Know Your Neighbors?
You’ve just purchased your new “dream” home (so you thought). Months of looking and an extensive list of “must haves,” this was the one; 3 large bedrooms, 3 baths, hardwood floors, high ceilings, gourmet kitchen, large wrap-around porch, beautiful landscaped yard with mature trees, sprinkler system, brand new sparkling pool, and an oversized 2 car garage… all in a “great neighborhood.” Now it’s Friday evening, the first weekend in your new home and you decide to invite some of your friends over to show off the house. Everyone loved it and commented on how beautiful everything was. After everyone leaves, you decide to relax on the back porch. Sipping some iced tea and enjoying the smell of a fresh-cut yard, you think to yourself, “What a great decision to move here!”
But things begin to change around 11:00 pm. Suddenly you’re woken up by the glare of car lights and slamming doors. Then, loud talking coming from outside your bedroom window that gets louder and more colorful as the night goes on. You finally turn on the fan (full speed) to drown out the noise and somehow manage to get a little sleep. When you wake up the next morning, everything is quiet but the cars are still there… and all parked in front of your house! It finally dawns on you that the one thing missing on your “must haves” – GOOD NEIGHBORS!”
Of course we don’t live in a perfect world with June and Ward Cleaver living next door but there are some things you can do to help even the odds.
- Before you decide to make a purchase, drive the neighborhood on a weekend (especially late at night). It’s amazing what you can observe. Park and walk. You’ll see much more while walking.
- Talk to some of the neighbors. Most people enjoy talking about their home. Compliment them on a feature you like, then work in to asking what the neighbors are like. It’s an easier way to break the ice as compared to just asking if they’ve had any problems with the neighbors. By the way, it’s amazing how much neighbors know!
- Drive the neighborhood early on a weekday morning. Traffic flows to work can be a huge frustration after the fact.
- Look at other homes in the neighborhood (especially ones near where you want to live). Excessive clutter, overgrown trees and shrubs, high grass, and old parked cars that are not in use can impact the value of your home.
- Look for loose animals (especially ones that like to wonder in yards, leaving deposits).
- Look for neighbors who fill their hot tub with your garden hose late at night (happened to us).
- And lastly, once you do purchase your new home, get to know your new neighbors. Some of the best and longest lasting friendships could be the people right next door.
Before purchasing a home, make a “must have” list and be sure to include getting to know your neighbors. A little work in the beginning can really pay off in the end. For more tips on finding your next home, in the right neighborhood, call me.