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‘Nightmare Neighbors’ Shift Owners’ Housing Priorities

Some buyers who have experienced the stress of living next door to bad neighbors can consider good ones more important than granite countertops or good schools.

NEW YORK – More than half (52% ) of Americans say they’ve lived next door to a “nightmare neighbor,” and more than three-quarters say their potential future neighbors would be a factor into their decision when choosing a new home to buy, according to a new survey from Ally Financial of more than 2,000 consumers.

Distance may be key to feeling the most neighborly. More than half (54%) said they prefer it when neighbors are far apart. Only one-quarter of respondents say they prefer a close proximity to their neighbors.

When asked about the traits that make good neighbor, the top qualities mentioned were taking good care of their home (71%) and a willingness to help other neighbors out (66%). Homeowners also valued neighbors who take good care of the neighborhood (49%) and those who are friendly (47%).

Their least favorite qualities: Neighbors who are loud (46%) and those who partake in “questionable lifestyles,” such as running an illegal business out of their home or drug dealing (44%). Other bad neighborly traits included weak house maintenance (34%) and nosiness (32%).

The top reason some homebuyers put a high priority on good neighbors is because they have a history of bad experiences. Two-thirds of neighbor-centric buyers (67%) said that prior unhappy neighbor experiences make them realize the importance of good neighbors.

Somewhat surprisingly, younger generations say they’ve had more bad experiences with neighbors than older homeowners (63% for millennials, 38% for baby boomers) – and parents report having more unpleasant experiences with their neighbors than those without kids.

Source: Ally Financial

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