After months of online looking and countless showings, you have found the Windsor house for sale that fits your needs. Congratulations! But wait, what about those neighbours next door? Are they friendly? Nice? Welcoming? Or perhaps, loud, angry and messy? How can you spot neighbours that are “less than desirable?” Will they make an positive or negative impact on your life? Better yet, what do you do when you find a house that you desperately want, but the next door neighbours look sketchy?
First, how do you spot bad neighbours? It’s not always as easy as you think.
1. They may have the best looking home on the block, however, if you step on their property they will let you have it! And if you dare go a weekend or two without doing lawn maintenance, you will hear from them!
Or, they could have the lawn where the grass is two feet high, weeds grow everywhere and the home is in need of some major care.
2. Is your new neighbour sound sensitive? These are the neighbours that don’t like it when you have a get-together or party no matter what. If noise goes beyond a certain hour, they will call the police. If cars are parked all over the street, they will be outside glaring at your guests.
Or, they could be the ones hosting parties that are loud, frequent and over the top.
3. Homes in foreclosure:
If the house next door is looking a little run down, it may be in foreclosure. Because of the recent real estate crash, more and more neighbourhoods have been filled with homes going through foreclosure. Too many of these types of homes though can bring down the value of your property and also be a target for crime.
On a side note, look to see if any commercial buildings or stores are going out of business in your neighbourhood. Again, this could be a sign that the area is headed in the wrong direction.
So, as a buyer, what do you pay attention to when finding a home in a friendly neighbourhood? Again, sometimes you just don’t know what neighbours will be like until you move in.
1. Talk to neighbours!
First and foremost, if you are considering making an offer, walk around and talk to the neighbours and get a general feel of the area. If neighbours start talking badly about others, this could be a red flag. You can ask general questions like:
- Do neighbours ever have get togethers?
- Are there lots of children here?
- Have you had any crime in the area or any incidents?
- What’s the neighbourhood like on weekends?
2. Visit the neighbourhood at various hours:
If you feel the least bit uncertain about a next door neighbour, then visit the area at different times throughout the day and week. Is it quiet during the day? Are there dogs barking non-stop or running throughout the neighbourhood? On the weekends are children out playing and neighbours talking? In the late evenings are any loud events happening or are teens hanging around the street corner? Are cars parked in their garages or all over the street?
Picking your neighbours is as important as finding a home. Bad neighbours come in all shapes and sizes: they can be inconsiderate, neglectful, rude and generally, make your life miserable. If you ask the sellers what the neighbours are like, chances are, if they are horrible, you won’t hear those exact words. Instead, you will get some sort of round about answer that is not completely forthright. If you are still not convinced, then contact the local police department and ask if they have had any incidents in the area that you should be aware of.
Finally, have your real estate agent do some background work by checking to see if the vacant home next door is a foreclosure or if the neighbourhood has any problems. This is another great reason to hire an agent that knows the area well and can give you any information that will have an impact on your decision.
Bad neighbours can lower the value of your property and make it harder to sell not to mention making your life miserable. A little research and relying on your gut instinct can save you from making a decision you may later regret.