Homes very close to each other with the skyline of San Francisco in the background

Zero Lot Line Explained

4-Minute Read
Published on April 29, 2020

When home buyers purchase a traditional single-family home, their lot consists of two side yards. While this is known to be the standard home lot, some homes only have one yard or don’t even have a yard at all. Read on to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of a zero lot line house.

What Is A Zero Lot Line?

First, let’s define a zero lot line house: It’s a residential property that comes up to or lies on the home’s property line. Because one side of the home’s structure is near the edge of the lot, the property has no room between the house and the boundary line. Zero lot lines exist to create more interior space for homeowners, while only requiring them to pay for a lot large enough to hold the house. This can affect a zero lot line’s property value.

Zero lot line homes are most common in urban areas with a high population density. They offer an alternative to condos and townhouses, while providing housing options for more people in a tightly packed region. Some of the most common types of zero lot line homes are rowhouses, garden homes, townhouses and patio homes.

In terms of zoning laws for zero lot lines, all regulations deciding whether a lot will be zoned for a zero lot line or not are predetermined by the land developer and the city.

Apply Online with Rocket Mortgage

Get approved with Rocket Mortgage® – and do it all online. You can get a real, customizable mortgage solution based on your unique financial situation.

Apply Online

Advantages Of Zero Lot Line Homes

Now that we’ve defined what a zero lot line home is, let’s talk about why purchasing one might be beneficial for you. Like we previously mentioned, zero lot line houses allow homeowners to maximize square footage inside their home, while only paying for a lot large enough to fit their home. Paying a lower purchase price is one of the largest advantages of owning a zero lot line home.

Having less land also means homeowners don’t have to deal with landscaping. This means homeowners don’t have to handle their own upkeeping or pay for professionals to tend to their yards.

Avoiding yard work is a big reason why buyers often choose apartments or condos. But one reason zero lot line houses are preferred to apartments and condos are because they provide more privacy and independence for residents, while still being low maintenance. Instead of having to share numerous walls with neighbors in an apartment or condo, residents of zero lot line houses only share a few walls or no walls with their neighbors. This allows for less noise and more privacy.

But even though residents have their own privacy, they also get to experience a sense of community. Another advantage of living in a zero lot line house is the sense of community residents share with each other as a result of having shared back alleys and front porches on the street.

Disadvantages Of Zero Lot Line Homes

Before you decide on purchasing a zero lot line home, make sure you weigh your options and make yourself aware of their disadvantages.

The main disadvantage to living in a zero lot line home is having little privacy compared to a traditional house. In addition, there’s not a lot of space separating your property from your neighbor's property, and sometimes the window placement can be problematic.

Because zero lot line homes can be closer to the road than homes on larger lots, there can be more noise from cars and traffic, especially if the home is located on a busy street.

Finally, another disadvantage to a zero lot line house is owning little land and not having the ability to expand the home if desired. Because of these factors, zero lot line homes don’t always fare well on the real estate market.

Is A Zero Lot Line Home For You?

By now you’ve been able to learn more about zero lot line homes and consider their advantages and disadvantages. If you’re interested in buying a home, make sure to weigh your options and think about what’s in your best interest when deciding whether a zero lot line home is right for you.

Apply Online with Rocket Mortgage

Get approved with Rocket Mortgage® – and do it all online. You can get a real, customizable mortgage solution based on your unique financial situation.

Apply Online

See What You Qualify For

Miranda Crace

The Quicken Loans blog is here to bring you all you need to know about buying, selling and making the most of your home. Whether you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner, selling your current home or looking to keep your place in tip-top shape, our writers and freelancers bring their experience and expertise to meet you right where you are.