Bad Neighbors can be Hazardous to Your Property Values

It’s every homeowner’s worst nightmare:

Your new neighbor 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 neighbors 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 neighborhood – and your immediate neighbors – 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 neighbors; it’s your street and often your whole neighborhood. Barking dogs, poorly maintained properties, utility towers, and even funeral homes can make your neighborhood less desirable, and your home less saleable.

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

Visit your potential neighborhood at night and during the day. Drop by on weekends. Drive around neighboring streets to get a feel for the area. Note the proximity of commercial properties. Chat with the neighbors 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 neighbors and the neighborhood only makes sense.

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