How To Get Your Neighbors To Help With (Some) Home Improvements

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When you buy an older home, even with a pre-closing inspection, you’re going to encounter some problems, or at least a need for home improvement. Most will be minor, but some could be major, and some might not be the “fault” of your home at all.

There are times when your neighbors’ homes could be the cause of your own problems. Most people have heard of neighborly disagreements over fences. Good neighbors might split the cost of building and maintenance of fences, but not all. Sometimes, your neighbor might not have the money, might not be aware of local laws and ordinances, or, they might just be not very nice people.

Fences aren’t the only home improvement problem that might involve a neighbor. An overgrown tree might intrude on your property, or might even threaten your roof. Your neighbor’s downspout might pour water into your yard, which makes its way to your basement. Any of those fixes, especially if caught too late, can be devastatingly costly.

How to Bring Home Improvement Up with Your Neighbor

If you have a good relationship with your neighbor, talk to them about the joint home improvement issues. Ask whether they’re experiencing the same issues. Suggest solutions. In some cases, you could offer to pay half.

If you don’t have a good relationship with your neighbor, it might be time to check with the authorities. If you have a homeowners’ association, check their rules. You might also want to see what your city and state have to say about the issues.

Now, back to the good neighbor. If they are still reluctant, ask yourself which is more important, the money or having a good relationship with your neighbors. In some cases, it might be worth paying for the repairs, and hoping karma will pay you back one day. In others, especially if something that belongs to the neighbor is threatening your home, you might have to prepare yourself for some legal wrangling, and possibly some hard feelings.