The Situationist

The Situation of Noisy Neighbors

Posted by The Situationist Staff on April 25, 2008

On The Situationist, we regularly examine the ways in which people under-appreciate, or altogether miss, the extent to which the situation around and within them influences their thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors.

Sometimes, though, the situation is more obvious than subtle. Take, for instance, the situation of noise and disruption emanating from your neighbors. Mickey West of the Canada West News Service discusses a new real estate survey which reveals how people associate the age, marital status, and presence of children with “good neighbors” and “bad neighbors.” Below we excerpt a portion of the story.

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A new real estate survey finds more than half of homeowners – fully 58 per cent – see twosomes without tots as ideal next-door denizens, followed closely by retirees at 54 per cent (survey respondents weren’t limited to one answer). Also popular among the suburban set are singles, with 38 per cent support, and pet owners at 28 per cent.

Students are listed among the worst neighbours (46 per cent), with most respondents saying their presence devalues bordering properties by as much as 10 per cent. Others on the laundry list of undesirables include unrelated people in shared housing (37 per cent), families with teenagers (37 per cent), and families with young children (20 per cent).

A Canadian real estate expert with nearly 30 years experience in the business says the results of the Australian survey of 1,579 people ring true.

“(Neighbours) not only impact the value of the subject property, they can also negatively impact your lifestyle,” says Les Phillips, past president of the Alberta Real Estate Association. “Think noisy, unruly neighbours who party around the firepit until all hours, with a few wrecked cars on the street for good measure.”

In the business, he says the effect is known as “locational obsolescence.” It describes something that influences property value but cannot be controlled or cured by the homeowner. Excessive street noise is an example.

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For the rest of the story, click here. For other Situationist posts on housing, click here.

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