In amongst all the excitement of house hunting, assessing the neighbours, who occupy either side of your dream home is a task that often flies under the radar. If you’re unsure where to start, here are a few things we recommend looking at in order to land yourself a top neighbour.
The grass is greener
Community veggie gardens, dog parks and quirky sporting facilities like public ping-pong tables are all staples of the new-age suburban ‘hood. They’re also a sign that the neighbourhood you’re buying into could be a collaborative, social and friendly one. At least if you don’t like the neighbours, think of all the money you’ll save on herbs!
Judge a book by its cover
Perhaps the most important thing to look for is an outdated exterior in need of a fresh coat of paint or an upgraded door fitting. Aside from being hard on the eyes, this could mean the actual owners don’t live there but are renting it out, and you could be committing to an unsure neighbour situation.
Find your tribe
What classifies as a good neighbour is subjective and will depend on where you’re at in your own life. The most obvious signs of a family-first neighbourhood include children’s toys or bikes in the front-yard and access to family-sized cars. Students and young professionals often migrate to apartment and townhouse heavy areas – you may see bikes stacked outside or signs of a recent barbeque.
What’s the parking etiquette?
As you get closer to cities, parking can become a real pain. One easy-to-spot trait is figuring out if neighbours have their own parking spots, or whether the block is going by a first-come-first-served mantra. There’s nothing worse than coming home from a big day at work and having to park two blocks away because your neighbour has parked their car in your spot.
First impressions do count, and a good neighbour will be nice, approachable and will likely say hello and stop for a chat even if you haven’t yet bought the house. Use this as an opportunity to get the inside goss on the neighbourhood and the house itself. You don’t have to be BFFs, but if you’re considering buying the home, a simple hello adds a level of reassurance.
Now you’re equipped to spot a great neighbour, the next step is to look into which neighbourhood you’d like to check out! Download the Spring Buyers Guide 2016 or call one of our Home Loan specialists on 1800 100 258, 8am-8pm Mon-Fri and 9am-5pm Sat (AEST/AEDT).
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