Would you buy your neighbor's house? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 03-28-2012, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our neighbors are planning to sell their house this spring. It's larger and nicer than our house, and we've been planning a home upgrade for a while. We love our current neighborhood and location but our house is just not big enough for us (and can't be added onto in a cost effective way). 

 

Assuming we could work out a good price with our neighbors (they would like to avoid agent fees), are there any downsides to buying their house? 

 

And maybe an even more important question: Are there downsides to living next door to the people who would buy our house? Would they blame us for every future thing that went wrong with the house? 

 

We like their house and are tempted to put in an offer. It would be such an easy (and inexpensive!) move.

 

Any thoughts, good or bad?

 

Thanks!

 

 

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#2 of 21 Old 03-28-2012, 06:51 PM
 
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A few things come to mind.  Your neighbors are selling, you want to buy but do you want to sell?  Is your home 'ready to sell'?  This sounds all well and good for the neighbor but the YOU are going to have 'fees' when you sell right?  Plus I wouldn't do any transaction with out an attorney, appraisal, inspection etc.

Are you prepared to own the new house and have your current house sit on the market for months on end?

As for being neighbors with the new owners, that could go either way.  Its not something I would want to do.

 

I probably wouldn't do it.


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#3 of 21 Old 03-28-2012, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A few things come to mind.  Your neighbors are selling, you want to buy but do you want to sell?  Is your home 'ready to sell'?  This sounds all well and good for the neighbor but the YOU are going to have 'fees' when you sell right?  Plus I wouldn't do any transaction with out an attorney, appraisal, inspection etc.

Are you prepared to own the new house and have your current house sit on the market for months on end?

As for being neighbors with the new owners, that could go either way.  Its not something I would want to do.

 

I probably wouldn't do it.


Thanks for the advice. Yes, we do want to sell our house, and yes, we would have to pay a seller's agent to sell our house (we wouldn't risk trying to sell it ourselves). We would not buy the neighbor's house without a lawyer, inspection, etc. 

 

As far as owning two houses, that is something we are going to end up doing no matter what house we buy. It terrifies me, but we can do it. We will have to dip into our savings to pay both mortgages, but we can sustain this for one year. Our area is popular, our house would be priced in the low range, and we think it will sell within six months. 

 

I definitely don't like the idea of being neighbors with the new owners of our house, but I don't want to pass up a nice house in a location we know we really like. Even if we don't buy the neighbor's house, we would be within a mile of the house we would sell, our kids would go to the same schools, etc. 

 

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#4 of 21 Old 03-29-2012, 04:29 AM
 
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I don't see why not. If you are going to upgrade no matter what and have prepared for it you might as well buy the house you really want. As long as you are truthful about the condition of your home when you sell it your neighbors should have no complaints and if they do then they are just crappy complainers but that could happen anywhere. There's no guarantee you will like your neighbors or have a good relationship with them no matter where you move to. 

 

If you are still uncomfortable my advice I guess is to decide if ...

 

1. you like this home and think it will be convenient or

2. you love this home and see yourself really happy there.

 

If it's the second then go for it. If it's the first I'd think a little harder about it. 


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#5 of 21 Old 03-29-2012, 05:26 AM
 
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If you love it and you were planning on moving sure.  I dont think the new owners of your home will bother you, but I wonder if it would make perspective buyers tentative. I suppose no one will know that the "neighbours" are the owners trying to sell, until you sign the documents.

 

I was just talking to a real estate agent about buying a home and then selling mine and she said I should check with the bank to see if I am eligible to hold two mortgages. That didn't occur to me (I never did check as I didnt like the other house). And although lots of people sell and buy at the same time, there is usually a contingency written in the buying agreement ... buyer will purchase if the sale of their current home goes through. Anyways, you may want to check that out with your bank/mortgage holder/

 

 


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#6 of 21 Old 03-29-2012, 09:00 AM
 
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Have you considered renting your current home after purchasing the neighbors home?  Would this be feasible for you?

 


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#7 of 21 Old 03-29-2012, 09:25 AM
 
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I would do it if I knew I could sell my house, but not for a second if I might have to rent it. I cant be a landlord next door. Im way too bitchy.

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#8 of 21 Old 03-29-2012, 03:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsGregory View Post

Have you considered renting your current home after purchasing the neighbors home?  Would this be feasible for you?

 



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#9 of 21 Old 03-29-2012, 04:08 PM
 
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A neighbour wanted to buy my first house for the same reasons you mentioned. But they decided against because they didn't want to have a bad relationship with the people that bought from them if they were unhappy. They ended up buying a few streets over when I sold mine.

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#10 of 21 Old 03-29-2012, 05:51 PM
 
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We bought the house we're in from the neighbor. No problems at all! It's been great. The relationship has been no different than our relationship with other neighbors. I say, if you live the house, go for it!
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#11 of 21 Old 03-29-2012, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We would prefer not to rent our house. We're not handy, and since we don't own it outright, we wouldn't really make much of a profit. Of course, if for some reason we couldn't sell our house, we would have to rent it to make ends meet. And then perhaps it would be easier to live next door and keep close tabs on the renters.

 

We have approval to get another mortgage while still holding our current mortgage. Depending on the price of the house we purchase, we may have to borrow money from a relative until ours sells. Of course, the bank doesn't know the obscene amount of money we spend on food each month - they feel we can afford both mortgages, I know we can't (which is why we've planned to dip into savings to do this)!

 

We do really like the neighbor's house, so it's an option. I guess our biggest concern is that the people who bought our house would become unhappy about something and then not like us! DH and I are always looking around our house and wondering what the previous owners were thinking when they did this, that, etc. Luckily for the previous owners, they moved across the country!

 

 

 

 

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#12 of 21 Old 03-30-2012, 04:06 AM
 
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I know you weren't really asking for financial advice but it seems to me your biggest concern should be your finances not your neighbors. You can have neighbor trouble anywhere and as I said in a pp, as long as you are forthcoming with any issues I don't see how you are inviting trouble with living next door to whoever buys your home.

However, carrying two mortgages when you admit you can't afford it and are going into savings and may need to borrow from relatives is very very risky. Just because your home should sell doesn't mean it will sell and if you really don't want to rent it out I would be extremely cautious about going through with this. Are you ready to put your house on the market yet?

If you are uneasy about buying the house next door maybe it would be wise to get your home ready, put it on the market and then look for a house you like. There are still a lot of people who have no choice but to sell before they buy. It may take a little longer but it might be worth it for financial peace of mind to go that route instead. 

 

 


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#13 of 21 Old 03-30-2012, 11:31 AM
 
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So put your house on the market, and if it sells before the neighbor's house sells, you can buy the house next door - if not, you buy one nearby. I would definitely be more worried about the house I'm selling, I think.

 

Our neighbors of 20 years built a new house on the edge of town, but still in the area. We've gotten to know the new neighbors - and because their house was 25 years old, things started going wrong - like the furnace died a month after they moved in. They certainly don't blame the old owners for things that have happened - it's a risk you take when you buy anything but a brand new house. Most people understand this - and if they don't they aren't likely to make good neighbors anyway.


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#14 of 21 Old 03-30-2012, 12:10 PM
 
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Why wouldn't you make an offer contingent on selling your current house? 

 

While I am a big fat hypocrite because I have bought a house before selling another house I did it in a very different era than now (we sold our house after the second showing and in less than a week) and we had a corporate relocation package that would help us pay two mortgages for several months.

 

Currently, we own a house I would love to sell (it is currently listed) and no longer live in.  No way would we own two houses at once personally and in our case we own the our house outright. 

 

As for your question about buying a neighbors house.  I would do it if everything about the deal made sense. Unless you failed to disclose something big (which would be a legal/ethics issue too) I can hardly think that the neighbors would fault you if everything is not perfect.

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#15 of 21 Old 03-30-2012, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, it looks like nobody has too much of a problem with our buying the neighbor's house, which is good. 

 

As far as the financial obligations of owning two houses for a period of time, that is something we are going to have to deal with. DH and I are both frugal by nature, and don't like taking financial risks, but we have been stockpiling cash for the purpose of holding two mortgages for a period of 12 months.

 

Some realtors in our area won't write a contingency offer these days. If we did make buying another house contingent upon selling ours first, we would have to offer top dollar for the house we'd be buying. 

 

Buying first puts us in the position of being able to shop around and make low offers until we find what we really want. We would price our house low to sell it fast (and we could sell it for $46K less than its assessed value and still make money on it). We live in a highly desirable school district/town.

 

If we tried to sell our house first, we might have a hard time finding a house to buy (we're VERY picky). Then we'd have to move to an apartment (which would be more expensive than a mortgage), get involved with a lease, etc. AND, since we have several elementary schools within our district, my kids would likely end up switching schools multiple times.

 

What we should have done was buy a large enough house the first time around! ;)

 

 

 

 

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#16 of 21 Old 04-02-2012, 07:05 AM
 
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So go for it!

 

We considered buying our neighbor's house when they sold a year ago, but when we looked hard at the details, the house wouldn't have worked out too well for us. It has an extra bedroom, which we want, but the garage is tiny, and parking would be a problem (which is one of the reasons the neighbors moved). Besides that, our house was nowhere near ready to sell. But looking hard at their house just helped us re-evaluate our needs, and realize that our house is just fine.


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#17 of 21 Old 04-02-2012, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, we're going to take a walk through it in a few weeks. I've never been in all the bedrooms or the basement, so who knows if we'll even want to buy it after taking a closer look.

 

At least I know they moved not because they didn't like the house/location, but because they wanted a mansion and an in-ground pool (they built a house worth 3 times the price of the one they're selling) We don't want a mansion or an in-ground pool, so perhaps we'd be happy with the house!
 

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So go for it!

 

We considered buying our neighbor's house when they sold a year ago, but when we looked hard at the details, the house wouldn't have worked out too well for us. It has an extra bedroom, which we want, but the garage is tiny, and parking would be a problem (which is one of the reasons the neighbors moved). Besides that, our house was nowhere near ready to sell. But looking hard at their house just helped us re-evaluate our needs, and realize that our house is just fine.



 

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#18 of 21 Old 04-03-2012, 06:46 AM
 
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Funny - our neighbors have an inground pool! That's one of the reasons we looked at it - but the bedroom configuration and tiny garage were deal breakers for us.

 

I hope you love the house, and it works out for you!


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#19 of 21 Old 04-03-2012, 12:37 PM
 
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When we bought our house we learned that the former owners live about a half mile down the road. It's worked out really well for us. We have been able to ask about some little quirks and get more detailed information about the gardens. We don't hold anything against the former owners at all! The husband has been inside since we've moved in, and he loves what we've done with the place. I think his wife might feel bad if she ever came inside though, she put a lot of heart into decorating....I don't want her feelings to be hurt....but gosh the wallpaper and colors she chose were really ugly to me.


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#20 of 21 Old 04-08-2012, 10:51 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by taubel View Post

We do really like the neighbor's house, so it's an option. I guess our biggest concern is that the people who bought our house would become unhappy about something and then not like us! DH and I are always looking around our house and wondering what the previous owners were thinking when they did this, that, etc. Luckily for the previous owners, they moved across the country!

Well, odds are you won't be best friends with the neighbors, regardless of where you live.  As long as you can emotionally let go and not get upset if they don't clean out or replace the old/busted gutters or change the paint color and such, it could be just fine.  There's a few neighbors that we don't really talk to (just nod at each other across the fence) and we've been here years.

Yes, we bought the house of a popular minister in the area at the time, and people still remember/know him.  So we don't really say anything *too* bad, but yeah, if someone asks, I am going to mention how nuts they were with the congregation folks they had 'fixing' the house for them.  Our kitchen sink pipe was held up in a pathetic slope with a bent wire hanger for crying out loud, and that's just for starters.
 

 


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#21 of 21 Old 04-11-2012, 09:51 AM
 
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When I was a kid, we moved across the country to open a new church and bought a house from someone in the same church. I can tell you, that every single thing that went wrong was because of things "they" did. The carpet didn't last because "they" bought cheap. The wiring was bad because "they" messed with it. The trees didn't grow because "they" hadn't planted them right.

 

I would never buy a house from someone I wanted to have an ongoing relationship with. And I wouldn't want to live next to someone who bought my old house. Just a few things to consider. The personal relationship will very likely interfere with neightborly relationships.

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