How to Deal with a Neighbor’s Bad Curb Appeal

I spent a couple of days working with a homeowner staging their house making it looked like it belonged on a magazine page.  We worked not only on the inside of the home, but the outside as well making sure that the curb appeal would draw people into the home.  Unfortunately, across the street, kiddie corner to their home, was a rental house that was unkempt with lots of broken down cars in the driveway, and grass knee high.

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Most municipalities have by-laws against non-working or junky cars being allowed to stay in the driveway.

A neighbour close to your home can have a positive or negative impact on the value of your home if you’re trying to sell your home or refinance your mortgage. 61% of buyers do a “drive by” to see if they like the neighborhood and want to go inside a home.  Positive first impressions are so important!

Do you have a neighbor whose front lawn is full of junk, has junker car(s) in the driveway, has a house badly in need of a paint job, knee high grass or a lawn full of weeds?

If you have a neighbour whose curb appeal is dragging down the value of your home, there are a number of options that can help you deal with it.

1. Become friends and talk to them

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If you don’t know your neighbor or haven’t spoken to them in a while, invite them over for a coffee or take over some yummy home-made brownies.  Develop a friendship with them.  Be nice to them.  Once you have established a rapport with them (probably NOT the first time you talk to them) find out what’s going on.

2.  Offer to Help

Remember that your neighbor’s bad curb appeal is your problem.  They’re not trying to sell their house or refinance their mortgage so they’re not as concerned about their curb appeal as you are.

Offer to help them and be sincere about it.  Perhaps they’re a single mom, a senior or someone on a fixed budget and don’t have the time or money to fix their curb appeal.  Offer to help them buy a can of paint and paint their garage.  Help them find a not-for-profit organization that is willing to tow away their broken down car(s) for free in exchange for a tax receipt. Spending $50 for a can of paint and a Saturday afternoon painting or a few hours cleaning up the front yard, is far less costly than a low ball offer from a potential buyer because the street curb appeal is low.

Talk to other neighbors to see if they are willing to help. Chances are, other neighbors are willing to be a part of the plan because the offensive neighbor is also affecting their curb appeal and the value of their home as well. Making it a neighborhood event where “everyone” is fixing up their curb appeal may be more appealing so that the offensive neighbor won’t be offended and get their back up.  P.S.  They don’t even have to know that you’re doing this to fix up their house.

3. Check with your local municipality for by-law standards

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Contact your local municipal by-law department to enquiry about what to do when the lawn has not been kept up.

Most municipalities have by-law standards that homeowners AND rented dwellings need to abide by.  These guidelines have been instituted to keep properties maintained so that neighborhoods will be attractive and safe places for everyone.

If you tried the friendly neighbor and offer to help approach to no avail, then you may need to contact your local municipality by-law department to enforce the offending by-law(s).  Most by-law departments handle complaints fairly quickly, but if you are in the process of getting your house ready to list, or getting someone from the bank to reassess your home for your mortgage, then the sooner you deal with the issue the better.  For most municipalities, you can make a complaint anonymously so the offending homeowner will never know it’s you that made the complaint.

debi-collinson-stager-home-stylist-real-estate-investor-add-value-to-your-homeWelcome! I’m Debi Collinson. Stager. Home Stylist. Real Estate Investor. In 2006, at the request of a realtor, I nervously staged my very first home.  But the sellers liked their newly redesigned home so much that they turned down an offer for full asking price. I went back to design school and have never looked back. Since 2006, I have been staging & styling spaces to make them look like they belong in a magazine page. With my goal of becoming financially independent, I buy “fixer uppers” to fix up & either sell for a healthy profit or to rent. I’m currently living in my 8th “fixer upper.” Sign up to receive my e-mails of how to make your home stunning, how to sell your house for top dollar AND how to become financially independent one fixer upper at a time!

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How To Deal With a Neighbor's Bad Curb Appeal. Debi Collinson, AddValueToYourHome.ca

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