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The One Person You Should Always Chat with Before Buying a House

- fotog/Getty Images
fotog/Getty Images

This advice applies to renters, too.

If you're in the process of buying a new home, you've probably consulted with family, friends, and even co-workers. But there's one group of people that you may be overlooking — even though they may have crucial intel: Your neighbors.

Unlike realtors or the previous tenants or home owners who may be biased, neighbors can give you the scoop on what to expect in your new town and bring to light important info (like how noisy the street is in the summer) that you may otherwise miss. "Neighbors are always the ones who will tell you if the walls are thin or it's impossible to make a right turn in the morning at the nearest intersection because traffic is so congested. They end up telling you the most candid details, too, since they don't really have all that much at stake in the home sale," writes Brittany Anas on Apartment Therapy. Of course, the same concept applies to those renting a home, as well.

Anas, a veteran newspaper reporter, who credits her background for helping her approach the process like a "scavenger hunt," has used the strategy for years with much success. "During my last apartment search, a tenant I caught in the parking lot at one complex told me the pool was seemingly always shut down for maintenance, that guest parking spots were hard to come by, and that the tow patrol was unforgiving. That was enough for me to pass on the apartment complex," she shares.

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Anas advises that you go up to your potential neighbors tactfully. For instance, if you see them in an apartment common area or walking in the parking lot, offer a friendly hello and explain that you're considering moving here and would love to hear his or her candid opinions.

On the road to closing on a home? Check out 6 things nobody tells you about buying a house.

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