Jul 23, 2010

Uh Oh, Could Your New Neighbors Be Russian Spies?

It has happened to some homebuyers; the neighbors turn out to be NOT WHO THEY APPEARED TO BE. Luckily, late-night host David Letterman has supplied this handy list of Top Ten Signs That Your Neighbor is a Russian spy. Yup, if your mail carriers keep mysteriously dying of polonium poisoning, you just might want to investigate further.

On a more serious note, when home shopping, it's worth asking both the home seller and passersby you meet in the neighborhood about your neighbors' personalities and activities before you close the deal. Some states' disclosure forms will ask the seller to provide potentially neighbor-related information, such as local nuisances or legal disputes concerning the property. But others leave it to up the up to the seller's conscience as to whether they fill in the "Other" box.

There's nothing to stop you from knocking on your potential new neighbors' doors, introducing yourself, and taking your own measure of their personalities. In most cases, a Russian accent means you should look forward to some pleasant evenings over borscht, blini, or vodka. But, as Letterman warns, think twice if they hand you a business card where "Russian Spy" is crossed out and "Landscaper" is scribbled in . . .  .

For more information on checking out the neighborhood and the neighbors when choosing a new place to call your own, see Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home.