5 Winning Questions to Ask the Neighbours Before Buying a House
Spring and summer are without a doubt the most popular times of year for home buyers and sellers. Although things might be a little slower this year due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, experts are anticipating that the warmer months ahead are still set to be busy for those looking to buy or sell their property. With this in mind, here are five must-ask questions you’ll want to put to your new, potential neighbours before committing to buy.
1. How long have you lived in the area?
Take a friendly approach when asking the first question to the neighbours. After all, you could be living side-by-side for many years to come. Instead of appearing like you are questioning them, you’ll want to show that you’re genuinely interested in their experience of living in the area.
Asking the neighbours how long they have lived in the area is a great conversation starter and will likely lead to them telling you their favourite, and not-so favourite, things about the street.
2. Is it a sociable neighbourhood?
The chances are your new neighbours will be friendly and happy to have a quick chat from time-to-time, but if you’re looking for more of a social neighbourhood, why not ask the neighbours about it? You might find there’s a real community in the area, or perhaps everyone prefers to keep themselves to themselves. Either way, asking beforehand will help you discover how your future neighbourhood likes to socialise – and if it’s what you’re looking for.
3. How safe is the area?
One of the key areas you’ll want to inspect when buying a house is the safety of the local area. Many property listing websites offer statistics on crimes and convictions in the area, but what better way to determine how safe the area is than by asking the neighbours? They’ll be able to give you a complete breakdown on how they feel about the area and if they’ve encountered any problems themselves.
4. What are your favourite things to do around here?
How well do you know the area? If the answer is not so well, don’t be afraid to ask the neighbours. From greenery and parks to pubs and restaurants, chances are your new (potential) neighbours will be able to recommend a few of their favourite spots for you to check out before buying the home. This is incredibly important as many home buyers rush into securing a home before they’ve even had a chance to explore the area.
5. Do you enjoy living here?
Another open-ended question that could lead to an insightful conversation – simply asking the neighbours if they enjoy living in the area could give you a great insight into the neighbourhood. If you’re only going to ask one question, you should definitely ask this one!
Perhaps there are things they like and things they don’t like about the neighbourhood – and that’s completely understandable! Hearing about them beforehand will certainly put your mind at ease.
Buying your first home
Buying a new home is a big deal but these five questions might help to make your decision that little bit easier. You don’t have to ask them all – perhaps just pick out one or two questions to get the conversation flowing with the neighbours. You could even take along a cake or some brownies to show you mean well and you are just there to get an understanding about the local area.
If you’re satisfied with the neighbour’s answers, there’s no doubt you’ll want to get the ball rolling right away. First thing’s first, you’ll need to enlist the help of a conveyancer or solicitor to help with the home buying process. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or not, we’d recommend seeking the help of a specialist solicitor such as ET Law. A solicitor will advise you every step of the way, making the home-buying process run much more smoothly.