Zero line houses: what does that mean?

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Usually, when you buy a home, you don’t just buy the building itself. You also buy the land on which it is located. As you explore the confines of the property, you may learn that the house arrives right at the cut-off line, sometimes with the narrowest piece of cheese to spare. This is the zero line house. Zero-line homes are not uncommon, but there are a few things potential homebuyers should consider before choosing one.

Definition of “zero line”

In a home without a line, one or more of the structure’s walls extend along or very close to the property boundary. In many cases, the house is close enough to the production line that it leaves only a small piece of outdoor space – hence “there isn’t much space”. Some zero-line homes may share walls with neighboring homes, such as row houses and townhouses.

These types of properties are most commonly found in urban areas with high density housing. Reducing the exterior area while increasing the size of the interior square footage allows developers and developers to accommodate more residents in a smaller total area.

To illustrate, here’s an example: While you’re shopping for a home, you find a home you like but wonder why there isn’t any yard on the left side. You research the plot’s boundary lines and discover that the left wall of the house runs directly inside the property line. This makes it a zero home lot. But you love everything else about the house and don’t expect any need to expand or build an addition, so you decided to buy it anyway.

Pros of Zero Line Houses

There are advantages to this type of accommodation:

  • Maximum price per square foot: With a property that uses the majority of the available land for indoor living space, you can get more out of the home for the money. A home without free space per square foot usually costs less than a home with more outdoor space—in other words, you don’t pay extra for extra land.
  • Less maintenance outdoors: If you are someone who does not enjoy gardening or working in the yard, this type of house will provide you with what you want. Minimal outdoor space means minimal work required to maintain it.
  • sense of community With little to separate zero-line homes from neighboring properties, people who live in these types of housing often feel a greater sense of community. If you love meeting and interacting with your neighbors, this type of house might be for you.

Disadvantages of Zero Lot Line Homes

These properties also come with some disadvantages:

  • Less privacy: A house without a land line can mean that there are walls in common, or walls that are very close together which may be. Even if it doesn’t, at least one of the home’s windows may look directly at the neighboring neighbors’ windows. And if the house is not very far from the street, drivers, motorcyclists and pedestrians may be seen and heard.
  • Limited opportunity for expansion: If you think you may need more square feet in the future, not having much space in the house can be a challenge. While you may have the opportunity to build an additional story to increase your space, it is likely that you will not be able to expand its footprint.
  • Possible property line problems: Property line disputes can happen with any property, but they can be annoying — and especially expensive — if the actual structure of the house crosses its lot line. Before you buy a zero-lot home, do your due diligence to make sure the structure doesn’t cross the boundary line.


The zero-lot line property is any property in which the structure of the house touches or very close to the boundaries of the plot. Since they can be more cost effective and come with little maintenance, these homes offer some oomph. But make sure you do your homework before buying one, especially when it comes to being clear about actual ownership limits.

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