Great Neighborhoods: Five Bad Neighbors to Avoid When Buying a Home


“The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.”-G.K. Chesterton


A Chinese proverb once said that finding a good neighbor is a priceless treasure. Similarly, Hesiod has been quoted to say that a bad neighbor is a misfortune as much as a good one is a great blessing. This is probably because the neighbors you choose to live with can either be your bane or boon—and as they say, you can do quite a lot of changes to your house but there is only so much you can do in changing your neighbors.

In this regard, choosing who your neighbors will be should be a paramount consideration in buying a home insomuch that your criteria should include not only neighbors you can tolerate and live with but neighbors you can potentially see forming friendly relations with. Having a good relationship with your neighbors would not only cultivate a better community for everyone but would also foster lasting friendships that might be mutually beneficial. So, in your endeavor to look for a new place to live in, do not simply look at the home’s façade and price tag. Be a little discriminating and take your criteria a little further. Do not arbitrarily decide on a place immediately just because it falls within your budget and because it matches your checklist.

Whether you choose to live in a condo in QC or a residential area elsewhere, take a look down the hall or the street to see if the people living in other units or homes are people you can see yourself happily living with for a significant number of years. In researching a particular area, be on the lookout for these neighborhood characters that you should be wary of:


The Obnoxious Busybody

It is rather easy to pick out who the busybody in the neighborhood is as they would be the first to introduce themselves to you—even prior to your scheduled move-in date. In the same vein, they would be the very same people who would tell you about the neighborhood rules. Unfortunately, you should not mistake their amiable veneer for an offer of friendship as more often than not, these are the people who would love nothing more than to snoop on other people’s business. Furthermore, they always seem to have a keen eye out for any resident who seems to be breaking arbitrary rules whether imagined or not. Steer clear from them as they would certainly love nothing more than getting their fellow neighbors into trouble.


The inconsiderate dog owner

You might be an animal lover but only to a certain extent and even then, you would not want your neighbor’s dog to interrupt a good night’s sleep with its constant barking and howling. Unfortunately for you, almost every neighborhood has one and when you call them out, they would dismiss your concerns and justify their pet’s noise by saying it is just how they are. With this in mind, be sure to listen for any signs of persistent and obnoxious barking within earshot of the house. To be sure, walk up and down the street at different times during the day.


The Gossipmonger

Every neighborhood will have its fair share of individuals who seem to be doing nothing but in the business of their fellow neighbors. In fact, these gossipmongers would always be the first one to know about anything and everything happening in the street or even the neighborhood. Unfortunately, it is their knack for stirring up drama, trouble and intrigue that makes them so difficult to live with as you certainly would not want your whole block to be aware of your personal matters or affairs. When dealing with this neighbor, be sure to keep your distance or at least be careful not to divulge anything that you would not want anyone else to know.


The Property Line Offender

Some neighbors can be a little exacting about the size of their properties and sometimes, a little too much that their borders such as fences and hedges would cross over to your property. When this happens, you should definitely address the issue and take it up to your neighbor as soon as possible. Ensure that your neighbor understands where their property line ends and where yours would start the moment you move in.


The Mayor

More often than not, every neighborhood would have a self-appointed or self-proclaimed mayor. These are the individuals that have lived in the area the longest and would be the ones most resistant to change. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, they can be a bit of a force to reckon with should you wish to implement changes. This is because, more often than not, these individuals have some sort of leverage over the house association and the like given their seniority. Not to worry though, among the potential bad neighbors you would get, the Mayor could actually turn out to be someone you can relatively deal with and even be good friends with.

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