Special Wednesday Question of the Day


Given the Thanksgiving Holiday there will be no new posts on Thursday or Friday. So let me wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

Without further ado, the question of the day is: How important is the condition of the house adjacent to yours before you decide to purchase or rent your own home? Does it matter? If your house is renovated or otherwise cool in the gang, does the condition of your immediate neighbor’s house matter? For that matter, if there is a “sketchy” house on your block does that affect your decision to purchase or rent?

14 Comment

  • Great question, Prince.

    We’re currently house-hunting, and for us I think it’s about finding the right fit for a house, but still having a general feeling that the neighborhood is “right.” But worrying about just one bad house isn’t a big issue for us.

    Keep in mind that we’re first-time buyers, however. I would imagine that concerns about sketchy houses on the block would be a bigger issue for those thinking about resale value.

  • That makes sense to me too. I’m 33. And I’m more concerned about how does the apartment look. Is it at the right price and is it near transit. The fourplex I live in is actually the worst one (in terms of maintenance on the outside anyway) on the block. But the apartment was fairly well taken care of on the inside. Their is actually a completely abandoned fourplex across the street that is in better shape than ours. So for us, it was the price first and what did it look like inside. Plus this is the first time we haven’t lived in a basement — so being on the second floor alone was exciting enough.

  • For me, I think it’s been important, but in a sort of subconscious way. I never went out househunting thinking, “I need to find a house with attractive adjoining houses”. But I think I probably would have (or likely actually did) just pass over any houses where the neighbor houses were not well-kept. For me it probably had less to do with resale issues, than I would interpret the condition of one’s home as a statement about the inhabitants – and would I want them for neighbors.

  • RIght. So called “Sketchy” houses may be an issue but houses that simply look bad or are overall dilapidated can only make your house even better by comparison. Sort of a visual illusion if you will. I say it raises your house value because your house is valued usually by similar houses. Who is more similar than the adjacent?

  • maybe one day when I am independently wealthy and can afford a house in DC, I will let you know.

  • SouthwestDC

    I rent, and there’s a boarded-up abandoned house adjacent to mine. It did make me hesitant to rent the place, since I was afraid vagrants might hang out in the abandoned house, but so far I’ve only seen one guy who camped out in the yard for a couple hours once.

  • im still trying to figure out how “sketchy” became such an all-purpose adjective…

  • Hi,

    One of these two houses is mine. Both are owner occupied. And we rather like our neighbors–sweet kind people, really. I sure do hope they feel the same way about us.

    No “sketchy” people around here that I’m aware of.

    I hate to be preachy and judgemental, but maybe some folks shouldn’t be so preachy and judgemental?

    -Happy in Columbia Heights

  • Prince Of Petworth

    I’m sorry I didn’t mean to be preachy or judgemental. Actually, I was just asking a question. And I never meant the people themselves were “sketchy”. Perhaps a poor choice of words. Perhaps I should’ve posted a photo of a house with boarded up windows but I thought this photo was a nice contrast. I’m going to remove the photo now, because my intention was not to insult the actually occupants. I’ll add a photo with boarded up windows shortly.

  • i was just thinking about this issue last nite, as i walked along Kennedy past a house for sale. i noticed a neighbor house just did landscaping. i wondered whether a house seller ever asks/pays for neighbors to spruce up, to make it more attractive…

  • When our crack whore neighbor’s house was for sale, we made sure to keep our lawn freshly cut to make the block look better…

  • PoP: I’m just happy you didn’t put our house’s picture up ’cause Lil’ Gal would get “sketchy” all over yo’ ass! 😉

  • It goes beyond just the house next door, it is the whole neighborhood that is important. There are many areas around DC that are attractive, esspecially those areas in transition that have a boarded up house or two.

    The problem with boarded up buildings also is more that pure aesthetics, they can harbor animals and crime.

    However, it the building is not being neglected and is just in transition, no problem. But definitely something to look into!

    Amanda DC Metrocentric

  • TheNeighbor

    Fine PoP……I’ll rake my leaves and sweep my porch! Could you be more passive agressive? 😉

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