Check an­gles of cor­ner site

Herald Sun - Property - - OPINION - AN­DREW WIN­TER An­drew Win­ter hosts Sell­ing Houses Aus­tralia on Life­style

IT’S the prized block of the street, or a chance to cre­ate a lit­tle hous­ing grandeur per­haps? Dou­ble street frontage can make the small­est block look im­pres­sive and will ap­peal to those who rel­ish any chance to re­duce the num­ber of im­me­di­ate neigh­bours with shared bound­aries.

It could even be the hot buy for the fu­ture — all you have to do is wait for the po­ten­tial re­zon­ing al­low­ing de­vel­op­ment and then reap the re­wards.

So surely in any street, you should choose a cor­ner block over a nor­mal block when avail­able. Or should you?

Re­cently I’ve been in­volved with sell­ing an im­pres­sive pe­riod home with a clas­sic and beau­ti­fully pre­served fa­cade on a cor­ner block.

There are many is­sues as to why the home is strug­gling to at­tract a buyer, but our ven­dors never con­sid­ered that the cor­ner block, on the junc­tion of two mod­er­ately busy streets, could be con­sid­ered a neg­a­tive by buy­ers. Yet, it was ac­tu­ally caus­ing some buy­ers con­cern.

The prob­lem with a cor­ner block is it can be per­ceived by some to have what I gen­er­ally re­fer to as a “fixed neg­a­tive” — no amount of de­sign cre­ativ­ity, ex­tra cush­ions or think­ing out­side not just a com­mon old box but a mas­sive great ship­ping con­tainer can change this el­e­ment.

So if you’re buy­ing or sell­ing a cor­ner block home, here are five pros and cons to con­sider.



po­ten­tial: Buy if you think your re­search and lo­cal knowl­edge sug­gests fu­ture re­zon­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, as the cor­ner block with its ex­tended street frontage of­fers eas­ier higher den­sity op­tions and of­ten a bet­ter chance of a suc­cess­ful vi­able de­vel­op­ment scheme. If it al­ready has plan­ning ap­proval you might be pay­ing for that and you need to un­der­take those cal­cu­la­tions care­fully.

Ad­di­tional ac­cess point: It will be prac­ti­cal for car­a­vans or boats, have ex­tra park­ing/ garage pos­si­bil­i­ties, as you have of­ten two or three times more ac­tual street frontage than a con­ven­tional block.

Fewer neigh­bours: Yes, a whole side of your block will only have peo­ple pass­ing by briefly, not peo­ple liv­ing one or two me­tres away from the fence. Many house­holds em­brace that fea­ture.

An in­creased sense of space

and light: An­other dwelling is not loom­ing over your fence line. It not only might al­low

more sun­light but also per­haps enjoy an as­pect other homes in the street don’t have. • Po­ten­tial im­pres­sive street

pres­ence: How can I not in­clude po­ten­tial added kerb ap­peal? De­signed right, the cor­ner block home can look very im­pres­sive and that scale and drama can only ever be achieved with the cor­ner block in a street of typ­i­cal land sizes.


Vul­ner­a­bil­ity: For some that very prime cor­ner po­si­tion that de­lights oth­ers can cre­ate a feel­ing of be­ing rather ex­posed. It clearly de­pends on how busy the streets ac­tu­ally are, along with the type of lo­cal­ity. Con­sider the side bound­ary height. Is it

level with the street, or set higher or lower than your land it­self ?

• Se­cu­rity and pri­vacy: Th­ese are el­e­ments that buy­ers con­sid­er­ing cor­ner blocks give care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion to.

Added costs: That ex­tra fence line, that side el­e­va­tion of your home, can in­cur ad­di­tional costs such as added main­te­nance, fenc­ing or even land­scap­ing. So fac­tor in th­ese

ex­tra costs and, for sell­ers, if that bound­ary isn’t well main­tained, your po­ten­tial pur­chasers could be scared off.

Street noise on two sides:

Dis­tur­bance could be higher if one or both streets are thor­ough­fares as op­posed to quiet cul-de-sacs. On a busier road your gar­den ar­eas gen­er­ally are to the rear and that en­ter­tain­ing/re­lax­ing space is shel­tered from most street dis­tur­bance by your house and the neigh­bours. On a cor­ner it is not.

Cost: On many oc­ca­sions the cor­ner block might be the more ex­pen­sive op­tion and that makes per­fect sense if it has some form of gen­uine added value to you — whether that’s fu­ture de­vel­op­ment po­ten­tial, a life­style choice or just be­cause you like it.

The most im­por­tant fac­tor is en­sur­ing this block type suits not only your needs, but those of as many buy­ers as pos­si­ble in the fu­ture. If you’re sell­ing, re­mem­ber the cor­ner block is not al­ways, for ev­ery­one, the best block in the street.

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