Monday, August 28, 2017     Hilda Campbell      Real Estate Market

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Can having bad neighbours affect the value of a property? In a word, “yes.” Bad neighbours can make life very difficult and unpleasant and can actually decrease the value of your property.

So just what is a bad neighbour? Some things to watch out for are: severely overgrown grass and gardens, incessant dog barking, windows covered in dark plastic or newspapers (could be a sign of a grow op), a steady flow of traffic in and out of any one particular home, cars parked on the front lawn, garbage in the backyard, loud parties, and finally, a property that looks vacant.

The good news is there are steps you can take to avoid living near a problem neighbour:

  1. Knock on the neighbours’ door. Ask them what it’s like to live on the street and how long they have lived there. Ask whether they’ve had any problems with neighbours. My experience has been that people are usually very willing to share this information. An added bonus is you get to meet your potential neighbours before deciding to go ahead with an offer.  By the way, if you are shy about doing this, ask your real estate agent to. Trust me, we’re not shy.
  2. Look at the properties around you.  Knee-high grass is not a good thing. Aside from the critters that could be living there, and that will eventually come over to your house, this can be a warning sign of a problem neighbour. Garbage cans and recycling bins on the front porch are not a good thing either.
  3. Visit the street at different times of the day.  It may be quiet during school and business hours so make a point of driving by on a Friday or Saturday night. Is there loud music blaring? People yelling in the street? I know this may not be possible to do in a competitive real estate market in that you may not be able to take several days before deciding to go ahead with an offer.  At the very least, talk to the neighbours as mentioned in #1 above.
  4. Ask your agent for the sales history of the property. If it has changed hands an unusually high number of times, this could be a red flag.
  5. Try to find out how many of the properties are leased or rented vs. owned. Again, your agent should be able to help with this.

Have you ever had a problem neighbour? I encourage you to share your story. I bet you’ll see you’re not alone.

When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Burlington or Oakville area, or for general real estate advice, please contact me. I can help!

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