A most frequent concerns I receive asks the definition of the definition of a flag lot? Here in the Portland Metro and surrounding suburbs there is what’s called”The the Urban Growth Boundary. Builders are restricted to building communities and homes within this boundaries to stop the spread of urban sprawl. So they built houses in every corner and crevice in order to build as many homes as they could in the available space. A lot in these “infill” houses are located on flag-lots that are hidden away from the main road.
On the picture on left, you will identify a specific sort of Flag lot.
It’s located on an unassuming street located off the main road which is shared by four houses. I’ve observed that there appear to be a few people who do not have a problem with the flag lot, and some like these, but in the majority of instances, they’re not as popular as the house on a main street.
The benefits for a lot with a flag could be having an individual road for yourself…well and all the other folks sharing it. This might be beneficial when you have kids and wish to let them play in an “safer” area where the only vehicles coming through the driveway are the ones that reside there or visitors.
The cons are that you will need to share the road with other vehicles, there is typically a limited amount of parking and your home can be difficult to locate. This can be an obstacle in emergency situations where fire trucks will have issues navigating through a flag-lined lot, and also getting to your home in the first location.
Since the drive is often a shared easement it is possible that there are problems with shared repairs as well. Naturally, you’ll have be attentive to the plat maps and tax records when you purchase a house situated in a flag-lot to find out if there are restrictions or shared costs on this specific property.
On the other diagram you will see that there are two distinct flag areas. One is located off of the main road, which is a short distance to two houses that are hidden away. The other is down to one property.
I have listed one of the houses that was located at the bottom of the two flags for homes lot. I can assure you that parking was a bit difficult. I had to get out of the driveway to be able to get out. There is also the issue of being close to your neighbor who shares this driveway. The neighbor I lived with was fantastic and kept the house tidy and didn’t clutter the drive with cars…but you never know who is moving into the home next if they decide to sell their home.
The second flag lot, which goes to a single property is, in my opinion, the most desirable of the other because the driveway isn’t shared.
If you decide to purchase a flag lot you should be aware that there may be issues with resales as there is a 50/50 of desirability split, and you’ll be losing that 50 percent buyer pool when it’s the time for selling. Of course there are certain exceptions to the rules and therefore your agent will check to see whether there is a different selling of flag lots in comparison to your normal lot in the area.
As with everything when you are buying or selling an investment property, you have to consider all aspects. If a property is located in a sought-after neighborhood near shopping and city amenities however, the negatives are likely to not be considered.