Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Would You Be My Neighbor?

by Osman Parvez
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When our clients are getting serious about a house, we advise them to walk the neighborhood, knock on doors, and see what else they can learn. Sometimes we'll even accompany them. Why? Because neighborhood assessment is an important part of buyer due diligence.

An hour or so walking your future neighborhood and talking to the people who live there will often reveal details about why a property is for sale, its history, and many important characteristics about the neighborhood. You might learn who has the loud dog or how long it takes to walk to public transit or shopping. You'll get a firsthand sense of traffic density and the type of people who will be your neighbors.

It helps if you have a few questions in mind. When you meet a neighbor, let them know you're thinking about buying the particular house for sale. Ask about its history and the other houses on the street. Open ended questions are best. A few you might ask...

How's the crime around here? What do you think of the neighborhood? What should I know before buying that house?

You might be surprised by what neighbors will volunteer and if you decide to make an offer on the house, sometimes these details can valuable in negotiation.

Finally, as you meet people you might wonder what sort make the best neighbors. The WSJ has some insight:

Who makes the best neighbors? Retirees and married couples without kids, according to a story on Canada.com. The worst? Students and unrelated people in shared housing. The ratings are the result of a survey of 1,579 homeowners by Australian Web site, realestate.com.au.

Couples without children received the highest ratings (58%) and retirees garnered the second most (54%). Both were seen as less intrusive and not as bothersome (or noisy) as other types of neighbors. As one real estate analyst put it, “Some people don’t like children.”
Also considered highly by homeowners are singles (38%) and surprisingly, pet owners (28%). (surprising, considering that one might think pet noises and messes would be just as unappealing as screaming children.) Identified as the worst neighbors by respondents were students (46%), unrelated individuals who share housing (37%) and families with teenagers (37%). Students and renters were called out for being rowdy and for being lax with home-maintenance. Teenagers evoked worries about door-slamming and loud arguments.
image: dumarismck




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The ideas and strategies described in this blog are the opinion of the writer and subject to business, economic, and competitive uncertainties.   We strongly recommend conducting rigorous due diligence and obtaining professional advice before buying or selling real estate. 

1 comment:

  1. Not too surprising. Of course, the usual question about survey results, is who did they actually survey? A bunch of retirees and couples with no kids, or a bunch single college kids who want to party :)

    ReplyDelete