subdivision, not having traffic on two sides; crap in our yard, both dog variety and fast food wrappers, surprisingly not as much at the front where there is a sidewalk as on the subdivision street side where a ditch separates our yard from the street; snooty subdivision people have complained that our yard does not look nice enough, even though we are not even in the subdivision or governed by a HOA (Seriously. What is that about?).

    (Reading that back, it seems my minuses are mostly about hating fancy subdivisions. I definitely did have an opinion on those ten years ago.)

  42. 63

    RHW says

    I USED TO LIVE ON A CORNER LOT, LOVED IT ! 120 ACRES WITH A ROAD AS ONE BOUNDARY AND A RIVER AS ANOTHER. THE HOUSE SAT 400 FEET BACK FROM THE ROAD, SO NO NOISE OR DUST, HOME OWNERS ASSOC. ?? HA ! TAXES ? $500 FOR EVERYTHING INCLUDING MY CARS ! FENCE ? WHY WOULD I NEED A FENCE ? IF PEOPE ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO SEE WHAT I’M DOING, THEY ARE TRESPASSING AND I CAN SHOOT THIER DUMB ASS !

  43. 64

    Valerie says

    We have a corner lot, live in the inland northwest, and we love it. We are on a very quiet street, so not a lot of traffic. We do have the big front yard, which my husband takes care of, so no complaint there. We built a small pergola in our front (side) yard and put a bench under it so that most of our neighbors that walk their animals don’t feel inclined to let them poo in the yard. So, no, I don’t feel I am a sucker.

  44. 65

    john says

    wow ok so your to lazy to cut grass a do some work on a corner house i have a corner house my garage is right next to my house and have a big back yard and front yard a little work will never hurt any one i never have any problems with noise and selling them people jump for corner lots trash wow wants evey couple months might have to pick up some trash never had problems with any one in the area about how my house looks just seems like u dont like corner house couse your a fraide to work and lights i have one street lite a little down the street so people if your ok with doinf little yard work thats fine yards are not that big.

    • 66

      Len Penzo says

      Now that’s ironic: You’re calling me lazy because I prefer not to spend five hours of every weekend busting my hump to keep a corner yard looking presentable, when you can’t even muster the energy to use a period, or start your sentences with a capital letter. Good one, John! (I mean, “john.”)

  45. 67

    Practical Parsimony says

    I live on a corner lot and have none of these problems. One side is a retaining wall, so there is no foot traffic since the drop is four feet to the road. That side only has a three foot setback. No utility poles can be put there. Light from cars is blocked by the wall. The wall keeps the road that Ts into my lot from causing danger. Sure, there is more trash, but it is a tradeoff I am glad to shouler. There is no sidewalk in front of my house. The wall blocks noise. This is an historic neighborhood, so all houses are old and presently there are no young children living anywhere within blocks. We have laws concerning loose dogs. My back and other side have fences, thanks to neighbors, so any illegal dogs do not come into my yard often. Landscaping? Who does that? LOL I have huge trees and azaleas, so there is little to do. Bulbs return every year. I spend my time growing vegetables. The grape arbor needs attention in the winter to prune. Annuals are never put into the yard. I buy one pot of wave petunias each year. It is in a hanging basket. I will pick up trash as a tradeoff for the privacy of all the bushes growing on the wall that form a thick sight barrier to my side yard where the swing and picnic table are located. All corner lots are not a problem.

  46. 68

    tiredofyourPAB says

    I own a corner, and nothing goes on my corner, including inconsiderate neighbors and/or visitor of inconsiderate neighbors that a XCM 40 cal springfield won’t handle, if my rotwiellier can’t handle. I got tired of these Punk A$$ Beaches parking their pos on my corner and throwing trash/cans and bottles for me to pick up. I’ve warned all my neighbors that if they don’t take responsibility for their “guest” then when my flool lights come on they have 15 minutes to clean up or get ride of their trash (takes me about that time to load up) or I’m asking questions later. Funny have had NO PROBLEMS since. Gotta break in the new in town ones. Well you handle it your way and “madddog” will handle it my way. NOOOOOO PROBLEM!!!!!

  47. 69

    Craigs says

    I’ve lived on my corner lot for 30 years and never thought there was much of a difference until a few years ago when my old next door neighbour ( you only have 1 on a corner lot) moved away and the neighbour from hell bought his house.

    I came homeearly one day and found this new guy actually ON my property cutting trees without my permission or knowledge, complaining about things, and they have noisy parties in their back yard until late.

    Now living a corner lot doesn’t help that situation, it just cuts the chances in half that you will have the same problem. That, plus some extra parking, is the only real advantage to a corner lot.

  48. 71

    Mike says

    Seems like all the people who are against corner lots don’t have enough sense to put a fence up to keep out unwanted visitors and to quit being lazy and take care of the property they bought. If you don’t want to mow you lawn or shovel snow, go live in an apartment.

  49. 72

    K says

    Ugh, I hate my corner lot house! I live in a small town so the traffic and foot traffic are not so horrible. However, kids do cut through our yard all the time and I am always picking up neighbors dog poo :/. So I am a witness to your findings! I actually have had an idiot driver end up in my side yard when they spun out at the stop sign and landed about 12 feet away from my daughters room. Which I actually have all our beds positioned as far away as possible from the walls exposed to the street side. This idiot then proceded to drive across my front yard to exit in his dash to leave the scene. Thank God I have banned my kids from playing in the front yard..they were actually in the back yard when this happened.

    I love the house for one reason..we are surrounded by vacant lots which we have purchased those said lots after the purchase of our home. I personally love not being so close to neighbors. I don’t even have neighbors across the street, just wide open lots that belong to us. This was the main reason we purchased this house. But our next house will be snuggled deep into the 80 acres we just purchased. I belong in the country where acres separate me from neighbors, their dogs and their kids.

  50. 73

    TorontoGal says

    Agree with previous poster who argued that corner lots in Toronto are great. Never seen anyone walk across my lawn. Have a great fence, extra light and huge backyard, small front yard. Double parking whereas neighbours have single parking due to lot configuration. No double assessment here, ever. City plows my sidewalks in winter, extra bonus!

  51. 74

    Lori says

    You are correct about many of the disadvantages of corner lots. We lived in a house on a corner for many years. There were several serious car accidents, with one car over-turning, one neighbor child being struck, and one car hitting our house. Kids cut across our lawn all the time. Our detached garage faced the side street, so when we fenced the yard, we had to fence the driveway–meaning we had to open and close a gate each time we used the driveway. The yard was not private, despite the fence. When you sat in the yard, neighbors walking by always called out, even when you had company for a barbecue.

    Dog walkers liked to walk their dog down to the corner–our house–and consequently, we were always cleaning up dog waste, not to mention having to watch the dogs do their business from our dining room and kitchen windows. We lived in the snow belt, so we had a LOT of sidewalk to shovel, and we had to pay the city an assessment when they installed new sidewalks–three times the length, and cost, of our neighbors in the middle of the block. And we had a constant stream of people parking their cars next to our house and backyard, including clunkers they were “storing.” A complaint to them, or the local police, meant an angry neighbor. Then there were the late night romance parkers, and their unsightly and unhealthy trash.

    People walking and driving by could look right in your windows, so you didn’t have much privacy unless you kept the blinds closed.

    I would not buy another corner house, ever.

    • 75

      Lori says

      One more thing: years ago, a neighbor of my parents had a corner lot. There was a gang of kids that liked to hang out outside his house, under the streetlight, every night. They made noise, smoked, fought, etc. He installed a sprinkler system which he set to spray the lawn and the boulevard grass strips every evening for several hours. That got rid of the troublemakers, and he never had to say a word.

  52. 76

    Joe says

    I live on a corner lot and feel like I have to represent for the neighborhood. I know there are some typical dads out there who love yard work and take great pride but I am a 26 year old living alone who works long 2nd shift hours. The pressure and time of keeping up the landscaping on a corner lot yard alone is enough to suck dry any free time I do get. I live in a neighborhood where I’m surrounded by seniors who all have landscapers or are retired and have time, and duplex apartments whose landlords do all the yard work for them. Plus I have a big dog who really has no place to go. I’ve been wanting to fence in the entire back corner but do not want it to be an eyesore to the block. The pressure and the exposure is not fun unless you have a complex where you need to be Mr. Jones and have all your neighbors keep up with you! Sheesh! I want to fence in my whole property like a fort just to keep from being exposed. Maybe ill move to the country.. The house is beautiful and I have many memories here its just a shame it’s on THE CORNER.

    • 77

      Len Penzo says

      Joe, let me tell you … if I didn’t know any better, I’d think it was me who wrote your comment. When I bought my corner lot I was 26. The home was in a neighborhood of very old homes that were occupied mostly by seniors. I feel your pain, brother. Good luck to you in the future.

  53. 78

    Duster says

    Your comments about corner lots may be reasonable if one lived in a corner lot where both streets are main streets, there is snow, high rates of crime, busy area, with old fashioned people who do not pick up after their dogs!

    Our house is on a corner lot with lane way behind. We have a big park almost next door, in a quiet suburb safe suburb,
    traffic is not an issue.
    Positives
    1. Privacy from street – high fence – no council restrictions on corner lots versus streets (6ft).
    2. Privacy from neighbor’s second story. House is designed so that neighbors cannot view our garden or living areas, bedroom windows etc.
    2. Lots of light
    3. Lovely neighbors on both streets, so we still have the community feeling
    4. Lots of options – in terms of how we are going to build on this site in a few years.
    4. Our main street is very quiet – and we have no setback on our side street.
    5. We don’t have snow, and have an eco lawn on one side that doesn’t need mowing or maintenance.
    6. No dog poo – council provides free dog bags at all the parks, and people use them.
    7. Huge yard is filled with big swimming pool.

  54. 79

    lvmyhome says

    We love our large corner lot house so much!

    1. Less neighbor, more privacy(no passengers really care what happen inside your house except your neighbors).
    2. Less noise for neighbor’s house! We can make big noise inside our house.
    3. Larger lot with tree fence can isolate all passengers.
    4. love, love just love!

    Yes, only “bad” thing is blow two side of sidewalk. (Is it “bad” in northern California?)
    We are so lucky to live in a good neighborhood, never found any dog poo-poo. Yes, we found few trash occasionally.

    We will not trade our house with another inside lot with same lot size (unless 1/3 larger–trade up one more neighbor).

  55. 80

    Dee says

    We have lived on a corner lot home for the past 13 years. I agree there is a lot of noise as there is a stop sign and a lot of noise and there is a school bus stop right out across from us. Very convenient for my daughter.
    And there were restrictions when putting up our privacy fence and we sucked it up and dealt with it.
    But the best part is that we are able to have four garages. We have a three car garage up front but we have a one car garage with a back driveway. Very awesome.
    And yes there is more parking space but the county put up no parking on the side of our house so the neighbors need to park on their side of the street.
    It has it’s downsides and upsides. We love the garage in the back with a huge privacy gate and fence. My husband can pull his car into the back driveway, shut the gate and work on his car without people watching.

  56. 81

    Mick says

    I think the pros can outweigh the cons. Yard work can be reduced by smart landscaping options – rocks, concrete, plant type, etc. And I’m not that lazy to do a little more yard work. But I understand some people can’t deal with moving their big butt from the couch. have any of those problems on my corner lot. I think that the cons of a NON-corner lot are: more barking dogs, more loud neighbors, more whiny/weird neighbors, more tree problems, less privacy (neighbors are butted up on all sides) and good luck in getting a neighbor to share any cost, arguing over fence replacement types – they don’t want to pay for THAT kind of fence! ETC ETC ETC! I love not having to deal with all that. One neighbor has enough trouble as it is. But to each his own. If you like more neighbor trouble then by a non-corner lot and you’ll be satisfied.

  57. 82

    Jackie says

    I definitely see your points as valid, but I am glad I bought my corner lot anyway, and it was a great price. I actually have more of a rectangular property so I don’t have that much wasted front yard, but the side yard is almost 20 feet from the curb. To make the most of my property space, I decided to continue my backyard wall to enclose the side yard completely, and then threw a pool in there. This worked out wonderfully as I have big beautiful mature trees in the back yard that would have had to come down if I had put the pool there. So now there is some noise reduction, and less poop and grass to water!

  58. 83

    Kenny E. Williams says

    Love this post, Len…I always felt the same way about the corner lot. With the two houses I have bought, both have had green belts behind them, which I enjoy immensely and for which I am so thankful and grateful. NO CORNER LOT FOR ME or ANYONE BEHIND ME!

  59. 84

    Big John says

    While I agree that corner lots are not for most people, for some of us they are ideal and highly fought over.

    1. Retirement communities: corner lots allow you to sit in your yard and talk to twice as many neighbors out walking as you normally would.

    2. Posting signage: running for HOA president? Put a huge sign in your yard advertising your campaign and it will be seen.

    3. RV/ boat parking: the corner lot allows you to put a circular driveway running through your back yard and out the side of your house so that you can just pull through with a trailer or park your RV in the privacy of your backyard. This reason alone makes corner lot houses in my community worth almost 1/4 more. Add even more if there is a carport in the backyard to park an RV on. This carport for just $20,000 in labor and materials could add $100,000+ to the value of the house.

    4. Swimming pools, noise, and guests: most HOA’s frown on guests in general. All HOAs frown on noise and whether it is the grandkids out screaming during a midnight swim or music being played at a late night garden party the corner house is ideal.

    If you have the circular drive above, you have the perfect lighted area for valet service for your parties so your late night guests do not go traipsing across your neighbors lawn in the dark.

    Pro Tip: concrete, brick, and rock are your noise reduction friends. build a water feature in an L shape between you and your two neighbors and make sure you have high flow that will drown out your activities with white noise. You will be glad you did.

    • 85

      Len Penzo says

      LOL! Well done, sir. In fact, you make some excellent points. I’m serious. :-)

      I mean, I’m sure most people aspire to become an HOA president but … it’s going to take a lot more than that to overcome all of the negatives a corner lot owner has to endure. After all, the dog poop alone cancels out the all the perks that come with being the neighborhood HOA dictator.

  60. 86

    Lenny Morowitz says

    I love corner lots! My friend was able to park his 50ft diesel-pusher on the extra space a corner lot provides.
    I have about 20% more land than my neighbors.
    No double tax assessment in my town and two of the three streets that border the lot are no parking zones.

  61. 87

    Yelena says

    I live on the corner lot. This is one of the best places in the city, quiet, green and clean. There is a small community, where people helping each other and watching for each other in good way. The traffic is only from people who live here. There is no noise, just birds’ singing and sometimes dogs barking, kind of country style living in big city. There is more risk for people who own house in T-shaped crossroad being across the stop sign for the car get into the house. I did not hear anything about double taxation that applies in CA. There is no cross walking people and no dogs that do their deals in the front yard, but dogs’ owners walking on the street. People are friendly and greet, salute each other even don’t know each other directly but know you live here. Understandable, that all I said is applied to my situation and possibly everything said before me is true in many cases. Anyway, thank you for the article. It is always good to know opinion of knowledgeable people.

  62. 89

    Rachael says

    I have had all these problems. hate my corner property. We even had the car crashing in through our expensive fencing at 3am with a bunch of drunk teens, the robbery, the dog poo, the fines for not getting snow removed on time as we both had flu, the lack of privacy, the schoool bus, the traffic, the useless yard space— NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!!

  63. 90

    Marie says

    My biggest pet peeve living on corners? VANDILISM! We were also broken in three times in 6 months. People literally pick up their dog Sh*t in bags and then drop the bags on my front lawn behind my hedge. I can NOT wait to get the hell out of this house!

  64. 91

    Frank Gillows says

    I bought a corner lot because it was simply beautiful. My lawn looks like a golf course and my neighborhood is like a park it is very quiet. My backyard is smaller then the others but it looks like an English garden complete with brick wall and lots of nice plantings, very private. Also, there are no sidewalks in my neighborhood so no snow to shovel. My little girl’s bus stop is indeed on our corner, but she simply walks out of the house on a cold day and is on the bus. Believe it or not the other kids respect our property and don’t tread on it. I find alot of advice on this site to be very useful but this one post is silly, people need to enjoy life also and appreciate things and enjoy the beauty in life. Just like money, you can’t take it with you!

  65. 92

    Eliza says

    My husband and I are definitely aforementioned suckers.

    We bought (and are currently stuck living in) our first house, and our POS of a realtor sold us on all the luxuries of a corner lot. Our “new” 1930s house has a million issues on its own that we are stuck paying for- new pipes, new electrical, new HVAC, foundation repair, mold abatement, lead abatement, asbestos abatement, cracked sewer pipes, etc…. but on top of that we now have the joys of a corner lot to deal with.

    Not only does our house fit the bill for all the issues you mentioned, but on top of that our house is the saddest excuse for a corner lot I have ever seen.

    We have:
    -An extremely narrow “corner lot” property with no side yard to speak of, (in fact we just found out our front yard pickett fence actually goes over the property line on the side 8 FEET so we are going to lose a ton of our front yard remedying this)
    - our house is set far back in the front yard so our backyard is smaller than every other house on both streets
    -there are two massive 80yr spruce trees in the front yard with super sharp needles that make the front yard unusable for anything other than flowers
    -Everyone speeds WAY over the speedlimit to and from the corner stop sign, and we are constantly exposed to reckless driving when plowing sidewalk/mowing lawn
    -Per our city permit codes, we can’t fix the rotting existing fence without getting a permit, which we can’t get without removing the fence that goes over the property line and because of height requirements for corner lots we aren’t even sure how to fix it without it looking ridiculous.
    - Everyone is basically parking in our living room. The side of our house is 15ft from the sidewalk…it is incredibly unnerving to hear people that sound like they are in your living room and many times makes me feel unsafe

    Basically, do NOT ever ever ever buy a corner lot. We have no idea how to get out of this house, it was a horrible mistake, and I am sure we are going to have a very hard time selling it even at a loss when you factor in how much money we are putting in to it fixing all of the huge problems before we list it.

    I cry

    • 93

      Len Penzo says

      Hang in there, Eliza. The most encouraging thing I can say is that there are always other people out there who WILL buy your home even though its on a corner lot. Chin up!

  66. 94

    Not Quite Sexy says

    I bought an inside corner lot, and it’s awesome. I don’t know how to explain it, but it is a street that makes a turn, not an intersection. My house is on the inside corner. It’s a pentagon-ish shaped lot with a tiny front yard and huge back yard (by california city standards). It is super loud because my back fence borders a street with three lanes each way, but the corner-ness of it is great.

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