Most Americans share a common situation. We all have neighbors. Living next to others is often the foundation of lifelong friendships and a strong community. However, neighbors can also be annoying, troublesome, or downright scary. When it comes to your personal finances, especially as a home-owner, neighbors can make or break you.
Common neighbor problems include excessive or ill-timed noise. However, complaining about noise can often be the start of a downward spiral, with neighbors becoming increasingly more hostile towards each other. Many people who have conflicts with their neighbor over noise issues suffer from more serious personal anxiety issues as a result. These anxiety issues can lead to expensive medical visits or costly attempts to soundproof the home.
Homeowners will commonly complain about a neighbor’s behavior that reduces the value of homes in the entire neighborhood. For example, the trend towards home gardens, even in the front yards, or radically xeriscaped landscaping leaves many more traditionally-oriented owners feeling like the non-conformity of these endeavors lessens that value of other homes. Much the same concern is raised when one home in a neighborhood falls into disrepair or foreclosure. The lack of steady tenants and good maintenance creates a “broken window” syndrome and other homeowners lose sleep thinking about the depreciation of their own house.
While having good neighbors is like creating a family, many experts in real estate advise to not share too much information with even your closest neighbors regarding the condition of your home. Agents like to canvas neighborhoods and gather information regarding a potential or current house for sale, often costing the seller many thousands of dollars. Sometimes being private is more neighborly than sharing every detail of your home’s faults.
Owning a home and living around others can be one of life’s greatest joys. However, being a neighbor carries responsibilities that extend to the value of your home as well as other home’s in the area. As the saying goes, a good fence (installed accurately on the property line) makes a good neighbor.
Source: Market Watch