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Gold Super Contributor
TerriM
Posts: 3,326
Registered: ‎05-02-2011
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How much are neighbors worth to you?

[ Edited ]

How much are (good) neighbors worth to you?  Would you take a nicer/newer house on a street where you're not going to meet your neighbors (and probably wouldn't really click with) for 15-20% less than an older house in a neighborhood where you get to chat with your neighbors (who might be more your social comfort zone) while you're mowing your lawn?

 

Seems to me that if we're talking a difference of $500-750 a month in mortgage costs, you can buy a lot of filet mignon and wine/beer and have your friends over for a monthly bash.

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ckaught78
Posts: 61
Registered: ‎10-03-2012
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Re: How much are neighbors worth to you?

Having just moved from a news less expensive neighborhood to an older more expensive neighborhood, during the weekend I was moving in I met more neighboors than in my entire two years in my last neighborhood. Although there were many other reasons for the move, having friendly neighbors helps me feel better about my decision to move.

 

However, until you actually move some place, it's hard to know what your neighbors will be like unless you are very familiar with the neighborhood already.

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Jil
Posts: 3,136
Registered: ‎10-24-2011
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Re: How much are neighbors worth to you?

I consider very important for me. In addition, when I landed in my residence, I see value in it. Al though my neighbors are retirees, they also have friendly discussions everytime any of our family members are outside the home, near by drive ways. They always help each other at time of emergencies. 

 

Better neighbor, higher the buying price and higher the selling price. Price flutuations are very narrow in better neighborhood. Hence, my realtor always suggests me to drive by, walk over the streets many times before any decision is made.

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Metalhead
Posts: 224
Registered: ‎12-20-2011
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Re: How much are neighbors worth to you?

Neighbors are pretty high in the value list but it is hard to really know what you will get until you move in.  We moved last year and within a week, we had multiple neighbors stop by to bring cookies and such.  I think the for sale sign and the moving truck are the indicators people use to come out to talk.  One of the neighbors had a holiday party last year and all the neighbors were invited.  We got to chat it up with the entire neighborhood and that really helped things quite a bit.  We lived in SF for over 15 years and only really met a few neighbors over the years.  

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sheriff
Posts: 2,342
Registered: ‎06-01-2012
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Re: How much are neighbors worth to you?

Good neighbors are nice but avoiding bad neighbors is more important.  I once lived in an apartment where the neighbors dogs bark all night and all my efforts to make them stop were fruitless.  Animal control and city departments were no help.

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mediaguru
Posts: 1,896
Registered: ‎03-03-2011
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Re: How much are neighbors worth to you?

[ Edited ]

I think having good neighbors (or, at the very least, not having bad ones) is priceless.  It's worth its weight in gold.

 

Unfortunately, you have very little say over the matter. You can try to buy in a "nicer" neighborhood with a certain demographic, but that's no guarantee of anything.  I moved into one of the top 100 wealthiest zip codes in America, and my neighbors are pretty much all scrubs.  The house across from me looks like something you'd see on King of the Hill or Reno 911 -- I think the deal is that the house has been in the family for a long time, since way before the town became such a wealthy enclave.  Anyway, it's covered in old car parts, rusty swingsets, a broken down camper (does someone live in it? Who knows), various sheds and other garbage. Looks like a junkyard.  The people themselves don't bother us, though, so that's all I really care about (and they are separated from us by a major road -- so no actual shared lot boundaries to worry about.)

 

It can be hard to tell what the neighbors are like before moving in. Especially if you have some that seem to be reclusive (which is fine by me -- preferable, even.  You stay in your space and business; I stay in mine... we're all happy.)  One neighbor we didn't meet until after we moved in. He was an older man, couldn't move around very well, and in a somewhat removed/secluded house.  We were hoping this meant he was a recluse.  Boy were we wrong.  It's the opposite -- he gets his nose in EVERYBODY'S business, trespasses on the neighbor's properties, and aggressively tries to get "favors" from the neighbors (wanted to share our trash service instead of paying for his own.  Went to my other neighbor across the street and said "I noticed you have a nice pool. Can I use it?")

 

 

This is why we chose to buy a property on a larger lot of land (half acre, surrounded by other half-acre or larger lots).  At least that way if the neighbors are annoying, there is a space buffer between the houses and you have to kind of go out of your way to be in each others' business.

 

 

Also, remember that even if you find out everything about all your neighbors... there's nothing to stop them from moving later, and somebody far worse could move in.

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TerriM
Posts: 3,326
Registered: ‎05-02-2011
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Re: How much are neighbors worth to you?

How about this question:  What would it take to consider having a more isolated house?  Like if you inherited a house in Atherton from your grandmother and could reasonably upkeep it on your salary, would you do it knowing you'll not see the neighbors much?  

 

Would you take a nice, new 4BR 2000sq ft house which has a secluded feel (there are higher walls and a front fence that prevent "chatting" (and no lawn))  rather than a old 3BR 1500 sq ft house in a no-walls neighborly area?  Where do you draw the line?

I agree avoiding bad neighbors, obnoxious dogs, and loud parties is a consideration, but I also don't see how you can control that anyways.  You can move in, have the most delightful neighbors, and then one of them moves out and a Meghan's list parolee moves in who likes loud parties and pitbulls.  Can you really prevent that?

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TerriM
Posts: 3,326
Registered: ‎05-02-2011
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Re: How much are neighbors worth to you?


mediaguru wrote:

 

Also, remember that even if you find out everything about all your neighbors... there's nothing to stop them from moving later, and somebody far worse could move in.


yeah exactly!!!! 

 

It seems riskier than buying based on school district :smileyhappy:

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mediaguru
Posts: 1,896
Registered: ‎03-03-2011
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Re: How much are neighbors worth to you?


TerriM wrote:

Would you take a nice, new 4BR 2000sq ft house which has a secluded feel (there are higher walls and a front fence that prevent "chatting" (and no lawn))  rather than a old 3BR 1500 sq ft house in a no-walls neighborly area?  Where do you draw the line?

I agree avoiding bad neighbors, obnoxious dogs, and loud parties is a consideration, but I also don't see how you can control that anyways.  You can move in, have the most delightful neighbors, and then one of them moves out and a Meghan's list parolee moves in who likes loud parties and pitbulls.  Can you really prevent that?


You don't really have much control.

 

For me, I'd rather have a house that you can have privacy in (if you want it) and can avoid the neighbors, rather than one with "good" neighbors but no privacy.  Even the nicest people have disagreements, or can gossip about things they discover (like an argument with the spouse or something) due to lack of privacy.  Or they may be nice, but have pet peeves, or be selfish or neurotic in ways you didn't expect, regarding noise levels, or lawn mowing, or who knows what.

 

I believe that good fences make good neighbors.

 

Then again, I'm also an introvert by nature.

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buyinghouse
Posts: 5,879
Registered: ‎04-23-2011
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Re: How much are neighbors worth to you?

  Wow terri! You're getting serious, aren't you?

 

  Yes, good neighbors count big time! One of the reasons we love our home is because on my right hand side I have an Indian neighbor, noisy when they talk at night but mellow when they are outside in a gathering garage spreading the rumors (do I spread rumors?:smileyvery-happy:). Then, across the street I have Filipinos and Vietnamese, then on my left hand side Chinese people whom I haven't had the pleasure to shake their hands and the far they have gone is say "hi" to me. We all talk to each other, we are 7 homes that gather on the garage of this particular Filipino lady, who by the way was the first person to be interviewed the day we came to take a look at the house. We all are on the look out for each other. When somebody leaves for a vacation or any emergency, he or she leaves phone numbers and instructions, we water their front yard, etc.