21 Reasons Why Corner Lots Are for Suckers

Don’t put yourself in a corner when it comes to buying a house. I did it, and I regret it.

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

Don’t be fooled by real estate agents who try to tell you that corner lots are 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.

2. Unconventional configurations. 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. 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 15 seconds 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 altogether 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 setback requirements. Owners of corner lots may be subject to city or other jurisdictional easements or setback 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. OK, 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 is often held to a higher standard by the community and neighborhood associations.

21. They’re harder to sell. Most real estate agents will tell you that corner lots are tougher to sell. Gee, I wonder why.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

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  • Very funny intro. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Having been previous owners of both mid-block & corner lots, I fully agree, with all the points, and will add one:
    “For privacy you’ll need to ‘double fence your back yard.” Unless you want children to stand and watch you eat every mouthful of your BBQ bash!

  • Anonymous

    Actually I like corner lots. Mine even provides me with entretainment. Traffic noise? Good house insulation takes care of that. People shortcutting your yard? Low profile hedges prevents that, even just one side of the corner will do. A living barrier that is wide enough to be difficult  to jump over works well.  I have an attractive wide dense low profile hedge only on my side street and have no yard crossers.  If you have an ornery streak you can always grow something with thorns, there are many attractive options. Cars hitting your house? Trees – a couple of large trees will take care of that. For the record I have owned corner houses for over forty years. I currently own 4 that I have had for over 20 years. No cars have ever hit them, not even the ones without large trees in the front yard. Trash in the yard?I have a video security system as well as a house alarm security system. I’ve never had a burglary and I know who the litter bugs are. People are not bad when big brother is watching. My neighbors are not so lucky. Even in noce neighborhoods there are burglaries. I have 2 sets of cameras. the motion activated dummy cameras for show and the less obvious ones to catch anyone that tries to dismantle the dummies. Of course I have a couple of obvious ones that work as well. Some day soon all of our lives will be just one big video. Security systems are a cheap compared to replacing your flat screen TV’s and computers. I quit doing yard work a long time ago so who cares about leaves.  My liesure time is far to valuable. When I entertain I always have ample parking and since I have the cameras monitoring (I have full disclosure signs) we know who is peeing on the tires. As far a privacy, I am a 61 years old man. Putting on a speedo swim suit guarantees me privacy when I am at my backyard pool. Of course I also have a would fence with a tall hedge in front of it. The hedge protects the fence from being climbed by children that might want to get in the pool. I like corner houses. It provides me more exposure to my neighbors. I get along real well with my neighbors. I know most of them. One of the things I like is ice cream truck ice cream. I am blessed with 12 grandkids. When I buy ice cream I always buy for every kid that was going to buy or that has permission from their parents if they just happened by. That way I get to know the parents in the neighborhood. that way I have plenty of people to talk to, and I hve talk people to death – you never would have guessed, right.  Some people accuse me of being nosy because of my security system. I say it’s my property and I see nothing wrong with me knowing whats going on. If you don’t want to be filmed while you or your dog is relieving yourself in my front yard then read my signs and find another yard. In my yard you will be held accountable -sincerely   

  • erik jespersen

    Silly hypotheticals.

  • Y2KJillian

    An interesting but hypothetical article. Our corner yard is far bigger in back; the front road is a very quiet neighborhood road and the side road is fairly busy, but we’ve never had the burglaries of our neighbors, because someone is always driving by and supposedly watching. We used to have some corner-cutting kids until we put up our 6-foot wooden fence as far as legally possible into the corner; we do get some trash but so does everyone else on the whole block; noise isn’t bad as our bedrooms are on the end of the house away from the busier road…the wooden fence gives us good privacy in our back and side yard (as does the 4′ x 28′ garden shed we built) and a stand of arborvitaes and firs along the fence as well, behind the shed. I’d rather have cars going by than a neighbor cutting at their side of my hedge because they “can.” I’d rather hear cars going by than a neighbor listening to rap music by the hour on his patio within a few feet of my yard. I don’t mind the corner lot, and in fact had always envied those with only one side-by neighbor…it’s OK. Would I buy this configuration again? It would very much depend on all the details, which the article did a good job of listing.

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