What it is:
A zero-lot-line house is a house whose structure goes right up the edge of the property line.
How it works (Example):
Let's say John Doe buys a tiny tenth-of-an-acreand decides to build a house on it. The is 55 feet wide. In order to create more indoor living space (and because he has no interest in having a back yard), he builds a house that is exactly 55 feet wide so that he uses up all the space he has purchased.
A more common example of a zero-lot-line house, however, is a rowhouse. Common in large metropolitan centers, these houses are often on long, narrowand abut one another.
Why it Matters:
Zero-lot-line houses are great for people who do not want to maintain their properties or have outdoor living space. However, there is little buffer from the neighbors. When built in the wrong neighborhoods, they can create strife among people who are used to houses that have a "set back" or "building envelope."