It is said a picture is worth a thousand words, and getting to walk through the house you’re thinking of buying is worth many more. But, the only thing that will give you a true sense of the area and home is taking the time to meet the neighbors. The buyer’s agents with Duffy Realty of Atlanta strongly recommend meeting a few neighbors when you’re considering buying a home. The people who live on either side of the house or down the street can shed light on topics your agent isn’t legally allowed to discuss.

Get a feel for the neighborhood

When you meet the neighbors, they can give you an accurate picture of what living on that block or development is like. Your potential neighbor might reveal that the house two doors down regularly has loud, crazy parties on weekends that disturb everyone else on the street. The neighbor on the other side of the back yard might let you know that his dog tends to dig under the fence and use your potential new yard as a bathroom.

Talking to the neighbors before putting in an offer also lets you know how people in the area get along. For example, some neighborhoods like to have barbecues or picnics together on a regular basis. In other areas, however, everyone tends to keep to themselves. You may want a more communal atmosphere, or you might value privacy — either way, you won’t know what you’re getting until you ask around.

Discover secrets about the house

Not every issue becomes evident during a home inspection. If the walls of the house you’re looking at could talk, they’d let you know its many secrets. But they can’t, which is why you need to get the scoop from others in the neighborhood.

The neighbors on either side of the property can let you know if they’ve had damage to their waterlines from tree roots, which could also affect you. They can also let you know about dampness in the basement or any incidents that took place in the home recently, such as a break-in or anything else unusual.

Learn the ins and outs of an area

People who live in the neighborhood can shine a light on the area’s amenities, such as the best dry cleaners or who to hire as a baby sitter or dog-walker. They can also let you know the scoop on local schools and the safety of nearby parks and playgrounds.

Meeting the neighbors before you buy gives you a sense of whether you’re moving to a friendly neighborhood or not. Some neighbors might be picky and complain about anything you do, such as putting your trash out a minute too soon or having a dog who occasionally barks. Grumpy neighbors can be a red flag and a sign that your perfect house isn’t so perfect after all — or a warm welcome might be the deciding factor that helps you feel great about your purchase.

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