Bad Neighbours can be Hazardous to Your Property Values

It’s every homeowner’s worst nightmare:

Your new neighbour has decided to tear down the charming colonial and build a monster home. Or he’s turned his backyard into a junkyard. Or she’s having noisy parties.

Yes, having bad neighbours can be awful. And did you know they also can lower the value of your home by up to 10 percent.

A recent study by the US Appraisal Institute indicates that your neighbourhood – and your immediate neighbours – can be game-changers when it’s time to sell. You may be looking at a 5-10 percent drop in your home’s value. And a lower selling price.

And it’s not just close neighbours; it’s your street and often your whole neighbourhood. Barking dogs, poorly maintained properties, utility towers, and even funeral homes can make your neighbourhood less desirable, and your home less saleable.

What can you do? Not much after you’ve bought, although you can approach your neighbour and/or a lawyer to try to stop the offending behaviour. But you can practice due diligence before you buy.

Visit your potential neighbourhood at night and during the day. Drop by on weekends. Drive around neighbouring streets to get a feel for the area. Note the proximity of commercial properties. Chat with the neighbours to find out if you share the same commitment to maintaining your properties. Consider contacting the local police and checking crime stats.

Whether you’re buying for the long term, or may sell in the next few years, checking out your neighbours and the neighbourhood only makes sense.