We’ve all heard of horror stories that involve bad neighbors and the problems they cause time and again. You might have also heard of stories where these fights resulted in long-standing disputes or the people had to sell and move out because of years of problems.
Whatever the case, bad neighbors can become the bane of your existence. Your home is your quiet place and it’s necessary that you try doing everything you can to avoid living right beside someone who might cause great trouble.
If you’re looking for ways to sniff out potential bad neighbors, you’ve come to the right place. But first, let’s take a look at the type of bad neighbors you should avoid:
The Type Of Bad Neighbours To Avoid
There will always be certain kinds of people in every neighborhood that will get on your nerves and cause a nuisance. Look out for these neighbors when you’re starting out your house hunting journey.
1. The Party Lovers
You will find people who love blasting music through the speakers everywhere, but some of them tend to do it constantly and can give you sleepless nights. Noise can also be in the form of frequent parties that your neighbor might host where the guests make a ruckus with boisterous laughter and screaming matches.
2. The Gossip Mongers
While gossip lovers don’t cause the kind of nuisance that party lovers do, they’re still responsible for causing one unnecessary headache. The worst part about having such people as neighbors is that their love for drama can cause troubles in your own home or among you and other neighbors on the street.
3. The Inconsiderate Carers
Ever had neighbors with kids that scream 24/7 or a dog that whines and barks all through the day? These are people who don’t have much consideration for those dependent on them, nor do they have any consideration for the nuisance that they cause their neighbors. Such people can become a great problem because you can’t really shout at the kid or the dog, nor will the parents take ownership of what’s happening.
4. The Property Line Movers
You might not have thought of this, but you can have neighbors who will try pushing their property line and extending it on yours. They might do this by planting trees or building a fence a little over the property border. This can become a great nuisance later on if something is not done about it at the start itself.
5. The Law Offenders
Small sneaky stealers to groups that have an entire criminal cartel, some neighbors can be law offenders which not only put you and your family at risk but also depreciate the value of your home. As opposed to other types of annoying neighbors with whom you can at least talk and try reasoning, that can’t be done with law offenders. This might leave you at a dead-end, making you feel hopeless.
Also Read: How To Find A Good Neighborhood?
How To Avoid Bad Neighbors And Nuisance
While it’s not always possible to know if your neighbors in the area around your new home might become a nightmare, there are some things you can try doing. Let’s now take a look at ways in which you can avoid bad neighbors and nuisances when you buy a new home.
1. Assess The Neighborhood: Look For Signs Of Neglect
One of the first things you can do in order to determine if you will face problems once you move into your new home is to actually take a walk around your neighborhood. When you walk, keep a close eye on how the properties around your house have been maintained. This is obvious but if the properties around are screaming for love and care, that might be a red flag.
Assessing the neighborhood can seem like you’re on your own spy mission, and it is one since the state of your neighborhood can tell you a lot about the kind of people you will be living around. If there’s disrepair or neglect, if the lawns are dry with weeds, it indicates that the neighborhood hasn’t been well-kept.
But remember that just because a neighborhood has old houses, it does not mean that they are being neglected or that your neighbors will not do their part towards the upkeep of the neighborhood. Though the houses might be modest, their exteriors must show pride of ownership, and that’s more than enough!
2. Look For Signs Of Disturbance
As we’ve mentioned before, the amenities around your house can affect the kind of people who live around you. But, that’s not all; you don’t need to have a club on your street to have noisy neighbors. The people in your house next door can have teens who invite a group of college kids every weekend and blast music through the streets.
Disturbance of any kind can become a huge nuisance as time passes, and when you buy a home with the aim to turn it into a calm and welcoming place, such nuisance defeats the purpose! When neighbors don’t have any consideration for those around them, you can spend years wondering why you made the decision to move there.
Look for other signs of disturbance like pets because pets that are not cared for can cause a hullabaloo. You don’t want to hear a dog barking all night! Check where the pets are kept—are they in a fenced area, tied up, or are they inside the house? Do the pets look healthy and well kept or do they look like they’ve had better days? Pets can give you multiple clues on how your neighbors might turn out to be.
3. Check For Criminal History
Sounds absurd and over the top? It’s really not! Many of us tend to brush this aside thinking that’s completely unnecessary, especially if we’re moving into modest or well-to-do neighborhoods with low crime rates. But you don’t want to move just to realize later that you’re living next to a sex offender.
You might not know this, but when you live in neighborhoods that have sex offenders or criminals who have committed heinous crimes, it also lowers the value of our property. So it’s best to look for the criminal history of those that might live around you, and a simple Google search might help with that!
Also Read: How Safe Is My New Neighborhood?
4. Ask Around
We’re sure this was the first thing you thought of, and if you did, then you’re on the right track! Buying a home is a big investment and one that you might not make again in your lifetime, so it’s best to get all bases checked before you make the move.
Even with determining if you have law offenders in your neighborhood, those living around you will have the correct information about the same. Simple waving to your neighbors can be a great conversation starter if they wave back. Don’t be afraid to take the chance to talk to a few neighbors to get their perspective on the neighborhood, because you never know what you will find.
We suggest you make a list of things you think are important to ascertain before you buy your new home. This can be anything from how the local community is to information on neighbors who cause a nuisance.
5. Take A Look At Zoning And Development Plans
While this might not center around neighbors, it is an essential factor to consider when you’re buying a new home. We suggest you look at things like the neighborhood’s development plans: are the pavements broken or intact? Are there streetlights wherever needed? Are efforts being made to plant more trees and keep the areas clean?
These things will tell you a lot about the people living in the neighborhood too because if the people aren’t lobbying for better amenities and have no consideration for the same, you might find yourself in a soup later. Also take a look at zoning changes, for example, ascertain whether there are plans to build roads anywhere near your home because this will affect you in the future.
6. Presence Of Community Services
When you buy a new house, you also have to take into consideration how much the house’s value might increase over time in case you want to sell it. When you have landfills, factories, or commercial buildings close to your property, there are two obvious things that will happen: constant nuisance and depreciation of your property value.
When you’re close to any city services, remember that you can face problems related to noise and air pollution. Even though you might want to be close to one, you don’t want to live so close that it ends up giving you sleepless nights.
Dealing With Bad Neighbors Once You Move
There’s a huge possibility that you won’t find troublemaking neighbors till you move and settle down. If that happens, here are some things you can do to get the nuisance to stop.
1. Have A Chat
One of the first things you can do to deal with a neighbor who is causing a nuisance is talking to them. Try keeping the conversation friendly and tell them what’s bothering you. We suggest you don’t start off by accusing them and pointing fingers since this can escalate the situation and be counterproductive.
There’s a strong chance that the neighbors don’t know that their behavior is causing a nuisance to you, so make them understand. Most times, people admit their mistakes if they’ve known you for a while and if you’re on friendly terms.
2. Take The Support Of Other Neighbors
There are instances where a friendly chat will do no good in solving the problem of constant nuisance caused. Such a scenario will usually take place when the nuisance caused is on a greater scale, like constant loud house parties, or pets being left unattended.
Here, you can approach other neighbors who live around you and might be facing the same problem. With a large group of people complaining about the same issue, you might be able to put an end to the nuisance. This is also useful if you’re planning to file a complaint in court; since the more people, the better.
3. Contact Their Landlord
One of the easiest ways to get nuisance to stop is by contacting the landlord of the neighbor if they’re living on rent. If the people living in the house want to be long-term tenants, they wouldn’t want to be evicted. As a result, they will put an end to the trouble they’re causing.
4. Contact The Home Owners Association (HOA)
If multiple attempts on your behalf to get the nuisance to stop have failed, your last resort might be to contact the Home Owners Association (HOA) and take their help. They will first issue a warning to the neighbor, and if the behavior doesn’t stop, concrete steps will be taken to end the nuisance-causing behavior.
1. Do You Have To Disclose Bad Neighbors While Selling A House?
Yes, if you’ve had a proper dispute with a neighbor, you are obliged to make it known to whoever will be buying your house next. A good way to do this is by mentioning it on the Seller’s Property Information Form (SPIF) which your solicitor will send you.
2. What Makes Property Value Go Down?
If there have been any foreclosures or short sales on your street, it might lead to a decrease in your property’s value. Even though this is an indirect reason, it does adversely impact the value of an entire neighborhood.
3. What Makes A House Harder To Sell?
As you might expect, factors that make a house harder to sell are the location, difficult floor plans, old and poor architecture, and even low ceilings. If a home requires that new owners put in a lot of work, its value might decrease and it might become harder to sell.
Even if you do all in your power to sniff out a potential bad neighbor, there will be instances where you won’t be successful and might end up living next to one. The scenario might also be different where you move and sometime later the house next to yours gets sold and the new owners turn out bad. Whatever the case, try out the above tips to find them before you move, and if not, always try to negotiate with the neighbor before starting a full-blown fight. Happy house hunting!