Practical thoughts for the well-informed house-hunter.
People sell their homes for many reasons. They may be up-sizing or downsizing. They may be relocating. They may have had a change in family structure. And they may have come to truly dislike their neighbours.
As buyer agents working in Mississauga; we try to remove risks and avoid disappointments when we find a buyer a home – and that includes some bigger picture considerations. Good fences for instance, when you’re looking at a home to buy, we advise you to take a look beyond the property line. Why? Because it’s all too common to find buyers who loved their homes but just couldn’t stand their new neighbours.
Other agents may say you don’t need to consider the neighbours you have good fences, however when you’re looking for a home – you only have control over the property you own. But how a neighbour lives and uses his property can have a huge effect on the enjoyment you get from your new home, even with good fences.
Here are some tips we recommend to our clients, before putting an offer on a home and remember, “Good Fences Don’t always make good Neighbours”
- First, understand what you are buying. More than the structure, and design of the house you choose, you are also buying into the neighbourhood and its people. And while you can negotiate changes and stipulations in your purchase agreement, you will have no control or influence over anything that’s not on your property.
- Do your Due Diligence. Take the time to consider the immediate neighbours and the neighbourhood overall.
Take a good, long look around the yard. Not just of the property for sale, but the adjacent properties too. On both sides, the back and the front.
- Ask your Agent to stop talking – maybe go to the car and check his or her messages – then, just look and listen. Do the grounds look maintained? Are there large trees with broken branches? Do they have a pool? How and where do the neighbours store their waste? Is there privacy? Is the air conditioning located close to your patio space? Do they have pets? Do they look like weekend entertainers? Do they have a composting bin or storage shed? Where do they access the exterior?
- Think about the proximity of their outdoor space to yours – the decks, patio, BBQ, walkways and planting beds.
- Look at the condition and appearance of their homes.
There is no such thing as “the perfect neighbour.” And there is no perfect process to avoid getting a bad one. But doing some research and investigation is more than worthwhile. Buying a house is a big purchase and a big decision. Having knowledge and understanding of every aspect of the purchase will allow you to make an informed decision and a great choice. If you enjoyed and found value in the content, download our FREE Home Buying Booklet in less than 5 seconds.
PRO TIP: Try knocking on some doors. If you look for the owner that appears to have lived in the area the longest, he’ll often be willing to share stories. If the homes on the street have not turned over much the last 20-30 years, (ask your agent) you can guess the owners will mainly be older – and you won’t find a lot of children running around. But with a number of sales and turnover over the previous 5 years, you’re more likely to find younger families. As a general rule, people who have bought more recently tend to be more open to new people in the neighbourhood.
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