Seattle…Love Thy Neighbor (Or At Least Talk To Them If You’re Buying The House Next Door)!

Puget Sound View

There’s a Jewish Proverb that says “Ask about your neighbors, then buy the house.” This is advice worth taking for myriad of reasons. Meeting the neighbors will give you a good idea of whether you will be compatible. But perhaps even more importantly, neighbors will disclose material facts that a seller might conveniently forget. (Material Facts are commonly referred to as anything that would affect a buyer’s decision to purchase or the price and terms of a buyers offer.)

Meeting the neighbors is part of doing your due diligence (researching and identifying potential issues of concern with a property) and might prevent you from making a buying mistake and purchasing a home you might be miserable in down the road.

So, what to ask the neighbors? Here’s a list of some questions to ask before buying a home.

  • How long have you lived in the neighborhood?
  • What do you like best about living here?
  • What do you like least about living here?
  • Do all the neighbors get along with each other?
  • Have you ever noticed anything odd going on with this house or in the neighborhood?
  • If you could change one thing about this street, what would it be?
  • How is crime in this area — has anything happened around here?
  • How quiet is the neighborhood?
  • Do you know the seller (or previous owner if the home is an estate) — are you aware of any issues the seller has had with the house?
  • Has the seller ever complained to you about anything?

The people that live in a neighborhood can be your best source of information. By talking with them before making a decision to buy a particular house, you’ll learn more about what goes on in the neighborhood, who the good and bad neighbors are, and issues that might not be obvious about the house, street or area. Good luck!


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