Lot Shapes and their Benefit in Investments

By: Elixir Real Estate Inc

Lot Shapes and their Benefit in Investments

Tags: Real estate, Freehold properties, Lot shapes, Regular lots

How many lot shapes are there, in Real Estate, especially freehold low-rise real estate?  What are the most suitable forms for future growth and overall appeal?

When you enter the Real Estate market to purchase a home for your living or you are seeking an investment property, there are many things which you need to focus on and apply your due diligence. At the top of this list, you will find lot considerations, which are two things: the shape of the lot and the lot outlook. This insight becomes very important when we deal with freehold properties. 

There are essentially five primary shapes of a lot,
Regular Lot -  Regular lots are primarily rectangular or square parcels of land where the frontage width and rear width of the lot are mostly making a rectangle. These lots are best suited for construction projects and efficient space utilization. They feature big front and rear yards and no wasted space on the sides as they are rectangular. Regular lots also offer increased privacy, as they are only exposed from the front and are private from three sides. 
For a lot which regular but with squarish dimensions, it will also have a considerable space on the sides and be relatively less in-depth; there would be potential for unutilized wasted space on the sides. 
In this sample lot, you can see it is 50 ft from the front and rear with a depth of 125 ft, it is a regular east-facing lot. As you can see, such lots give you privacy from three sides, and the property is exposed only from the front. 

Pie-Shaped Lots - Pie-Shaped Lots are lots on a cut-de-sac or a court location, where the lot's frontage is much narrower than the rear width of the lot. These lots, as a plus, will generally have a wider and bigger backyard space. A more oversized backyard allows for a tool shed, gazebo, firepit, play area, etc., in the property and still has space available. The downside of a pie-shape lot is that if it is too narrow from the front, it takes away the appeal of the front elevation as it looks small & restricted. The whole appeal of a lot comes from the front elevation, which is why in Real Estate, we value the frontage more than the depth. To make the point clear, let us consider we have two lots. One is 30 ft by 140 ft, and the second lot is 40 ft by 100 ft. The second one is by far the better choice, being wider.

In the image here, you can review that the lot frontage is only 27.4 ft. However, it is wide from the back and extends to 80 ft linear width. Due to being irregular, the depth is 151 ft on one side and 172 ft on the other. The yards becomes enormous and allow for a variety of usage.

Reverse Pie-Shaped Lot - Reverse pie-shaped lots have wider frontage and become narrower at the rear. These lots look grand from the front due to the extra wide elevation and its appeal.  However, from the back, they are very restricted in space, which takes away the charm & functionality of the property. As a result, these properties would have relatively less appreciation in the neighbourhood and fewer takers, as the consumers are primarily looking for a decent enough backyard space in the freehold market. 
This lot you can review has an extensive frontage of 97 ft and becomes skewed at the rear, and is only 26 ft wide. Reverse pie lots are usually found in situation where the street takes a curve. 

Irregular Lots - As the name suggests, these are not rectangular, square or pie-shaped and have highly disproportionate edges. These are the least desired lots as they are challenging to plan and develop. And for this apparent reason, they carry less appeal and will have fewer takers and appreciation. 
In our sample lot, you can review that the frontage is 110 ft; however, all of the other edges are disproportionate, and its 103 ft deep on one side and only 30 ft from the other. 

Triangular Lots - As the name suggests, this is a triangular parcel of land with three sides and, due to its limit, will have front or back severely restricted and won't allow for efficient use of space when building in such lots. The triangular lots you will find very far and few. In our sample, the frontage is extra wide 118 ft and highly unconventional. 

From all of these lot shapes, if we have to pick the best, it would be the regular lot which is rectangular, for efficient utilization of space. Rest would depend on personal preferences, as some consumers love the extra vast backyard and would prefer to go for a pie-shaped lot. 

The underlying theory when you buy real estate is that it should match with the community and the lots around. If the lot shape is an outlier, it will become an issue when we decide to sell it. In a hot market, it would still find takers, but in a saturated and balanced market, the property will tend to sit on the market for some time before finding the right buyer. 

Wish you all the very best! Reach out to our dedicated team at Elixir for any queries you have in Real Estate and we will do our best to help.

Mudit Mehta 
Broker of Record
Off: 416-816-6001 | info@elixirrealestate.ca