Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate FAQ: Do we have to pay more in taxes for a corner lot?
We would like to set the record straight. Are corner lots more expensive?
The short answer is: it depends, but not for the reasons many people believe.
Many people think that corner lots pay more in taxes because they have more frontage. The thinking is that your frontage is calculated based on both streets that the property abuts onto.
Every Municipality is different but with Kitchener, for example, this is not the case- I put a call into MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation) as well as the City of Kitchener and they indicated that your frontage is only calculated on the lot dimension that corresponds to your civic address.
When MPAC is coming up with your assessed value, 85% of the criteria is based on the following items:
- Age of the home (plus renovations)
- Square footage
- Lot dimension
- Quality of construction
So is it true that corner lots typically have more frontage? Yes in many cases they do- but from my experience typically corner lots have less depth (especially in older neighbourhoods). Therefore, the increased frontage is often offset by the decreased depth as both of these are factors in assessing your value. Total area is also a factor when calculating your value. In many new subdivisions, it’s true that the corner lots end up with a higher total square footage and therefore would receive a higher value based on that. That larger square footage obviously means a larger lot. If you’re looking for a larger lot in a newer subdivision area, corner lots can be great option.
There are other things to consider- for some, a corner lot are ideal as you only have one neighbour. For others, they can be a maintenance nightmare. I find that often people overlook the maintenance that many municipalities require residents to take care of snow removal on city sidewalks and grass cutting on boulevards. Often times with corner lots you could be responsible for over double the frontage of snow removal and grass cutting if you have a sidewalk that wraps around your property. Some other corner lots have no sidewalks, eliminating this issue.
The point I am trying to make here is that there is a lot more to it than simple frontage and total square footage to consider when looking at a corner lot- so don’t simply dismiss corner lots based on this myth that you will pay more taxes- in some cases yes you will and in some cases you actually won’t.