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Are those weirdos next door hurting your home’s value???

January 31, 2012

Ahhhh… the bad neighbor. How much can they affect a home’s value?  Good question.

The Seattle Times ran an article today that addresses that issue, citing some pretty outlandish behavior.  It’s a fun read.  It’s also somewhat timely.  I’ve had people broach this issue in somewhat different ways within the last 24 hours.  Let’s look at one of those experiences and play Good Neighbor, Bad Neighbor.

Yesterday I held open a fantastic modern, built green home in Seward Park. One of the neighbors came by while some other folks were in the house. We were all chatting when the neighbor offered up “I can tell you all about Bob if you’re curious…”

“Who’s Bob?” I replied.

The neighbor pointed at a house down on the corner that was in a state of disrepair and said “That’s Bob’s place.”

The neighbor was obviously concerned that Bob’s property was reflecting poorly on the neighborhood, particularly because Bob lives right next door to him!  Said neighbor, also clearly had a soft spot for Bob and didn’t want people’s imaginations running wild about what kind of “nut” he must be. So he carefully pointed out the “elephant in the room” that was Bob.  Here was a guy that cared about his neighborhood and his neighbor and I appreciate that.

Contrast that to an experience I had 3 years ago in Lynnwood. I was working with a lovely couple on a short sale up there. One day we were outside the house and bumped into the next door neighbor.  At first he seemed friendly and helpful. But each time we spoke with him he would become more mysterious:

“I would look underneath the house if I were you.”

“We know they replaced the floor and some rotton joists there…” we’d reply.

He’d continue, “I’m not saying anything… just look under the house.”

Seems harmless enough but being that we had already had full disclosure regarding rot that had been in the flooring/sturcture and how it had been remedied we didn’t need Captain Creepy stirring the bad feelings pot.  I don’t know if he thought Hoffa was buried there or what, but it was a bit much and were my clients not so well-informed they may have been spooked and the deal may have fallen apart.

Not helpful sir.

Thankfully my people were of sound mind and are enjoying their perfectly fine floor and the rest of the house to this date.

I could go on about vengeful neighbors blocking a potential buyer’s car in a driveway or go back into the story of a house I was watching last year that is sure to fall collapse soon (check out this post, you won’t believe the pictures).  Or how my neighbors (who are nice people by the way) have at least 7 vehicles and 2 yipey dogs.  Everyone has a story.

I’d love to hear some of yours.  If you have an interesting or funny story about a neighbor, let us know.  We’d all like to hear about it.

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