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


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

~David B

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!


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.


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.


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!


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!


What is a "black flag" lot?

~Daniel Vis

Sorry Daniel, I've never heard of that term relative to a land parcel.


I have a 12 acre lot in NE Ohio that I would like to divide into two lots but have just one flag lane to main public street. Does each 5-6 acre lot have to have it's own flag lane? Are there lawyers who specialize in situation like this? Please advise

~Jane Sudnrink

Hi Jane. Your best bet would be to contact your city or county's zoning or building department to ask what their particular requirements are. Each municipality has their own regulations :) Good luck to you and thanks for stopping by the blog!


My daughter wants to purchase a home on a flag lot/ paper road. In Suffolk county .... there are two homes that face the main road . The flag lot is in between both homes to the right the new home was built . The previous owner had issues with the owner to the left who claims she owns part of the road apparently she had built a fence between the road . The previous owner took her to court she lost and had to move fence to her property line . This opened up the flag road he sold to a builder . Who wanted to pave the road but the neighbor to the left complained about flooding . Then sprinkler head then the Anton at the beginning of the road . I believe since she spent so much money on legal fees this might be the reason she’s so adamant and difficult. She has also asked to be bought out for 10,000.00 maybe that’s what she spent on legal fees to give up her rights to road what would be the best solution the other neighbor appt does not know what’s going on they just moved in a year ago. My daughter grew up on this block and wants to remain close now that she married and started a family I will be her babysitter.


I am stuck with 9 lots -- all on a major road. With each 71 ft at the road, but with varying depths starting from 500 ft to 700 ft going away from the road. What are the limitations? Can I put a 4500 sq ft home on each one?


Hi. If there is a lot for three houses, and we are doing a subdivision. We are proposing to have access to the three houses through the same driveway.The driveway should be divided in three? Does the driveway become common property?


Flag lots


Lucy, the driveway should be part of the property of only one of the houses, and the other two houses receive easements (official notations filed with the deed for the first house) that ensure access to the driveway.


Lucy, the driveway should be part of the property of only one of the houses, and the other two houses receive easements (official notations filed with the deed for the first house) that ensure access to the driveway. Does the easement holders have to pay property owner any sums of money regularly for use of driveway? Does property owner have to maintain the driveway? Are there third parties who maintain the driveway? Can an arrangement be set stating easement holders will pay third parties fees to maintain the driveway?

~Toral Jadhav

Can a someone from another property cut a driveway for his residence into my flag pole lot. His property access has main footage on major road but they want to tie driveway into my private property (flag pole section) that I alone have maintained for 25 years.

~Michael Benson

I would recommend that you contact a local real estate attorney to ask about your unique situation. Best of luck to you and thanks for stopping by.


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