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Don’t Buy THAT House!


Sometimes the problem isn't the house; it's the neighborhood. You won't be shelling out for repairs, since the issues typically can't be fixed. The real cost is the reduction of your home's value and how difficult your home may be to sell in the future.

Neighbors who are slobs or hoarders can knock up to 10% off adjacent home values. Getting them to clean up their acts can be difficult, even if your area has zoning and public-health officials who are on the ball.

Some neighborhood features can be "eye of the beholder" issues that may cost you -- or not. Some people will object to being near a cemetery, for example, while others will like the peace and quiet. Some will object to the sounds of shrieking children from nearby schoolyards or playgrounds, while families with young kids may appreciate the proximity of such features.

Other neighborhood problems, such as a bad school district or a lot of traffic (more on that later), are likely to cost you to some extent.

Traffic noise ranges from a virtual nonissue in urban neighborhoods, where it's expected, to a potential deal killer in otherwise quiet suburban areas.

During the boom, buyers overlooked flaws such as bad traffic because demand outstripped supply. Once the bubble burst and supply overwhelmed demand, buyers eschewed houses on busy streets because they had so many other options.

Even if you're willing to overlook a busy street, other buyers may not be -- and that could affect your ability to sell.

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