Plus bad neighbours could knock off 18% of value of home
Homeowners who view their neighbours’ curtains as hideous or their garden gnomes are tacky, may despise them even more to learn that they could be depriving them of thousands of pounds. According to a new report properties up for sale near other homes adorned with “bad taste” fixtures and furnishings are worth an average of £10,000 less as as result of potential buyers being put off.
The total difference between having a bad neighbour and a good neighbour could add £37,000 on the value of the average UK house, which was worth £211,230 in May, the study by Prestige Home Insurance found.
The vast majority (92 per cent) of UK estate agents said having a bad neighbour can have a serious negative impact on the value of the houses around them.
Neighbours who are noisy, unfriendly or have an untidy or overgrown garden spark the most complaints.
Taking into account factors like overgrown front gardens, poor upkeep and items left on the lawn outside, UK estate agents have calculated it brings the value of the house next door down by 8.2 per cent, or £17,321 on the price of an average house.
Another culprit for hindering sellers’ chances are garish or unsightly coloured external buildings and fixtures, such as stone cladding or faux tudor-style beams, or ugly furnishings such as curtains, garden gnomes or water features on neighbouring properties.
If visible to potential buyers, they can reduce a home’s overall value by 4.8pc on average.
Botched DIY jobs and sprawling extensions can also shrink the value of adjourning properties with estate agents warning they can take 7pc, or around £14,000 off the value of the average property.
In London, where the cost of property is much higher, the cost of bad neighbours is estimated to be more than twice as much at £83,000.
The study found people who live in London have the worst neighbours with 18 per cent saying they actively want to move to get away from them. This is followed by the West Midlands, where 16 per cent want to move because of neighbours, and 14pc of people living in Yorkshire and Humber.
Robert Green, director at John D Wood & Co, an estate agent, said: “‘Who are the neighbours’ is one of the of the questions we are always asked when showing a property. If people discover they are buying a home next to an extrovert who may well make a spectacle of their own property, it can put some people off.
“But others actually like it, and may be amused to see them paint their home an unusual colour. If you have someone living next door doing something you’re unhappy with it can be a tricky situation, but you could always approach them and blame it on your estate agent.”
David Hollingworth, a property expert at London and Country, a mortgage firm, said: “There is often very little little you can do about how your neighbours keep their property. People need to gently and tactfully approach the subject as they run the risk of the neighbour not responding very well.
“Trying to help them improve the appearance of it might be a neighbourly thing to do that might also have benefits for yourself. For example you could offer to help them sort their garden and lend them tools.
Meanwhile people can be doing everything possible with their own home to improve its value before a sale.”