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With house next door for sale, Carol's peace and quiet is out the window

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis September 7, 2011 09:28 AM

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When the house next door gets foreclosed on, it can be an absolute nightmare for the neighbors.

Just ask "Carol." She lives in a neighborhood here in Greater Boston, a short walk from the ocean in a location that would not seem like a hot spot for distressed properties.

Yet Carol's life has been turned upside down since the bank seized the house next door.

For starters, Carol and her husband, having bought their house seven years ago, would like to move on to bigger and better things.

Yet the problem property next door - not to mention a tough market - have helped drag down the value of their home by a hefty $100,000. Among other things, the house next door is in need of repairs, while the yard outside is trashed.

So much for that idea.

But if Carol can't move, staying put is becoming increasingly uncomfortable.

There's a now a steady stream of occasionally rude bargain hunters gawking at the foreclosure special next door, including one couple who swung by at 10:30 p.m. one night for a quick peak.

Worse, despite exchanging words with Carol's irate husband, the couple was back the next day with their real estate agent.

If there is any etiquette related to how and when a house is shown, Carol would sure like to hear about it.

Let's hear what Carol has to say.

I guess my main gripe is the constant flow of strangers in close vicinity of our house (major loss of privacy). I would guess close to 70 interested parties have come by since May, maybe more. I am home during the day so I see everyone. Our living area is almost right next to the driveway so the people that come often look over at us. We went through this previously when the house went up for sale in 2006 and it took over a year to sell. The difference was then was the flow of traffic was much less. The last straw occurred the other night when people showed up at 10:30 pm. That can't be normal (were they really coming to see the house at that hour?). Is anyone else going through this? The earliest someone came was 8am last Sunday morning, the day of Storm Irene. I'd say the majority of people that come by are unaccompanied by a realtor. I want to move but husband will not budge and just hopes someone buys it soon. We have thought of putting up a fence to help with the situation. And lastly, the estimated value of our house is down almost a 100k since we bought in 2004.

In fact, Carol's last email to me may be the most telling.

Great thanks! Btw, just now someone actually just drove up our driveway for a showing (same thing happened last week too). Wrong house --arrgh!!I think it kind of sums everything up.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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