How to tell if you are buying a home next to annoying neighbors

Annoying neighbors

When you buy a home, the last thing you want is to have annoying neighbors who ruin your experience, sometimes for years. But, it can be awfully hard to detect whether a neighbor is going to be annoying, given the small amount of time most home buyers spend evaluating a property. So, how best to tell if you are buying a home next to annoying neighbors?

Figure out your definition of an annoying neighbor

Let’s first be clear what we are talking about here. What do you consider an annoying neighbor? Is it a person who likes to play music or has a noisy dog? Is it a nosy person who is always in your business? Is it a quiet person who complains when you make the slightest bit of noise (and maybe you have young kids)? People’s definition of annoying neighbor can be very different.

And, hey, you might be the definition of an annoying neighbor to someone else!

Annoying neighbors

Visit the home at different times of day

Sure, everything looked and sounded great during the open house. But, what about at night or on a regular weekend? Visiting the home on off hours at different times can clue you into potential issues, like barking dogs, or neighbors playing loud music.

With an apartment, if the building has a doorman, it may be your best option to engage in casual talk about the building. Has he or she heard any complaints?

Annoying neighbors

Meet the neighbors

What better way to find out if your potential neighbors are annoying than to actually meet them? Knock on their door, say you are interested in buying in the neighborhood and ask what their general impressions are.

Just by meeting them you can get a sense of potential issues. Are they friendly?  Helpful? Or, do they seem cranky, or possibly even irrational?

Annoying neighbors

Consider the surrounding homes or apartments

Just because you met your neighbors on either side doesn’t mean you’ve covered your bases. If you are in an apartment, one of the biggest factors to your happiness could be whether your neighbor above you behaves themselves, or if they like to practice their tap dancing at 4 am.

If you are looking at a house, you could have annoying neighbors further away who affect you still by playing their music too loud or other unappealing behaviors.

Annoying neighbors

Ask the home seller or seller’s agent

The home seller will usually not volunteer information that is damaging to the sale, such as if the neighbors are annoying. But, it’s still worth asking, as a lukewarm or curt response could be an indication that there is an issue worth exploring.


You’re never going to uncover every detail of your neighbors that might affect you, but you can do just a little work in order to improve your chances of avoiding annoying neighbors.