Research Your Neighbors Before Buying a House

Know anyone named Bubba who enjoys sucking moonshine through his missing teeth, shooting guns in place of fireworks in a less than sober state, parks his never-to-run-again dilapidated truck in his front yard, lets five of his unwashed, shoeless children play in the street , and then has raucous parties with his similar friends? Of course you don’t! Nor would you ever want to, so be careful when you are buying a house. Your neighbors can be just as important as the house you choose.

You may not actually run into a situation as bad as Bubba. Maybe you just find yourself with a neighbor who doesn’t keep his house in good repair and has a dog that barks incessantly – not to mention, snarls like he would eat your face off if his old, worn leash wasn’t holding him back.

The point is that you need to pay close attention. There are things you might not notice right off the bat if the neighbors aren’t horrendous like Bubba. And sometimes other neighborly annoyances can be almost as bad.

Check out the condition of nearby houses. Are they kept in good condition? Are the yards neat? Is the neighborhood quiet? Make sure to check for the peace and quiet quotient after kids have been let out of school and on weekends when neighbors may be milling around or entertaining friends. It’s a great idea to also actually try to meet your prospective neighbors. Knock on the door, tell them you are thinking of buying the house next door and ask them what their thoughts are on the neighborhood. This can give you some good insight on the neighborhood as well as the person you have just met.