Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My neighbor doesn’t keep his property up … will that affect my sale?

In this Market of 2007 all things come in to play when you are looking for an edge in the market place. Neighbors are an important consideration for most Buyers, especially when the homes are positioned close to one another. A good neighbor is something worth disclosing for added value while a bad neighbor should be disclosed to prevent any ensuing litigation for non-disclosure.

Good neighbors are worth their weight in gold. Lasting friendships for parents and children are created by living next to one another and having a great neighbor relationship. That doesn’t mean having dinner together every Saturday night, but it does involve watching over one another’s children, property and pets. It can involve giving a lending hand when needed, and exchanging pleasantries when you see one another. A united and strong neighborhood is a safer environment that creates a harmonious living standard. That doesn’t include an overbearing Homeowner’s Association group which can actually have the opposite result on the neighborhood. There are some such HOA’s in our area that have a detrimental effect on their neighborhood in their zeal to protect it. As with anything in life, balance is needed to be a good neighbor. Don’t snoop or pry, and don’t shutter yourself out of existence.

We know of a circumstance where the neighbor’s children had friends with motorcycles that came roaring in to the neighborhood all hours of the day and night to listen to the band practice in the garage. The Sellers of the house next door were going out of their minds from the continual invasion of their quiet enjoyment of their property, but, despite numerous police reports and visits, the problem persisted. They felt trapped – emotionally and financially. They were concerned that they could not ever sell and that was in a good market! Fortunately, they sold, with a proper disclosure, and made their move to the tranquility of the Carson Valley.

Bad neighbors can have a negative impact in different ways. The above is not obvious unless you are around when the invasive sound is occurring. More obvious are unkempt properties, i.e. - dead lawn, overgrown with weeds, and junk or debris strewn about the property. Such properties bring down the overall value of the neighborhood and can undoubtedly have a detrimental impact on a potential Buyer of your property.

Our Advice: If your neighbor has let his property go there are some things you can do about it … carefully. The first is to understand what is happening in the household, i.e. - are they facing foreclosure or bankruptcy? You can offer, gently, to pay for the cleanup as it would greatly benefit you in your selling efforts. If they are uncooperative, or vindictive, call the County Code Enforcement Officer. That process takes longer, but will resolve the problem for the benefit of the entire neighborhood. If you don’t take action on their property you will have to on yours … by a major price reduction.

Neighbors and neighborhoods are a big reason why people move to the Carson Valley. Let’s keep it a place where people can still talk over the fence, or bring dinner to the sick person next door … your neighbor.

Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates,, 775-781-5472.

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