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How to Spot Bad Neighbours Before You Buy Your Next Toronto Home

After you have toured the home, checked the neighbourhood amenities and gone over the home inspection report, you may want to ask your real estate agent …Why are the owners selling this house?

All those other things are important, but nothing can turn your new purchase into a nightmare faster than finding out all about your neighbours after you signed all the papers. This might be the most important question you want to ask when buying a home.

A report by Halifax Insurance in Britain concluded that more than 360,000 home owners moved last year because of bad neighbours.

We haven’t ran across a similar survey in Ontario, but at any given time the courts are dealing with neighbour disputes involving garbage, loud noise, harassment, fences and parking issues. The greatest challenge for you as a buyer is to find out if the sellers have in fact decided to move because of their bad neighbours.

The listing agent is legally representing the seller, not you, and she may be unwilling to disclose that information to you as a buyer. Or worse yet, the sellers have decided not to disclose this information to their own real estate agent.

If you suspect that you may be in the middle of a ‘neighbour issue’, your safest move is to speak to the neighbours directly, and ask a few general questions about the street and the neighbourhood. This is by no means a fool-proof method, but one you should definitely consider if you have any doubts.

How to Spot Bad Neighbours

  • Looking at the home you can tell that the ‘Pride of ownership’ factor is missing.
  • There are signs of disrepair such as uncut grass, left over garbage and weeds.
  • Are there lots of rental homes on the street? Drive around your neighbourhood during the day and at night. Are there lots of cars parked and parties going on?

So what else can you do?

If for some reason your instincts tell you there might a problem, it’s best to move on and simply look for another home.

Bad or nasty neighbours can lower the value of your home and make it harder to sell in the future.

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