18 Jul No one ever talks about how important neighbors are to enjoyment of a home. Do you have tricks for finding out about neighbors before buying?
I had a friend buy a house a few years ago. It was a good price, but not suspiciously low. However, red flag to me was that it had changed hands 5 or 6 times since being built in the '80s.
When we couldn't figure out any obvious reason why the house had been sold so often, I suggested he talk to neighbors. He thought that was crazy before "no one ever does that!" Eventually he gave it a try, though. Everyone seemed really nice and said all the right things. He bought the house.
He sold just under two years later. Why? Bad neighbors. It turned out that the sweet older couples on either side were nosey busybodies from hell. They were constantly watching him, coming over to ask about things and make "helpful suggestions" about how to make his yard "more attractive", etc. To be clear, he had an excellent yard and took very good care of the house. They were just crazy. They even used their influence in town hall to get him harassed by code enforcement (they would send him violation letters without even coming to see if he has actually violated the rules, then he would give proof that no violation had actually occurred).
Anyway, I'm looking at buying a new house now, and I was wondering how I'm supposed to prevent the same thing from happening. I can go introduce myself to the neighbors, but they're obviously not going to say "by the way, we're neurotic psychos with no lives of our own who entertain ourselves by torturing others."
So, aside from wiretapping the whole neighborhood for a year before hand, what do I do to get an idea of neighborhood dynamics? What do you do?