Bad Neighbors: An Epidemic

(April 20, 2017)

Times have changed – back in the ’70s and ‘80s everyone seemed to know each other, and it was commonplace to bring a new resident a plate of brownies or at least knock just to say “Welcome to the neighborhood!”. Nowadays it seems as though everyone lives in their own little world, connected to the outside only by way of the Internet. A new study has even found that a third of Americans have never met their neighbors.

This can create an issue because if a problem arises with noise, unkempt property, or other types of disturbances, we don’t feel comfortable approaching the person next door to try and solve the problem with civility. Not only that, but when neighbors don’tneighborhood-houses.jpgfeelconnected to each other – or possibly even hostile – they may take liberties in their behaviors that they would otherwise feel inhibited about doing due to concerns of judgement from onlookers.

What does all this mean for property values? Well, it isn’t good. Whether the problem of bad neighbors is induced by local economic factors that contribute to bad behavior, a lack of willingness of certain people to keep their property well-kept, or some other external factor, the issue typically cannot be resolved by either residents or landlords. These issues can have a serious impact on a home’s value – some estimates show that undesirable neighbors can lower a property’s worth by as much as 5-10%.

Not only do you want to keep this in mind when searching for a home, but also when engaging in interactions with locals. Do your part to try to keep things cordial.

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Jennifer Shenbaum

Written by Jennifer Shenbaum

Jennifer Shenbaum is a real estate investor based in Southern California. She is a veteran of the housing market crash of 2007. Best of all, she offers free remodeling ideas to all who ask.

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