Covet thy neighbors house?

The end of the year is such a busy time, I hope everyone had a moment to come up for air and enjoy ringing in the New Year.  Over the holidays my neighbor put his home on the market. Naturally, during the first open house my husband and I went next door to check it out.  We were curious about the floor plan, interested in what updates they had made and bottom line how their home compared to our house. We were being nosey neighbors.  This is a term I use affectionately and I love it when neighbors come to visit homes I am holding open.  I think that nosey neighbors show potential buyers that this is a neighborhood where people take pride in ownership and care about their real estate investment.

My husband and I are very invested in the sale of our neighbor’s home because it provides a data point for how much our home is worth in the current market.  For some of us this is important because we want to know how much equity we have in our home or for others it helps to evaluate if it is a good time to sell.  Home values are determined by comparison sales in the area.  The condition, fixtures, square footage, lot size of recent sold homes helps realtors, appraisers and buyers determine a home’s value.  The bottom line is that it only helps us if our neighbor has a successful sale.                                                                                                                                                                   Buyers are investing in a neighborhood and not just a home so there are some important things you can do to help your neighbor in selling their home and ultimately yourself. The most important thing you can do to assist your neighbor is help ensure your neighborhood shines as bright as possible.  Keep your yard tidy and pull garbage bins off of the street.  If you have animals be conscious of open house times and schedules and keep animals inside.  It can be stressful for animals when open houses draw more cars and traffic.  Sellers have an obligation to disclosure a loud barking dog or a failing fence, neighbors just need to seem well, neighborly.  I used my neighbor selling his home as a good excuse to encourage my husband to trim back our hedge and to encourage my kids to thin out all their bikes and toys littering our yard. I am hopeful that potential buyers did not hear me yelling at them to turn off the television and get outside and help me.

I am looking forward to the New Year in Lafayette real estate.  It is always exciting to see how the spring market unfolds.  Please feel free to email me your real estate comments or questions or if you are considering selling your home and would like a free home valuation.