I Bought a House on a Corner Lot By Chance — and Now I Could Never Go Back

published Oct 12, 2022
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Some people have an exact dream home in mind, and they can tell you exactly how many bedrooms, floors and windows it has and how they’ll know it’s “the one” the moment they find it. That was not us. When it came time for my husband and I to go house hunting, we weren’t nearly as specific. We didn’t fantasize about a “dream home,” but rather, we knew our dream was simply to have a home of our own that made us happy, so we went out searching with very open minds.

We looked at every style home that was available to see — Cape Cod, colonial, craftsman. We explored a variety of different locations too — suburban, rural, and even townhomes nestled inside city centers. At the time, we just wanted to walk into a home with a lot of windows (our apartments never had enough) and feel like it had everything we needed to be happy.

After visiting nearly 30 open houses — yes, 30! — and hunting for over a year, we wound up falling in love with and purchasing a corner property in a suburb in New Jersey. Now that we’re all settled in, I can’t believe we weren’t looking for a corner property all along — it has so many benefits we’ve come to love. When we first shared with our friends and family that we made an offer on a corner lot, all we heard in response were negatives. They warned us about potentially higher property taxes, more street noise and light pollution and less privacy. While these were all fair points, we’ve learned there’s also a lot to love about living in a corner property. Here are some of our favorite highlights so far:

There’s an abundance of natural light.

We live in a southeast facing home on the corner of a very wide intersection with windows on everywhere. With no other homes blocking the sunlight on three out of four sides, we enjoy natural light pouring into our home from every angle as the day progresses. While getting blasted by both the morning and evening sun may not be everyone’s cup of tea, for us, having come from a decade of living in dark, backlit apartments with very few windows, this has been a constant source of joy. Plus, most of our sun-loving plants thrive, no matter where we put them, and we don’t even think about needing to turn on a light until it’s actually dark outside.

The open views are the best.

The stairs in our three-story home are on the right side of the building, which also happens to be the side our one neighbor dwells on, so the majority of our windows are all facing an open view. From our bedroom we can see homes almost halfway up each block, so when I’m having my morning cup of coffee, it feels like I’m taking in the entire beauty of the neighborhood too. Watching the Northeast seasons change in our neighborhood right from our windows is such a delightful special touch. This added amenity was a true surprise we never expected when we first arrived and looked at the front of the home. I didn’t realize how open the view looking out of a corner home can be until I stepped inside and gave it a closer look.

It has more privacy than you’d expect.

Where I grew up in the Northeast, many of the more crowded suburbs close to the big cities have very little space between homes. This means that your neighbors can often peer right into your open windows, or right down into your backyard, even if you have it fenced in. With just one direct neighbor that close to our home, we don’t feel nearly as exposed as we imagined we would when we’re curling up by the fire in our backyard or grilling a meal for our close friends. I should note: We installed a six foot privacy fence around the perimeter, so even people walking down the sidewalk can’t peer in.

There’s less noise and you can be noisier.

Granted, there are some busy intersections where being on a corner lot can come with a lot of unwelcome noise. But our block is very quiet — and we have fewer neighbors to overhear through the walls. As another added benefit, this means you can make a little more noise, too — just take it from my husband, who used to disturb our apartment neighbors quite a bit when he got a little too in the zone while cleaning on the weekends and started blasting his “special cleaning mojo playlist.” He also talks and laughs loudly — he can’t help it — and we’ve yet to have anyone complain, which is such a relief when you want to be good neighbors. Once again, fewer neighbors means fewer walls to rock when you’re being a little louder than usual inside or outside in your yard.

A little more yard space.

Most corner lots have more yard space than the other nearby properties. Our house is no exception. Most of the backyards in our neighborhood are pretty tiny, but we have a bonus strip of grass on the side of our home that makes the yard feel much bigger than it truly is. Our two small dogs have just enough room to run, which is another added bonus for us, and especially them.

Better security camera views.

We have WiFi enabled security cameras installed on each side of our house, and since the space is more open than most, when we’re using the cameras we actually have a bird’s eye view of what’s happening all around and nearby our home — like street or sidewalk traffic and activity — with very little disruption. It’s come in handy many times.