Let’s get real: Even if you love a house, you’ll hate living there if it sits next to annoying neighbors—and it turns out that these irritating inhabitants are flourishing in certain cities more than others.
To pinpoint where neighborly tensions are at their worst, renovation site ImproveNet polled residents in 24 cities across the U.S. about whether their neighbors annoy them, and one particular place topped the list: Dallas. Honorable mentions went to Miami and Austin, TX, while the city with the least annoying neighbors was Minneapolis, followed by Portland, OR, and Atlanta.
What were the things that grated most on respondents’ nerves? Topping the list were loud music, voices, and parties. But it turns out, there’s plenty of irritation to go around. Complaints also ranged from smelly pets to suspected newspaper theft, parking disputes to unannounced visits. Even over-the-top holiday decorations and “general grumpiness” made the list.
So how did Dallas win the dubious honor of Most Annoying Neighbor Capitol of them all?
Why annoying neighbors abound in Dallas
Experts at ImproveNet theorize that the climate in the Big D may play a role in the number of annoying neighbors, since most irritating cities are in warm regions, where outdoor parties and barbecues prevail. But local culture and customs may be to blame, too.
“Dallas is a city where we do everything big! I can’t deny that,” admits Dallas real estate agent Sheryl English at EXP Realty. “That noise comes from parties and festivals, but some other things are also a little over the top—pesky HOAs, road construction, even lawn mowers running at 7 a.m. You name it, we do it.”
“I guess Texas is just ‘loud and proud’ in general,” says Paige Elliott, a real estate agent at Elliott & Elliott Group, Dave Perry–Miller Real Estate. Plus, “outdoor living is still a must-have for homeowners and buyers in Dallas.”
Culture and climate aside, the actual housing stock may drive tensions, too.
“It could be that in hotter climates, neighbors are outside more and causing noise; but it seems more likely that larger cities where neighbors live close—in attached townhouses, condos, apartments—have more neighborhood issues,” says Ruth Rye, a real estate agent in Alabama. However, “I also noticed that the true Southern cities where most of the citizens were raised in the South—Savannah, Charleston, Mobile, Memphis—are not on the list. These are places where polite behavior is expected.”
How to avoid annoying neighbors when buying a home
So if you’re trying to buy in Dallas—or anywhere, really—what can you do to steer clear of these irritating inhabitants?
“I tell buyers interested in a particular neighborhood or community to drive the neighborhood at various times of the day and night to see what really goes on,” says English. Even better, “talk to the neighbors. I usually talk to the neighbors when doing an open house or showing. This has been helpful and beneficial to buyers in the purchase process to avoid unwanted surprises.”
“If you are about to spend a lot of money to buy a house, take five minutes to see who is next door,” says Tyler Weinrich, a landlord and agent in Oklahoma. “Ask them about the area, and they will usually talk forever about it.”
Talking to your potential neighbors may not only help you suss out just how miserable you’ll be living next to them, it may even offer up some insider info about the home you’re hoping to buy.
“My wife and I were looking for a home recently and found this awesome remodel in an area where we had always wanted to live,” recalls Weinrich. “She was a little worried about the neighbor, though—his house was in disrepair and he was sitting on the porch with no shirt on, looking disheveled. So after our viewing, I went up and talked to him. Turns out he is really nice and has lived in that home for 40 years. He knew about the history of the house we were looking at, told us about past foundation issues, and the work the sellers had done—or hadn’t.”
After inquiring with the sellers further about these foundation flaws, Weinrich decided to not buy the house.
“Speaking with the neighbors is always a good idea,” he says.
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Source: Housing Trends Feed