You may discover numerous wonderful condos in the Canada real estate market. However, when buying any property, the neighbourhood should also be taken into consideration. When staying in a locality, dealing with neighbours can get daunting. It gets even more annoying if you don’t like socializing much but have a bunch of over-enthusiastic or noisy neighbours.
There are multiple instances when neighbours do not get along and have constant disputes over late-night noise, parking, or never-ending gossip. And, in those moments of dissatisfaction, your Canada real estate investment may also start to seem futile as although the property may be good, the neighbourhood or neighbours aren’t.
So, if you are planning to move to a condominium in Canada and are looking for ways to avoid disputes with neighbours, this post is for you. We have mentioned a list of ways that will help you ensure a healthy neighbour relationship and prevent unwanted situations.
Five Tips for Being the Best Condo Neighbour
Condo life comes with its own set of benefits. You don’t have to go through the headache of mowing the lawn like you would if you owned a house. Similarly, you don’t have to worry about the landlord checking on you regularly.
On the flip side, it also comes with certain challenges, all of which are mostly related to neighbours. Even if you are a social person, chances of misunderstandings are high when you live in a condominium community.
Moreover, it’s not that only you will have a problem with your neighbours, they might have a problem with you too. But don’t worry, we can help you become a good condo neighbour with the following tips:
Common Areas are Meant for Sharing
Everything inside the condo is yours. But everything outside is a common space that should be respected. Every condo owner enjoys the same rights and responsibilities related to common areas like elevators, corridors, gym, pool, etc. They are free to use those areas as they please, and as a good neighbour, each of the condo residents in that particular community needs to respect that by making sure these areas remain neat, clean, and well-maintained.
Park in the Allotted Space
Since a condominium is shared by many people, each owner gets a separate parking space for their vehicle. Make sure you park at your allotted parking spot and not give your neighbours a reason to get upset. Parking at the appropriate time is an unsaid rule that no one may ask you to follow but will definitely expect you to know. However, if someone parks in your spot, talk to the person directly. It is better to have a direct conversation about it instead of involving a third person and building tension.
Ensure Minimal Noise
Noise doesn’t just mean loud music. It could also mean something as simple as vacuuming. Condos are closely packed properties, so vacuuming at night is something your neighbours won’t like. Like a good neighbour, you need to pay extra attention and avoid making loud noises. An effective way to control or absorb sound is by putting throw rugs on your hardwood floors. This way, even if you are a little bit noisy, you won’t have to worry about your neighbours getting affected.
Report Any Suspicious Activity
Living in a condominium means ensuring not just your security but your neighbour’s as well. So, if you spot any suspicious activity, be sure to report it to the respective authorities. It’s your responsibility to keep your community safe.
Smile More and Be Friendly
Living in a condo means you will be surrounded by people whether you like it or not. This also means you will end up making friends. When you move into the community, make an effort to introduce yourself to your neighbours. Get to know them, make interactions and allow them to know yourself too. Even if you’re not new, always greet them with a smile and a ‘hello’. Small gestures like these leave a good impression on the neighbours.
Buy a Condo After Talking to your Neighbours
Want to buy a condo but aren’t sure if you’d be able to adjust with the neighbours?
We suggest talking to them before signing the dotted line. One of the best ways to research is driving through the neighbourhood. Manicured lawns and well-maintained homes indicate how serious people are about community upkeep. Unkempt lawn, pet litter, and loud noises at night are signals of a bad neighbourhood.
If you’re curious to learn more, talking to the neighbours on a one-on-one basis is the best. If you’re hesitant to move into a condo, you will get a lot more clarity on condo living by having a chat with them. It helps you with information that, in turn, assists you in determining whether a condo is a compatible living option for you at all.
Let’s understand this with an example. Shortly after signing the condo contract and before moving, a couple decided to meet the neighbours on both sides of their condo. On one side, the neighbours informed them about the leaky basement that causes parking problems. They thought the couple should know about it since they’ll become a part of the condominium. Besides, this is one piece of information even the seller won’t disclose.
The neighbours on the other side, on the contrary, were not very friendly and didn’t seem to indulge in any conversations. However, when the couple asked them about the basement situation, they did accept the problem.
Both conversations made the couple realize that maybe buying the condo isn’t the right thing to do. They eventually decided to cancel the deal.
What Questions to Ask Your Neighbours Before Buying a Home?
People living in the neighbourhood know it the best. If you’re not sure what to ask them, we can help. A standard question, to begin with, is: how long have you lived here? It is a right and safe question to ask that your neighbours won’t mind answering.
The next question could be, what do they like the best about living here? Or What do they like the least about living here? The answers to both these questions will provide you with a lot of information. Some neighbours will provide you with more details than you asked for and that, of course, will benefit you a lot.
Other simple yet important questions that you can ask are:
- Do all the neighbours get along with each other?
- Have you ever noticed anything weird about this neighbourhood or your house?
- Does the condominium have any structural defects?
And more depending on things that concern or bother you.
Be Prepared for the Worst
There is no limit to the amount of information you can get from talking to your neighbours. Asking is important as otherwise, you won’t know. Buying a house is a long-term commitment. Once bought, you cannot easily turn your back on. Conversations with neighbours can help you prevent a buying mistake. It can help you avoid moving into a neighbourhood where you could be uncomfortable.
Observing the neighbourhood is an integral part of buying a house. Sometimes even the most amazing-looking house may turn out blighted because of a lousy neighbour. The place may look fantastic otherwise, but the neighbours could turn buyers away from the property. This could impact the sale of the house if you’re planning to do so within the next few months itself.
Location plays a huge role in helping you make a buying decision. Changing a house is easy, but changing its location isn’t. Avoiding the neighbour or the neighbours is a common mistake most people make especially first-time buyers. And, bad neighbours can be difficult to identify. But, don’t worry. We have created a list of common bad neighbour traits that would help you spot them instantly.
How to Identify Bad Neighbours?
Here are some ways you can identify bad neighbours or neighbourhoods:
1. Property Maintenance
Don’t ignore the signs of neglect. You need to keep your eyes open and view all the homes and surroundings before buying a condo. Apart from the houses next to your condo, take a close look at the common areas such as the gym, swimming pool, lifts, and others. If you think they aren’t well kept, consider them as red flags. You do not want to live in a place where neighbours do not take maintenance seriously.
2. Too Many Vacant Condos
A condominium complex is meant to have multiple units. But if you notice most of them are vacant, it’s a warning sign. Inspect the condition of those empty condos. Check if they are clean or have damaged floors and walls. If yes, it’s a clear indication that the condominium authorities don’t care.
Apart from the condition of the condos, also look out for nearby stores, businesses, and schools. A closed neighbourhood also reflects that the community isn’t really growing. Moreover, an area like this encourages many criminal activities. This means the area may not be safe for you to move in, especially if you have children.
Bad neighbours in canada real estate do not just neglect property maintenance but also have no consideration for others. If you plan to purchase a condo in a college town or a neighbourhood with loads of rentals, be ready to listen to frequent loud music and late-night parties. You need to scan the neighbourhood during the day or drive around during the night before signing the dotted line. It gives you a clear idea of how people behave and prepares you in advance.
Here are some signs that you should not ignore:
- Inappropriate car parking.
- Pets are out on the loose, and the owners are least worried about them. Also, take note if the pets are well taken care of.
- Dogs barking all night.
- Litter in the corridor, swimming pools, garden, other common areas.
- They try to get extra friendly, don’t maintain healthy boundaries, and ask personal questions.
A lot of home buyers also forget to check the criminal history of neighbours. It may seem like going overboard with your research, but it’s necessary. You do not want to live next to any legal offender. So, find out all about it before you make the purchase. Many websites can help you run background checks of your neighbours online.
4. Community Services
If the condominium building is located near a landfill or power plant, it could be an issue during the time of selling. Buildings and homes located near community or city services tend to lose their value by 7 to 10 percent. If the landfill is labelled dangerous, the value drops down even more to up to 15 percent.
Other problems such as excessive artificial lighting due to prison or power plants can also make your building less desirable. No doubt these services are crucial for the city, but it’s also a fact that nobody wants to live near them. So, don’t buy a condo near a community or city service.
5. Development and Zonal Changes
A lot of development plans could also impact the neighbourhood negatively. For instance, if the condominium you’re planning to move into is built around commercial buildings, there is a chance that constant construction will take place there. Before moving, you should always inquire about the development plans of the city. Be sure to ask about the most recent zoning and development laws in Canada Real Estate. It will give you a lot of information on how the neighbourhood is.
Canada real estate offers various condo options for you to choose from. However, moving to a condo, especially if it’s your first time, can be a bit daunting. One wrong decision, and you could be stuck at the same condo for years. However, if you conduct proper research on the neighbourhood, you could save yourself a lot of time, effort, and money.
Watch this space for more such posts on new homes, investment properties, and Canada real estate in general. And if you still have your concerns regarding condo-living, take a look at the most commonly asked questions below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The price for a condo in the Canada real estate market differs from other kinds of properties. The average listing price for a condo is $950,000, $9,400,000 for a townhouse, and $2,000,000 for a house.
People prefer condos over houses because they are less expensive. The space, of course, is limited, but they are the perfect choice for those looking for a cost-saving and convenient lifestyle in a big country like Canada.
Canada real estate is expensive but also a market that offers the best gains. Going by the survey reports from the last decade, the growth rate of canada real estate (one of the main cities in Canada) is between 5-10% which is quite profitable.
Yes. In fact, a lot of people think that condo living is a lot safer than house living because of safety reasons such as better security, a single point of entrance, and more.
Less maintenance, great amenities, proximity to city life, and cost-effectiveness are some of the best benefits of condo living. The downsides, however, include lack of privacy, difficulty in selling, and strict rules and regulations.