In the smash comedy hit movie, ‘Meet the Fockers’, Robert DeNiro plays the Father-In-Law from hell. If you are like Greg Focker and have crazy In-Laws like De Niro’s character Jack Byrnes, the good news is you probably don’t have to live next door to them, someone else does.
You can avoid crazy In-Laws a lot easier than you can avoid crazy neighbours.
The one question home buyers often fail to consider – who are the neighbours, and will we be able to liveharmoniously next door to them?
Given the many considerations a buyer is looking to fulfil in their purchase, meeting the neighbours before buying is one task many people unintentionally overlook. The right neighbours can become lifelong friends and make your time in a home all the more enjoyable. Unfortunately, the opposite is equally true. The wrong neighbour can make living in the home unbearable.
Inner city living in particular is about confined space and compromise – the same often goes for apartment living. An underrated aspect of buying a property is a simple door knock of the street or the immediate location. A quick hello to the neighbours highlighting you are considering buying the property currently up for sale will bring you a wealth of local information. Information the agent is unlikely to know and/or divulge.
Just as you are looking for nice neighbours, so too are the residents who will remain living in the street or apartment block after the sale has been concluded. When a property does go up for sale, many people cautiously say to themselves or their partner ‘oh I hope we get good neighbours’. Good neighbours make day to day life more enjoyable.
What is a good neighbour?
A good neighbour is not a new best friend nor is it someone interested in the minute detail of your life. A good neighbour first and foremost respects you and your right to the enjoyment of your home and you in turn theirs. This means being considerate of each other’s space and tolerant as issues arise such as parties, DA applications with the local council, sharing joint costs and a whole heap more.
In essence, to have a good neighbour, you first must be a good neighbour.
Many neighbours have and will continue to fall out in the Inner City over DA applications. In fairness, they are not always the easiest circumstances to negotiate either. In simple terms, if you are putting the DA into council – aim to be considerate of the impact on the immediate neighbours and understand planning guidelines before submitting an elaborate design that stirs the entire postcode up. If you live next to an underdeveloped site, you are best off accepting the development approval of some kind which is likely to be granted at some stage. Land is just too valuable in the Inner City to leave it underdeveloped.
Many agents will attest to listing properties where the vendor’s true motivation to sell is to get away from the neighbours and neighbourhood. There may be no greater motivation to buy the right home with nice neighbours, and avoid meeting the Fockers of this world.