Everyone’s had those neighbors before.

By Maggie Seaver
November 27, 2019

Whether you’re renting or buying, location is likely the top factor helping you determine where to live. But there’s another important factor that can definitely impact your living situation—one you might not truly consider until after you’ve signed on the dotted line: Your neighbors.

What we’re trying to say is that it’s not just about where you live, but who you live near. Scoring awesome neighbors—whatever that means to you—is a huge win. Whether they become close friends or simply leave you in peace, living next door to your idea of a good neighbor makes all the difference. On the other hand, getting stuck next to neighbors who are loud, nosy, or inconsiderate is, well, the worst.

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Unfortunately, according to new survey data from Ally Home, a direct-to-consumer mortgage arm of Ally Bank, bad neighbors are more common than anyone would like them to be. In fact, after polling 2,000 U.S. adults, Ally Home revealed that 55 percent of respondents have had a neighbor they actually avoided because they were so difficult, and 52 percent said they've lived near someone they consider a "nightmare neighbor."

What exactly does that mean? It’s safe to say a nightmare neighbor is someone who embodies all (or at least an unfortunate combination) of survey-takers’ least favorite neighbor qualities. And you might be able to guess the most egregious neighbor quality of all—loud neighbors. You know the ones: they seem to walk around in tap shoes, speak to each other via megaphone, and throw all-night ragers on the regular. The truth is, loud neighbors aren’t just a nuisance—the noise can do bigger damage like mess with your sleep cycles and disrupt your ability to focus in your own home.

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The second-worst type of neighbor, according to survey respondents, is someone who partakes in a “questionable lifestyle,” such as running an illegal business from home (yikes). Third on the list are neighbors who don’t maintain their house—and we can assume this goes beyond neglecting to water the plants (think: leaving out the trash to attract pests or not fixing their plumbing to standards). Lastly, we mentioned noisy neighbors, but nosy neighbors are ones to look out for too. No one likes a neighbor who pries into their business, and this survey proves it.  

Good neighbors exist too, though—and thank goodness. According to Ally Home, respondents’ idea of a great neighbor is someone who takes good care of their home, is quick to lend a hand to other neighbors, cares about their local neighborhood, and wants to be friends with fellow neighbors. But no matter how nice the neighborhood is, the majority of respondents agree that a little distance is ideal: Fifty-four percent would prefer to live somewhere with plenty of space between neighbors, compared to only 26 percent of people who prefer to live in closer proximity to their neighbors.

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