Ever read about a home being located on a flag lot? Flag lots have been around a long time and continue to be created for all types of properties. There are advantages and disadvantages to owning a flag lot, so let’s look at how they are configured and how they can be a positive or negative when valuing a specific property.
A flag lot is created when no part of the property fronts along a public street, except for a driveway as depicted in the diagram below. 104 Miller Street occupies a lot behind lot 102, but is guaranteed street access by owning the driveway. The resulting shape of the lot resembles a flag, therefore the name flag lot.
What if the lot doesn’t own the driveway – access to Miller Street is allowed by an easement that runs along the same area where the driveway is shown. If that was the situation, 104 would be a landlocked parcel. The easement would provide for use of the land, not ownership.
Let’s look at the disadvantages of owning a flag lot.
- View limitations: When surrounded by neighbors, flag lot residents are at their mercy regarding view.
- Noise: If Miller Street is usually a quiet country lane, the lot may not enjoy it. Flag lot residents are surrounded on all side by potentially noisy neighbors.
- Remodeling Options: If the lot owner wants to change the configuration of their property to move the driveway or add another entrance, they don’t that option.
Now let’s look at the potential advantages of owning a flag lot.
- Privacy: If Miller Street is a busy urban or suburban thoroughfare, being located even just a small distance from it could reduce noise and the potential for trespassing.
- View: If the lot is flat, view is probably a disadvantage. But if the lot is elevated compared to surrounding properties, an attractive view could provide added enjoyment as a place to live and added value when it’s time to sell.
Like any real estate parcel, the value of a flag lot is heavily influenced by location, zoning, intended use and other factors. Every lot is unique.
Have questions about flag lots or other real estate terms? Drop me a line!