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Buying a Zero Lot Line Home
Purchasing A Zero Lot Line Home

Whether or not to purchase a zero lot line home is a topic that many in urban areas who are looking to buy a property are faced with. While these types of properties can be great deals, there are some things that consumers need to be aware of before taking the home ownership leap.
 
Wanting to get the perspective of a busy real estate professional, we discussed this topic with Anita Clark, a top real estate agent in Warner Robins Georgia to get her opinion on the value of owning a zero lot like property. Anita shared her perspective on this subject and the insightful results are below.

What Are Zero Lot Line Homes

Zero lot line homes are a residential property group with one distinctive feature: they are built with one or more walls directly on or very close to the property line. While some condos and other housing types are considered zero lot line properties, free-standing zero lot line houses are a commonality in many urban centers across the United States.

Several trends are contributing to the growing number of new zero lot line homes every year. Perhaps the most important because of its inevitability, one factor is growing scarcity of larger lots in many cities. Most residents would gladly trade their lawn for a larger house. In addition, there seems to be a growing number of homebuyers who would rather forego the responsibility of maintaining a yard altogether.

But if you are in the market for a new home, there are a few things you might want to consider about owning a zero lot line home.

Zero Lot Disadvantages

There are a few easy-to-see disadvantages of zero lot line homes. But in this case, it is fairly easy to know your enemy and deal–or don’t deal–with it accordingly.

Probably the most obvious complaint against zero lot line homes is the proximity to neighbors. This issue actually contains a few different problems within it. First, there is privacy: with tightly packed buildings, walls facing neighbors are usually devoid of windows. Secondly, there is really nowhere to go if you have noisy neighbors. You can always get a third party involved such as a homeowners association or the authorities, but that typically does not do anything to increase community bonding.

Another area than can be problematic for zero lot homeowners is access to walls directly on the property line. While many issues can be worked out ahead of time with easements, restrictions, planning, and strict adherence to design, these agreements do not always work out perfectly. For instance, it may be impossible to prevent a neighbor from building a lean to against one of the outside walls of your home.

Many of the harder to deal with problems can arise when zero lot line homes are placed next to homes with traditional lots. Complications between landscaping and maintenance can easily arise and, depending on your relationship with your neighbor, may not work out favorably. There is nothing to prevent them from doing what they please with their yard and little you can do about the effects their actions might have on your property.

Increasing Appeal for Zero Lot Line Properties

As mentioned above, the demand for zero lot line homes is increasing more and more every year. While they still are prohibited in some locations, many of these urban centers are relenting simply because their markets are starting to demand it.

Not only are larger lots harder and harder to come by, but there are several demographics that have really started to exhibit increased interest in zero lot homes, expressly because of the zero lot. The main group consists of baby boomers who are looking to simplify their lives with a smaller house and less maintenance now that their kids have left home. Middle class families as well are starting to consider zero lot line homes more and more as they seek a break from their numerous obligations. Between these demographics, desire for these types of homes is steadily increasing.

Following the trend of demand, more designs for zero lot homes are springing up every month. The interior design used to be one of the major complaints prospective homebuyers had of zero lot line homes. That is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Moreover, other advantages are beginning to show themselves.

Peripheral Advantages

There are a few coincidental benefits zero lot line communities provide for the world of the future. And while it may be unlikely that these aspects really make a large difference to homebuyers currently, they are still a much needed bonus.

Because zero lot developments often incorporate shared spaces into their design, many encourage a real sense of community. With features such as shared back alleys and front porches right at the street, they can evoke an older time and place or perhaps a setting yet to come.

Part of the increased demand for lawn-less homes in large urban areas is simply a default consequence of empty lot attrition. And as more of us begin to fill up Earth’s limited space, how efficiently we shelter ourselves becomes perpetually more important. Zero lot communities are naturally more space and energy efficient. As time moves on, the need for more residential development in this vein is bound to increase.

If you are debating whether a zero lot line property would be right for you or your family, your local Realtor® is likely the best resource you have available to you. Finding the best fit in your locality should be the main goal when determining which new home is right for you, zero lot line or otherwise.
Buying a Zero Lot Line Home
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Anita Clark

Buying a Zero Lot Line Home

If a zero lot line property sounds like something that interests you, contact a local real estate professional to assist. They are your best reso Read More
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