Getting your home ready to put on the market can be a lot of hard work. Painting, cleaning, repairs, making sure all the mechanical systems are working properly, purging, staging… the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, there are some things that will be out of your control but will still impact the sale and ultimately the value of your home; your neighbors. The appraisal of your home is not just based on your home and what it offers, but recent sales and the comparables or “comps” of the neighborhood. According to an article from the Appraisal Institute, the conditions of your neighbors’ homes could lower your home value up to 10%. Not all hope is lost, there is still something you can do to try to make things better.
Talk to Your Neighbors
If you notice a neighbor that is having a hard time taking care of some exterior issues, offer to help. Pitching in to paint, mow, or even take care of yard debris may actually be exactly what your neighbor needed, but didn’t know what to do or who to ask. Not only will it help to improve their home, but it could also build a sense of community.
Homeowners Association (HOA)
A Homeowners Association (HOA) is run by a management company for the neighborhood, which requires a yearly or monthly fee. This fee not only covers the general landscaping and curb appeal of the common areas in the neighborhood but it also enforces already established covenants and restrictions. These covenants and restrictions set guidelines in regards to exterior issues such as paint colors, landscaping, or any exterior modifications. If you see that a neighbor is not following the guidelines and you don’t want to be the person to tell them, notify your HOA. They can step in and take the actions to get your neighbor to comply.
Housing Code Enforcement
Even if you don’t have an HOA, the county or the city you live in may be able to help. If you see that a neighbor has grossly overgrown weeds, yard debris, etc., there are most likely housing codes that your neighbor may be violating. Contact your local housing code enforcement to see what the guidelines are and what necessary steps they can take to address your neighbor’s house/yard.
Often times, it may not be just the conditions of the house. If your neighbor has frequent domestic situations or an animal that is out of control, you may need to contact the authorities. While this may not be the most popular route, it may be a necessary one, especially if your neighbor’s situation places your neighborhood’s safety in jeopardy.
images via Pixabay
While selling your home may make these situations difficult to resolve, when you buy your next home, definitely look around at the neighborhood. Even though it’s hard not to just focus on the home you may buy, it’s also a good idea to drive around and look at the homes of your potential new neighbors. Even consider driving in the neighborhood at different times of the day. Do they look like they keep up with the landscaping and exterior repairs? Check the crime rates for the neighborhood, even the sex offenders website especially if you have young children. Just like when you marry, you’re not just gaining a spouse, you’re gaining a whole family. Which means you’re not just selling/buying a home, the neighborhood is a package deal.