Neighbour’s Unsightly Property Scares Home Buyers

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

Home buyers on a journey to find a house may decline a purchase when a neighbour’s unsightly property scares them away.

When the weeds do the talking, and the buyers do the walking, realtors are missing the mark on selling a home.

Buying a home is a big decision for anyone to make in their lifetime.

This is why so many factors can increase or decrease the value of a property, one being your neighbour’s house.

People might say to mind your own business, but no one wants to buy a property next to a house resembling a salvage yard.

You probably worked hard to save for your down payment and want that money to be spent on a home that brings you joy.

This is why there are sought-after neighbourhoods and those to avoid.

Would you risk losing 5-10% of your house value because your neighbour can’t be bothered to keep their property in decent condition?

Probably not, because no one likes to lose money for nothing.

However, this is the reality many home sellers face, so we want to move to a country where it’s just us and nature.

Neighbour's Unsightly Property Scares Home Buyers
Neighbour’s Unsightly Property Scares Home Buyers

How To Decrease The Value Of Your Home

When you decide to sell your property, no matter where you live or how old your house is, it’s essential to have it in tip-top shape or risk your house value decreasing.

Smoking, for example, is one way to decrease the value of your home.

Another is to ensure the house is falling apart and that the property looks buried deep in the forest in a nice neighborhood.

Add a refrigerator and some broken-down vehicles to the mix, and the house is losing money before the for-sale sign goes up.

Not only that, but your neighbours also suffer when they do the same.

I have had two recent instances where I’ve been subject to friends trying to sell their house.

Potential home buyers coming through the house had some not-so-nice things to say about their neighbour’s property.

It doesn’t matter if the walk score for a property for sale is high when it’s not maintained.

If everything about the house and the street doesn’t fit the home buyers’ ideal mindset, they won’t put in an offer.

Who wants to deal with neighbors who can’t be bothered to take care of their property?

Saving For Home Maintenance

Buying a house is not a one-time deal; it requires daily, monthly, and yearly maintenance.

Saving a portion of your monthly net income for these costs is very important when deciding whether you can afford a home.

Sometimes, homeowners fall on bad times and cannot care for their property.

However, to let your property fall into shambles in a neighbourhood of homeowners who care for their property hurts the sale of homes.

This is why there are property standards set by municipalities in each city.

They are called bylaws, and each city has different bylaws based on what has been passed by the local city council or pressing issues in the community.

Almost every city has bylaws based on property, especially with junk lying around, weeds, long grass, and unused vehicles.

Each time we visit a home business for services, we notice the house next to hers is still for sale.

The house is listed for just over $800,000, which is steady with the comparable prices in the neighbourhood.

Home Buyers Back Away

We looked at the listing on, and the house is pristine inside and relatively new in the last 20 years.

Unless there was something extremely wrong with the house, we couldn’t find why it wasn’t selling unless home buyers came in with low offers.

Related: Why I’m Not Buying Your House For Sale

That could be the case, or maybe no offers are coming in.

The house has seen a price drop of $40,000 in the past 4 months, and the homeowners have moved away for new employment opportunities.

Why Is A House Not Selling?

Well, I can tell you one of them is the neighbour whose property is in a disaster zone.

Every. Single. Time. there are flyers, pop cans, weeds, and junk lying around.

You can tell the deck was built horribly and is falling apart, and cracks on the side of the house were bandaged up, and it shows.

The garage door is always open, and that is another tornado zone on its own.

Who wants to see that when looking to buy a house next door?

Not me.

The house’s roof desperately needs replacing; the windows and doors are filthy, and you can see them rotting outside.

Home Buyers Can See Everything

In general, the outside of the house looks like a disaster zone, and the inside is no better, but you’ll never know what goes on behind closed doors.

What happens on the outside, however, everyone can see.

We see it so that home buyers will see it.

It sucks for the seller of the house next door because there isn’t much they can do about it apart from contacting the city to see if the homeowners fail to uphold bylaws.

If not, they have to suck it up and hope home buyers come in and fail to notice what is happening next door.

Once the house sale is signed, I’m sure they will make a run for it.

Bylaws and Standards For Homeowners

Suppose you are a homeowner unfamiliar with your community’s bylaws, especially those about your home.

In that case, I suggest reading them online or calling your local city for more information.

Every homeowner should be required to read and sign bylaws in the community at the time of home purchase so they are made aware of the rules.

Sounds uninformed, but not all home buyers are experienced in home-buying, especially first-time home buyers who are learning the ropes.

Property Standards Bylaw In Toronto

Property Standards Bylaw sets the standards for all properties in Toronto.

All property owners are required to repair and maintain their property, including owners of properties rented out.

Long Grass & Weeds

  • Residents must keep their lawns (including the City portion) under 20 cm or 8 inches tall. Natural gardens were planted to produce habitats for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife and are exempt from height restrictions.
  • All parts of a property, including the yard, must be kept clean and free from accumulations of litter, brush, or garbage and any conditions that are health or fire hazards.
  • All stairs, verandas, porches, decks, loading docks, ramps, balconies, fire escapes, and other similar structures and all treads, risers, guards, handrails, and supports have to be kept in a safe, clean, sanitary condition and good repair.
  • Unless garbage is properly stored awaiting collection day, property owners must keep their yard and any other part of their property clean and free from accumulations of junk, refuse, litter, etc.

Get Rid Of Junk

Our neighbour currently has his house on the market, and we worked as hard and fast as possible to get the fence up on one side of the property.

During their first open house home, buyers came through, and two of the comments were not about the house but the neighbour’s property behind it.

As far as I’m concerned, they can keep whatever items they want back there as long as it’s not causing anyone harm, health hazards, or breaking bylaws.

Plus, I don’t want to see it or have it decrease the value of our home or have us struggle to sell because no one wants to live next to a property dump.

The amount of stuff tossed back that no longer works must be sorted.

It’s a mess, but perhaps not to my neighbour, who owns the property and claims to buy too much stuff.

The weeds are out of control, the garden is a disaster zone, and the deck has stuff lying around.

My neighbour selling their house didn’t want potential buyers to see that mess.

We’ve since put the new fence up, and now it’s gone, at least from our view.

Whatever the reason for keeping a property looking like a farm field affects those who live in surrounding homes, from everyday enjoyment to real estate sales.

Even though you may not be breaking the law, some upkeep might also make you smile.

How To Remedy A Neighbours Junk Yard

If you are a homeowner dealing with home buyers rejecting your property, as our neighbour experienced, there are a few remedies.

  1. Politely talk to your neighbour, especially if the problem is a safety concern.
  2. Let them know you are selling your house and ask them if they could use a helping hand tidying up.
  3. If you’ve experienced negative feedback from home buyers, let them know, too, so they may think twice about cleaning up a bit.
  4. Perhaps offering a helping hand might be a great idea as you don’t know their story, but they might appreciate it.
  5. If, after talking to your neighbour and they won’t sort anything out, contact the bylaw office only if they are breaking the laws.
  6. Other than that, there’s not much you can do.
  7. Put up a big fence and try not to look at it if you are in the back garden.

The next time you buy a house, don’t forget to look for the houses in the neighbourhood to see if homeowners are maintaining them before you say, SOLD.

Discussion: Would you buy a house next to or behind another home resembling a junkyard or in disrepair?

Share your comments below and any tips you may offer to those in this current situation.

At The CBB House

Hey everyone,

I cut my hair, which I don’t get often as I’m trying to grow it long.

It has been one of those weeks where you want to get a job done but the rain steps in and stops you.

I love the rain, especially in the summer when the grass and plants need it the most.

I just picked the wrong time of year to put a new fence up, but it was important because it became a safety hazard for everyone after the storm did its wrecking job.

Other than that, we have been dealing with more crises on the home front with my mother-in-law, and it hasn’t been good.

This year has been consumed with death and mental illness, and it will not get easier.

We’re hoping to take a little family vacation for a few days before our son starts school, as we haven’t had the opportunity to do so this summer.

Boring week, I know, but on the bright side, we have us, and that’s all that matters.

Have a great week.


CBB Fan Budget Brags

Jen Aug 10 garage sales 1

Send me a photo of your deals with the low-down on what you bought and how much you paid for it.

Did you score some deals?

Each entry allows you to win gift cards at the end of the year. More than one prize!

Hey everyone,

I’m back again with more garage sale deals.

After two slow weeks and missing last week, I returned to it today!

  • Tower of drawers $1!!
  • Ladies’ winter boots and 3 Minecraft books $4 (asking was $5.50)
  • School supplies $2 (asking was $3)
  • Sprinkler $1.50
  • Dove body wash gift set and hair gel $3

Total spent $9.50



Frugal Recipe Of The Week


Karissa at Sweet as Cookie won me over with these Double Chocolate Brownies.

I look for that fudge-like texture and chocolate goodness in a brownie, and it looks like it has it all.

Karissa says these are better than boxed brownies, and you’ll never go boxed again.

I’ll be adding this to my growing list of Pinterest Brownie finds.

Update 2023– Unfortunately, the website no longer exists however, it’s easy to formulate how to make the recipe based on her ingredients below.


  1. 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  2. 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  3. 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
  4. 1 tsp. salt
  5. 1 tsp. baking powder
  6. 1 tbs. vanilla extract
  7. 4 eggs
  8. 1 1/2 cups flour
  9. 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Fall Gardening 101

pumpkin growing pot

Fall is approaching, which means colours, leaves, and many pumpkins!

When I found this article about how to grow a pumpkin in containers, I had to read it.

My father-in-law would grow pumpkins in his garden; they were giant compared to what you purchase at the grocery store and some farms.

I had never considered growing my own, but since our son is a HUGE fan of Halloween and loves pumpkins, I thought it might be a fun gardening idea to start with him.

Small pumpkin varieties like ‘Jack be little’, ‘Wee be little’, ‘Baby boo’, ‘Munchkin’, Pumpkin Hooligan’, ‘Mini-jack’, ‘Lil pump ke mon’ are most suitable for container gardening. However, you can also grow giant pumpkin varieties.

CBB Words of Wisdom

No One Needs To Know Your Story Unless You Tell Them

Saturday Search Term Giggles

Every week I get tens of thousands of people who visit Canadian Budget Binder because they searched online and found my blog. (SIC) means I’ve copied the text exactly, and it has spelling errors.

Most times funny, Sometimes serious.

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  • Short-cut of making money in Canada– Ha, good ol’ elbow grease wins every time.
  • Sobey’s Returns– Sounds like a TV program, haha!
  • Canadian Oopsie– I love this one, haha!!! You mean Oopsie Bread.
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One Comment

  1. Your post about the neighbors property is exactly what is happening to us. Our house is well taken care of but the one next door is overgrown with a neglected and ramshackle deck. The fence is falling down and only being held up by the overgrown bushes. The ones behind them are just as bad. They have a dog so they “fixed” the fence by stuffing the gap with pieces of scrap lumber and chicken wire. They “fixed” their siding with a random piece of metal that they hammered into the house. The whole back side of the house is molding. I tried to put in a complaint with the city but the inspector said he couldn’t write a complaint because the people didn’t answer the door or respond to the card he left in the door. He said he can’t write a complaint on what he can’t see. I have been to our HOA twice and still have yet to hear back from them. I am beginning to think I will never be able to sell my house, at least not without having to take a big hit because of the surrounding properties.

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