Hi everybody. This is Doug Buenz with the 680 Homes Group at Venture Sotheby’s International Realty. Welcome to the latest installment of Inside Real Estate. Our topic today is talk to the neighbors. If you are a home buyer, you get the reports and the disclosures, you look all of that over, and you think you have a pretty good sense for the property. The one thing you a lot of times do not have a good sense for is the neighborhood.
Now, since your agent most likely does not live in that neighborhood, I always recommend as a home buyer that you go out to the neighborhood on a Saturday and Sunday, see if you can find some neighbors outside, go up and talk to them. It is a great opportunity for you to learn more about the neighborhood and about the house. You can learn the backstory on the property. You will hear the history of it, who lived there, what they did.
You will learn about the neighborhood.
Are there any barking dogs?
- Are there any motorcycle clubs that rev up their Harley’s at six in the morning?
- Is there a garage rock band down the street? There is nothing worse than living next to a Nirvana wannabe. Are there loud parties that occur on a regular basis?
- Are there unusual traffic patterns you should know about or parking issues?
- If you have children, are there other kids in the neighborhood?
It is nice to know these things. And these are things that your agent will not likely know, so it is really better if you go talk to the neighbors.
I remember a famous case in Pleasanton, for example, where there was a buyer who purchased their home, closed escrow, and every night about midnight, a neighbor who is less than mentally fit would yell out blood curdling screams out of her bathroom window every night. This drove the buyer crazy. Now had he talked to the neighbors, he probably would have found that out. Ended up getting some money from the seller. So these are the type of things you want to find out before you close escrow, not after.
My recommendation, always talk to the neighbors. Learn what you can about the property. It makes good business sense, and it is important from a due diligence standpoint to make sure you understand not only the house you are buying, but the neighborhood you are buying.
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