Perfect Home Next to a Messy Neighbor

Real Estate Broker/Owner with HomeBuyer Brokerage

These are challenging times for home buyers


If you're planning to buy a home in 2022, you'll need to prepare for a very competitive market. Most houses are selling within a few weeks of coming on the market for sale. If a house sits longer than a month on the market, it's usually because,

  • it's overpriced
  • it has a wet basement, backs to a major roadway, or has another major issue that doesn't match the list price
  • there are messy neighbors next door or across the street

When you find a great house in a neighborhood without an HOA, be sure to drive the neighborhood. You'll want to assess how well maintained the homes are and if you are comfortable with upkeep on neighboring homes.

  • Are you okay with neighbors who park their cars on the front lawn? In Montgomery County Maryland, this is not legal but in some areas, there are no restrictions. 
  • Do you care if neighbors have chickens, big dogs, yards used for storing equipment? 

Have a clear understanding of your expectations for your style of home, lot, and neighborhood.

Last year, my buyers and I stood next to an 80-foot boat partially covered in a blue tattered tarp. "Will that always be there?" asked my client. When there is no HOA, the answer is yes, it will always be there unless it's in the water. 

When you buy a home in a community with no specific restrictions, you rely on the local city and county rules to keep homeowners maintaining their property.

chicken in a messy backyard

Consider buying a home in an HOA if you have a problem with messy neighbors. In an HOA community, there will be restrictions and rules for all members of the community. Some HOA's have architectural review committees responsible for approving any exterior update to a home. 

The key to a successful home buying experience is knowing what you want and expect and sharing that with your buyers' agent. 


Posted by

Victoria Lynne Henderson

Real estate broker and business owner of HomeBuyer Brokerage serving buyers in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Victoria was born in Washington D.C. and loves her hometown!

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