Zero lot line

What is a zero lot line?

A zero lot line is property where a home or building has at least one wall placed on the boundary of the property. In some instances, the building is designed so that two or even three walls are all on separate boundaries. This form of building construction is popular when individual plots are small because it maximizes living space at the expense of the yard. Another term commonly used to describe a zero lot line home is a narrow lot home.

Deeper definition

This form of construction is popular as an alternative to condominium construction. When you buy a zero lot line home, you own the building and the land it is on. The property is yours, although you will need to follow whatever rules there are for maintenance of shared walls.

Zero lot line homes can be attached to adjacent houses, as would be the case with row homes, town houses or completely detached homes. This form of building is suitable for anyone who does not want to spend time maintaining a large yard.

In addition, it’s ideal for busy professionals who don’t want to live in a condominium, as well as retirees, first-time homebuyers, and low-income homebuyers.

Zero-lot line homes commonly are found in urban renewal locations, cluster housing developments and anywhere it’s desirable to provide high-density buildings. Zero lot line buildings often fulfill the same function as condominiums, without some of the condominium disadvantages such as homeowners associations, lack of privacy and noise.

Because zero lot line buildings can be built right on the property boundary, their construction is not permitted in some areas. Reasons for this may include setback zoning restrictions and title or deed restrictions.

Zero lot line examples

Zero lot line homes are ideal for anyone who does not need a large yard but wants to maximize their living space. This could apply to people who work long hours, who don’t have children or are retired. Buyers save money because they don’t need to buy a large lot, they fully own the property, and they don’t face the hassles of condominium living.

Are you a first-time homebuyer considering a zero lot line home? Use our new house calculator to see what you can afford

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