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21 reasons corner lots are for suckers

You'll have a bigger yard, but is that worth the tradeoffs of more noise, more grass, and more trash and other 'stuff' to pick up?

By Karen Datko Oct 1, 2010 8:33AM

This guest post comes from Len Penzo at Len Penzo dot Com.

 

For the six people left in America who 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 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. 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 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 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%. Prove me wrong.
  14. Greater risk of a car crashing into your house. OK, 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 vulnerability 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 those 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.

More from Len Penzo dot Com and MSN Money:

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