don't like to compromise. When it comes to the yard, the bigger the better. The
utopian vision is a home with wide, open spaces, a perfect playground for kids
and a place for grownups to relax or entertain. That's what drives many to the
corner lot, where the yard may be more unique or larger than the usual rectangular
lot. But corner homes, however unique, don't always provide what homebuyers are
looking for. It pays to research corner homes carefully.
and demand can drive up the prices for homes on corner lots. It's simple geometry--each
city or town block has four corners, and thus, only four corner homes. In the
metropolitan area of Chicago, for example, where typical lot widths are only 25
to 30 feet, corner homes offer a little more breathing room. They might cost more,
or they might not, depending on the configuration of the lot. Some advantages
are aesthetic; some concerns are practical. In addition to offering more outdoor
elbow room, a corner home can be seen sometimes from two or even three sides.
That allows gardening enthusiasts to showcase their landscaping. On the other
hand, that means more grass to cut.
The corner layout sometimes puts entrances
to home and garage closer to the street or sidewalk. The shorter distance from
the curb means less driveway or walkway to shovel in the winter and less ground
to cover carrying the groceries. Sometimes there's a side entrance to the home
right off the sidewalk, making access definitely easier. The potential downsides
to being closer to the street or sidewalk are more traffic noise and less privacy.
In some lot configurations, the side setback from the street and pedestrians may
be extremely narrow, up close and personal.
Sometimes the corner configuration
comes up short in the areas of safety and functionality. If the front door faces
the street running along the long axis of the lot, it means the main yard is a
side yard. Most usable outdoor space is on the side, while the back of the home
butts up against the neighbor's property line with little space for a traditional
backyard. Some owners make the best of it by installing a patio or small deck,
screened by a fence or shrubs for privacy. Others don't mind having neighbors
on both sides. But if you're visualizing a large, private backyard, this type
of corner home won't fit your picture. Consider the added safety factor when your
children are playing--will you be able to spot them from your window?
used to create this article include writer David Mack and the Chicago Sun-Times.