Know thy neighbour

One night last week, my neighbour and I were wrenching on my daughter’s car. In fairness, mostly he was wrenching and I was handing him tools and learning introductory mechanics.

He asked what I was writing my column about this week.

I looked at him and asked, “any suggestions?” 

"The value of good neighbours," he said.

We both laughed. He is seriously the best that anyone could hope for.

That thought didn’t leave my head though.

The next day, I spoke with Greg, one of my clients who had purchased a home a few months before. He initially wavered a little about the home as he was unsure of the neighbourhood.

To put this in context, Greg was downsizing from a lovely home in an upscale area of Kelowna and buying in a much lower price range in a completely different area of the city.

This will be his retirement home, and the goal was to be able to head south for a few months each winter.

He’d been looking for the right home for a few months and had a very specific list of features he wanted, including a suite.

As soon as Greg walked into this house, he immediately felt that it was the right home. There were a few renovations he wanted to do, but otherwise it met all the criteria on his list.

The night he wrote the offer he cruised by the house again. He noticed that there were several homes on the street for sale. And two homes on the street with driveways full of *ahem* stuff.

He felt a bit unsettled as he drove away.

After thinking on it a little that night, he decided to go look at the street again the next day. One of the neighbours was out front mowing his lawn. In a rather unusual move (in my experience), Greg pulled over and had a chat with the fellow mowing the lawn.

Greg said he was considering buying a home on the street and asked about the area. The homeowner filled him in on the street.

It turned out that the two homes with driveways full of stuff were both being completely renovated by new owners.

The homes that were for sale had come up at the same time by coincidence:

  • one family had been transferred for a new job
  • one family had experienced a death of the homeowner
  • another was a young family moving to a larger home.

He told Greg it was a great street with a strong sense of community where people looked out for each other.

Now, I’d never thought about giving a home or street a second chance. When I’ve been out looking for a new home, I’ve gone with my first impression and left it at that.

Had I looked at this home and street, I might have kept looking.

I asked Greg how he is enjoying his new home. He said he absolutely loves the area, and that the neighbours are amazing. He is really happy now that his renovations are finished and is looking forward to a few months in the sun soon.

Where am I going with this and how does it tie into mortgages?

Buying a home is one of the largest financial commitments most people make, and there is often an element of uncertainty as to what you are getting into.

Once you have purchased a home, it is not necessarily a cheap or easy move to relocate if you decide you are unhappy.

Before you write an offer, taking a little extra time to drive around and explore the area you are considering purchasing in is a great idea.

Having said that, when I bought my current home, the original neighbours were renters. I had no idea as they treated the home like it was their own. The yard was always immaculate and they kept a very close eye on the street.

The house sold five years ago and the current owner moved in. I like to think that I am very handy and independent, but I openly admit there are several skill sets that I am not blessed with.

Mechanic-ing being one.


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About the Author

Tracy Head and Laurie Baird help busy families find mortgage solutions. Together they have more than 45 years of experience in the mortgage industry.

With today’s increasingly complicated mortgage rules, Tracy and Laurie spend time getting to know the people they work with and help them to better understand the mortgage process. They support their clients before, during, and after their mortgage is in place.

Tracy and Laurie work closely with their clients, offering advice and options. With access to more than 40 different lenders, Tracy and Laurie are able to assist with residential, commercial, and reverse mortgages in order to match the needs of their clients with the right mortgage package.

They work closely with their clients to find the right fit, and are around to provide support for years down the road!

Contact them at 250-862-1806 or visit http://www.okanaganmortgages.com

Visit their blog at https://www.okanaganmortgages.com/blog


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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