Your troublesome neighbor may not just be a nuisance...but a drain on your property's value. According to the Appraisal Institute, a professional association of real estate appraisers, homeowners and potential homebuyers should be aware that problematic neighbors can significantly reduce nearby property values.

Less-than-stellar neighbors can include homeowners with annoying pets, unkempt yards, unpleasant odors, loud music, dangerous trees and limbs, or poorly maintained exteriors. A homeowner or prospective homebuyer should visit a street on several days at various times to learn more about what is happening in the neighborhood. A home’s proximity to a bad neighbor also can impact the rate of potential decline in value.

According to Appraisal Institute President Richard L. Borges II, MAI, SRA, external situations, such as living near a bad neighbor, can lower home values by more than 5 to 10 percent. Appraisers refer to this as external obsolescence, which is depreciation caused by external factors not on the property.

The Appraisal Institute suggests taking the following steps to help solve neighbor issues:

1. Speak with other neighbors.
Get consensus when identifying issues, and approach the problematic neighbor together.

2. Look up original and updated subdivision restrictions. If talking to the neighbor doesn’t work, see if they’re violating any restrictions. If so, writing to the code office of the municipality and reporting the problem could spur an investigation into the nuisance. Depending on the offense, a call to the local health department also may be warranted.

3. Hire an attorney. If all else fails, the cost of an attorney likely will be less than the home’s potential loss in value.

When looking to buy or sell a home, also consult a real estate professional who is deeply entrenched in your neighborhood. An experienced agent will be able to identify potential neighbor problems and can help you troubleshoot the issue.

As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I have a wealth of real estate and homeownership information that may be of help to you. Feel free to contact me any time to learn more about this important information, and be sure to forward this article on to any friends or family that may be interested as well.


Rose Price
Prudential Landmark
Office: 217-352-1933
Mobile: 217-202-8843

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