10 Types of Neighbors That Are Costing You Money


I really like my nextdoor neighbor, Dave. He's quiet, friendly, and always willing to lend me his leaf blower. He also keeps his property in good shape. (See also: 6 Ways It Pays to Be Friendly With Your Neighbors)

Not everyone is so fortunate to have great neighbors like him. And that's a shame, because bad neighbors can not only make your life uncomfortable, they can cost you money.

For your sake, I hope that none of your neighbors fit these descriptions.

The Slob

The grass and weeds are up to your knees. The house hasn't been painted in decades. There are rusted out cars on the front yard and trash all over the place. These types of neighbors can make your house less valuable, potentially costing you tens of thousands of dollars when the time comes to sell your home.

The Bad Borrower

It's certainly neighborly to let a person borrow your casserole dish or a pair of hedge clippers from time to time. But it's important to not let the borrowing become too one-sided. It's tough living next door to the people who are always asking for stuff, but rarely offering. It's also problematic when a neighbor returns items in bad condition — or not at all.

The HOA Cop

Many neighborhoods have rules that govern everything from the color of your balcony railing to whether you can hang laundry on a clothesline. Often, these rules are enforced by a homeowner's association or zoning department that can levy fines.

You should always try your best to keep your house and yard up to code, but no one wants a neighbor that rats you out every time your grass gets a millimeter too high or some leaves fill up your gutters, costing you money in the form of fines and repairs.

Mr. and Mrs. Litigious

Everyone has a right to protect themselves if they believe their legal or civil rights have been violated by a neighbor. But no one wants to live next to the person who calls up a lawyer every time a tree branch falls from your yard to theirs.

Unless there's truly illegal activity going on, the best neighbors try to resolve disputes by talking things out first. Maybe your dog chewed up your neighbor's flower beds. Maybe their faulty downspout led to a stream of water flooding into your backyard. Stuff happens, and more often than not these issues can be resolved without much rancor or legal fees involved.

The Party Animal

There are parties every weekend, often with a live band or loud stereo blasting. Guests arrive in droves and leave inebriated. If this neighbor doesn't cost you money, he is definitely costing you sleep and your sanity.

The Criminal

Sometimes you get stuck with neighbor that's simply a bad apple. He or she might be running a drug enterprise, or hoarding stolen items. They might have "friends" stopping by at odd hours, attracting frequent visits from the police. In addition to making you feel unsafe, these types of neighbors can depress the value of your home, since crime records are often public. The last thing you want to see is your street name in the local police blotter. And the worst thing is that once a neighborhood gets a reputation as being crime-filled, it can take years for those sentiments to go away.

The Kids-Roam-Free Family

I love kids. I have a couple myself. But if you have a neighbor that lets his kids run wild, situations may arise that could hit you in the wallet. For instance, it you have a pool and one of the kids falls in and gets hurt, you could be held liable. This is true even if the young person is technically trespassing when it happens.

The Overachiever

The lawn and flower beds always look immaculate. The house always seems freshly painted. The landscaping is phenomenal. In some ways, this is a dream neighbor. But this guy may end up costing you money if you feel pressure to keep up. You could easily find yourself paying for professional landscaping services, lawn services, and other work just to keep up with the guy next door.

The Lousy Dog Owner

Dogs are great to have, but they can cause problems if owners aren't responsible. Canines who aren't trained or supervised correctly can destroy a neighbor's property, or even cause injury. Dogs that bark incessantly can also be a nuisance, and may even make homes on the market less attractive to buyers.

The Golf Course

It may seem like a dream to be able to walk out your back door and tee off. But living on or near a golf course can be a mixed bag, especially financially. You might pay a premium to buy the house in the first place, and then be on the hook for considerable community fees. A house on a golf course will likely mean you'll have higher-than-normal rates for homeowners insurance. And be prepared to pay for repairs to your yard and house from damage due to errant golf balls.

There's a twist to this, as well. A softening of the golf market is causing some golf courses to close, potentially leading to a less-than-welcome change to some homeowners' backyards.

Do you have these or other types of costly neighbors? Let's gossip about them in comments!

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