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What is a Flag Lot? The Good vs. The Bad

Flag Lot - What is a Flag Lot

If you’ve ever wondered “what is a flag lot?,” we’ve got the answer for you here.


A flag lot is a real estate term that describes a land parcel that lies at the end of a long driveway. A flag lot may lie behind residences, buildings, or open land, and it is usually not visible from a road. Owning a lot that has no road frontage may give you privacy, but it may have some drawbacks as well.


Consider Legal Requirements

Legal restrictions in some jurisdictions require you to have more road frontage than a narrow driveway provides if you plan to build on the lot. When surveyors had no access to scientific measuring devices, mistakes were more likely to be made when creating a flag lot than they are today. For example, lots that were surveyed from a point to the north may not precisely join those surveyed from a point to the south. A property with a 15-foot hiatus separating it from a neighbors’ property could require legal action to resolve the issue.


Flag Lot

If you’re thinking about buying a flag lot, make sure to consider the pros and cons that come with it.


The Good


• Privacy

• No noise or gas fumes from traffic

• A price that is usually lower than the price for a lot that has road frontage


The Bad


• A lack of control over the use of the property in front of yours

• Driveway maintenance in the winter

• Difficulties faced by emergency vehicles in finding or accessing your property



Make sure to find out if restrictions apply in your area before making a purchase. Contact your county’s zoning/land use department to make sure that you can do what you want with your flag lot.


Feel free to reach out to us if you have any other questions about flag lots. We have all types of properties available for you across the country, in different shapes and sizes. Be sure to follow us on our social channels for more land articles!


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Photo Cred: Google Maps, Trulia

8 responses to “What is a Flag Lot? The Good vs. The Bad”

  1. David B says:

    Can you please let me know the exact location of this lot, and how much is it.

    • Renee says:

      Hi David. There is not a particular property associated with this article and I don’t currently have any flag lots available for sale. Sorry!

  2. Karen says:

    My neighbor wants to create a “pork chop” flag lot in FRONT of his house across from mine. They have 6 acres and their home is down the end of a long driveway. There is about an acre of frontage to the left of the driveway. Can he sell that lot to a developer? Or someone who could put a house there? That would stink for us 13 years after living here with a relatively private area.

    • Renee says:

      Hello Karen and thanks for stopping by. If I understand you correctly, if your neighbor owns both parcels (his flag pole lot in the back, plus his lot in the front), I would think he could sell the front lot to whomever he wants to, and assuming it’s buildable and meets the city’s setback requirements, a home could be built. You could always check w/your local zoning department to confirm. Thanks again for checking out the article and hoping it was helpful.

  3. Matt says:

    Hi, we are interested in buying a flag lot in our area. We had no idea there may be restrictions to building, etc…What would be some good questions to ask our realtor and what should be look at since we want to build a container house there. The lot is surrounded by million dollar homes. There is no HOA but I wonder if they would have a say in what can get built there. Thanks!

    • Renee says:

      Hello Matt and thanks for stopping by. My recommendation would be for you to contact the city or county zoning/building department that the property is located in and provide them with the Assessor Parcel # of the lot you are considering purchasing and ask if the property is suitable for what you intend to use it for. Make sure the lot dimensions are sufficient and that container homes are permissible. Hope this helps!

  4. Daniel Vis says:

    What is a “black flag” lot?

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