Can Your Neighbors Lower Your Home’s Value?
In a word, yes. We don’t exactly have palatial estates here in San Carlos. Many San Carlos lots are between forty and fifty feet wide….barely enough to stretch your arms without bumping the side of your neighbors home. Some of the more desirable neighborhoods in San Carlos, such as White Oaks and Howard Park, are the biggest offenders with regard to homes being built right on top of each other. Given the somewhat claustrophobic nature of our lots in San Carlos, it only makes sense to wonder if your neighbors can truly make a difference in the marketability of your home.
When neighbors do negatively impact the marketability of a particular home, the impact is usually being felt in one (or more) of three categories: (1) the property is not kept up, equating to an eyesore when compared to the rest of the homes in the neighborhood; (2) there is some type of feud or disagreement with a neighbor; and finally, (3) the neighbor is doing something that qualifies as a nuisance and becomes a mandatory disclosure item. I will take a look at all three categories below.
The Neighbor’s Property is Not Kept Up
Most San Carlans do a great job of keeping their properties in good condition. However, there seems to be at least one home on every street that, for one reason or another, lags behind in general upkeep. This can be anything from peeling paint, an overgrown yard, a non-working car parked in the driveway (or on the lawn), substantial cracks in the driveway, and a host of other factors. Pride in ownership is something that many buyers want to make sure is felt by their neighbors prior to making a million dollar purchase.
Feud Between Neighbors
With homes being so close in San Carlos, it makes sense that you would want to be on good terms with those who share a fence with you. A neighbor that is difficult or unreasonably demanding is not only unpleasant to deal with, but they would most likely need to be disclosed in your Transfer Disclosure Statement upon selling the home. When these types of neighbors do pop up in San Carlos, I think most people take the high road and do whatever they can to make the situation work. I can tell you that feuding neighbors do exist in San Carlos. Once disclosed, it is usually the first question that every buyer who is seriously considering the home will have for the listing agent.
A private nuisance occurs when someone does something on their own property, which then primarily affects the subject property.
Here is a list of the most common private nuisances in San Carlos:
* Dogs that bark for an extended amount of time
* Neighbors who play musical instruments
* Neighbors who have loud parties
* Neighbors who fix their cars or motorcycles in the driveway
Here is a list of occurrences that require disclosure, but happen on a far less frequent basis in San Carlos:
* Drug use by a neighbor
* Multiple domestic incidents which have required police involvement
* Neighbor is a convicted of a crime
* Neighbor makes threats against the subject property or others in the neighborhood
Advice for Home Buyers
All of the above instances will require disclosure from the seller. Any type of negative disclosure regarding neighbors will most likely have some type of impact on the final sale price. Just how much of an impact is felt depends entirely on the severity of the disclosure. Do your homework before completing your purchase. Read the Transfer Disclosure Statement and Sellers Supplemental Checklist carefully to look for any type of neighbor issue before removing your property inspection contingency. If something does not seem right, ask for a further explanation from the seller. If you really want to get closure on the issue, knock on the door of the neighbor in question and make your own determination.
I have often wondered if there’s an “Adopt A Neighborhood” program with the city, because as you stated there is inevitably someone or more than one person who lets their homes go. Makes me want to do a annual neighborhood cleanup or something like it. Also, since many homes usually have a one-car garage or none, cars end up on the street. But is there a rule about a car which is parked on the street (in front of our home) that stays there. I’m talking at least 2 months now. It has not moved. We don’t want to make waves with the neighbors – and we generally park our cars on our driveway so space is not the issue – but is there a city ordinance about this?