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Make friends: Walk through your neighbourhood

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Few buyers factor in the neighbours when selecting their forever home, and this could turn out to be problematic, says Yael Geffen, chief executive of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty.

Once they have made the move they are stuck with their neighbours, so it’s worth taking the time to do a little homework. To get an idea of your prospective neighbours, Geffen advises buyers to drive through the neighbourhood on a week night.

On a week day evening, you will experience the true lay of the land. Listen for loud music and dogs incessantly barking. 

Walk through the neighbourhood: Look at the state of repair of homes and gardens in the area. Chat to neighbours and shopkeepers you encounter.

Take a cyber-tour: Google Street View can enable you to check out an area from an alternate angle. Zoom in on empty plots and back gardens that look as if they could be panelbeater shops or rubbish dumps. Once living in the new home, Geffen advises buyers to meet their neighbours and try to be on friendly speaking terms as this can make life much easier


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