Deal breakers on a new home...

Gosh, I’d think a cemetery would be almost the ideal neighbor, next to maybe nature refuge. Most cemeteries around here are nicely groomed and wooded – good habitat for wildlife. (Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge is gorgeous and very popular with Boston-area birders.) So it really depends on how picturesque the cemetery is.

As for dead bodies – well, at least they’re quiet and have arranged to have the lawn mowed occasionally. Excellent neighbors, really.

We live a few doors down from a large cemetery, it is one of the reasons we like the house. I agree, I wouldn’t buy in a neighobrhood with a HOA, or in a historic district that had a lot of rules about what you could do to your house.

Almost the exact opposite of my list. Most non-open floor plans are out and I would be very hesitant to buy anything pre-1990. Been through ripping out all the wiring and plumbing. Never again.

As for HOA it depends. I’ll be moving in to my girlfriends house soon. The HOA there has very little power. They get a small fee to keep the common area landscaping done. And they deal with legal issues pertaining to the nearby (not near our house) dairy plant. That’s it. I’d it’s an HOA with a lot of power I would look at it different.

A cemetary would not bother me. Frequent flood zone is a deal breaker after what I went through during Hurricane Floyd. Close enough to a major highway to hear the traffic noise. Close to train tracks. Under the flight pattern of airports (if close by). A busy street with a high speed limit. If the previous owner was a heavy smoker the price better be low enough to make it worth replacing all the sheet rock and carpets.

Rental property nearby

At least 60 feet above sea level, not in a flood plain, yet not on a steep slope, a very gentle slope is okay. Power lines underground, insulated and double paned windows. Neighborhood looks well kept up, no junker cars parked in the streets, etc.

Oh Lordy.


What is the benefit to an older house? It seems to me something newer would probably have better plumbing and wiring, be less likely to need constant repairs, not have lead paint that needs to be removed, etc.

Lead paint (something you’d have to worry about only in an older house) would be a total dealbreaker.

Bad drainage on the lot would be a major dealbreaker. When we get 3 inches of rain, I want that water running off our lot. But too steep is also a dealbreaker - you don’t want that runoff creating erosion gullies in your yard either.

Underground oil tanks abandoned-in-place uner the house. Yes, we looked at one. Not one door in the house closed properly.

No transit or shops within walking distance. I hate having to drive everywhere, and Mr. Neville hates driving even more than I do.

No central air.

More than an hour from a major airport. This goes into the “don’t like driving” thing again- I don’t do long road trips, either.

I’m totally non-handy, and a real procrastinator when it comes to house stuff. I moved here in 07, and I’m just now getting to replacing the curtains that came with the house that I didn’t really like, just to give you some idea. An HOA that limits changes I can make to the house isn’t a big deal, since I’m not likely to make any anyway, but one that is going to get on my case if the grass gets a little too long is.

My parents’ backyard adjoins an old cemetery. They like it- no noise.

Oh, I saw some dealbreakers when I was house hunting … :smiley:

  • The Cliff Dwelling: backyard backs onto a 60’ cliff rapidly deroding away. Backyard garage held from going over said cliff by a single cinderblock, while properties to each side have concrete rebuttments resembling Normandy Beach fortifications: dealbreaker.

  • The Cigarette House: lady had smoked 3 packs a day for the last 50 years in this house. House was beautiful, except for the sticky brown layer of carcenogens all over everything, and the fact it smelled like living inside an ashtray: dealbreaker.

  • The WTF? House: house had unfinished basement with the exception of a bedroom with ensuite 2 piece WC, located in behind the furnace room - with a stout solid 3" wooden door and a heavy latch for locking it on the outside: dealbreaker!

Malthus, that’s creepy as hell. ETA: The locked door house. Shudder.

I bought (and as of next week will have sold) a house across the street from a jail. Kitty corner from a high school. Down hill from a Psychiatric Hospital. Three blocks away from a (then abandoned now demolished) hospital.

The jail was up on a hill, my son had a great place to go sledding. Police were always driving by… I felt very safe. I also had an aboriginal police officer living next door. Of course a friend of a friend knew some guards at the jail, apparently these people watched me move in, described me, my car, the age of my child. Security cameras showed my property. Curtains went up right away.

The only thing I didn’t like about it was the storm sewer at the end of the driveway. I had to deal with a lot of freeze and melt cycles and it left a sort of “hole” in the end of the driveway late spring every year. Rookie mistake, don’t buy a house with a storm drain at the foot of the driveway or at the bottom of the hill. People had the impression my house flooded. It never did in the almost 8 years I owned the house.

Probably has some boring and non-creepy explaination … but that did not stop my wife and I from thinking up all sorts of rather more gothic ones. :smiley:

… On top of an Indian burial ground?

I wouldn’t mind living next to or across from a cemetery - but it’d have to be one of those small old-time cemeteries that hasn’t had anyone move in/under in a long time. There’s a pocket cemetery not far from us with about 20 graves dating back to 1820 or so, which is kind of interesting. I wonder who maintains such places (I might be OK with buying a house even if I was required to keep the weeds down or otherwise do simple tending of the old cemetery on adjoining land).

A large, “active” cemetery with people digging new graves and lots of visitors? Sorry, deal-breaker. Almost as bad as an HOA. :smiley:

I would love living across from a cemetery. Even one of the active ones that Jackmannii is complaining about. Still much quieter than where I’m at now.

No more than call it two blank lots where the city has razed properties on the block.

No off street parking? No deal. Not gonna deal with having to find legal parking when all the road parking becomes verbotten at the hint of snow coming.

Absolute Must-Haves for any property I’m going to consider: Right angles; plumbing that’s not dyslexic, and either a stove vent or a window in the kitchen.

I have a similair requirement before I’d even consider a home swimming pool. Except I’d actually take advantage of it. Needless to say I’d also need to be able to walk around naked inside the house, but that can be solved with the right window treatments.

Agreed. I hate open floorplans. :eek: Ditto for wall-to-wall carpeting; it’s disgusting. And bedrooms with plenty of light. My ideal bedroom would be easy to render as dark as a coal mine, even at high noon. Bedroom skylights are an unthinkable atrocity.

What is the boring, non-creepy, explanation for a locking latch on the outside? :dubious:

Perhaps the room had another use before being converted into a bedroom, and they just failed to change the hardware.

But yeah, that wasn’t one’s first thought on seeing it. :eek:

More like ‘it puts the lotion on its skin’ (or Boo Radley, at best).

No, and it was actually a really nice neighbourhood to live in. Two blocks to a lake with huge walking trails and a playground. Sledding. No across the street neighbour houses to look in my window. And the jail really looks like a fancy old mansion on a hill, nothing creepy from where I would sit on my front step. But I’ve moved and that is just somewhere I used to live.

Just wondering, do you also avoid all incorporated cities? There are cities with actual laws that compare to the scary internet stories about HOAs, so presumably if you avoid all HOAs you’d want to avoid all cities.