Neighbours can affect house value

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Dear Heather,

I am putting my house on the market, but the problem is my neighbours, are so untidy. What can I do about it? Will it affect the value of my home?

Seller

Dear Seller,

You’ve decided to put your home on the market and have done everything in your power to make it as attractive as possible but, as you have pointed out, the one thing that is beyond your control are the neighbours.

Whether they’re messy, loud or just plain ruthless, their behaviour can work against you when it comes time to sell. In fact, some appraisers say that they have seen external factors, such as living beside bad neighbours, affect the value of the home from anywhere between 5 to 10 per cent. So, not only do they have the power to ruin your chances of a sale, they can lower your property’s value. With the price of property in Bermuda, this adds up to a fair bit of cash.

The following are ways neighbours either purposely or inadvertently sabotage a home sale:

Noisy

From constant loud arguments, to non-stop loud music, if visitors find themselves covering their ears the moment they get out of the car, they’re probably not going to want to live there.

Junk collectors

Sure, it’s great to have a handy neighbour or even one who fancies himself as an amateur mechanic, but when the yard is littered with tools, automotive supplies, boats or bikes in the process of being fixed up or stored with the idea of using them for parts, it can give your street a junkyard feel. This drastically diminishes your curb appeal.

Ignore the upkeep

Overgrown grass, dead shrubs, weeds galore or a property in need of painting detract from not only your neighbour’s home but yours as well. If you’ve tried talking to your neighbour and your concerns have gone unheeded, perhaps you could offer to assist them with cleaning it up whilst your home is on the market, or get the support of others in the neighbourhood to help you bring the problem to their attention.

Let it all hang out

While almost everyone can appreciate the desire to conserve energy and save a buck, leaving one’s laundry out on a clothesline from one end of the day to the next does nothing to enhance the scenery.

Allow pets to run wild

Even if your neighbour doesn’t have a dog that howls at the moon or barks ferociously without the slightest provocation, a badly behaved pet is a big turn-off. It can be anything from a bird that talks incessantly to a large dog who isn’t getting enough exercise. Whatever the problem, buyers realise it isn’t going to go away just because they move in next door.

Badmouth the house

This one takes a lot of nerve but some neighbours have been known to disparage the home, or even the area, to try to stop a potential sale. One realtor shared with me that she once had a neighbour attempt to keep would-be buyers at bay, so his mother-in-law could get the place for a lower price.

Gone

Just because no one is living there, doesn’t mean your neighbour troubles are over. Typically, a house can very quickly run into a state of disrepair if vacant — a half-full swimming pool full of toads and mosquitoes, rodents, overgrown gardens, weeds and hedges, derelict cars and other belongings can attract a bad element and vagrants to the property.

The last word

Unfortunately it is quite possible that the quality of the property next door to you, or the people living in it, could bring down the value of your home. It pays to find out what the circumstances are. Is something preventing them taking care of the property such as ill health or loss of a job? Perhaps they would also consider selling?

However, if the neighbours are reputed to be good, helpful and responsible citizens and their property is immaculate, that will help to increase the value of your home.

Heather Chilvers is among Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty’s leading sales representatives. She has been working in real estate for 27 years. If you have a question for Heather, please contact her at hchilvers@brcl.bm or 332-1793. All questions will be treated in confidence. Read this article on Facebook: Ask Heather Real Estate

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Published Aug 15, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 14, 2017 at 10:55 pm)

Neighbours can affect house value

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