By  Wed Feb 5, 2014

No Love for Renters in Today’s Neighborhood

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According to a recent survey of homeowners, several preferences were discovered about what qualities people would like to see in a neighbor and how friendly people are with their neighbors. About half of the homeowners who responded said they know the names of their neighbors, but may not be as happy to see them if their neighbors happen to be renters.

Trulia, an online provider of real estate listings, conducted a survey of 3,000 adults and found that about 75 percent had strong feelings about having neighbors with particular characteristics.

Renters unpopular

Homeowners were the most desired neighbors according to the report. About one third of the respondents, including those who rented, strongly preferred to have home owners as neighbors. When surveyors asked respondents to fill in the blank for the question, “It is important that my neighbors ___,” a response of “are a homeowner” was given by 35 percent of all respondents.

In suburban areas, the percentage of respondents who preferred home owners as neighbors rose to 38 percent. Only 28 percent of urban dwellers, who might be more accustomed to seeing a wider variety of property rental types including luxury dwellings, only showed preference to home owners.

People like living with similar people

Renters appeared to be almost as unpopular as those who speak a foreign language, according to the report. A similar number, 33 percent, replied that they wanted their neighbors to speak the same language as they do, but only 10 percent showed strong preferences for having neighbors of the same ethnicity.

Interestingly, politics didn’t play into ideas of who makes a good neighbor. Only 4 percent of those surveyed said that they preferred to have neighbors with the same political views.

Name that neighbor

It may not come as a surprise to some renters that only 39 percent of them know their neighbors by name. In contrast, 53 percent of homeowners claimed to know the names of their neighbors. This figure was much higher for those living in the Midwest where 60 percent of responders saying they knew the names of neighbors. In the Northeast, Southwest, and West between 49 and 51 percent were familiar with the names in their communities.

Where is the love?

Questions were asked about how much people like their neighbors. Whether they were in urban or suburban areas, about 67 percent gave favorable ratings to the people around them. Renters, however, were far less prone to liking their neighbors than their home-owning counterparts. Only 58 percent of those who answered the survey questions said they generally liked their neighbors. That number was much higher for homeowners; 74 percent of them had pleasant feelings about the people in their neighborhoods.

The survey did not seek to identify root causes of the preference given toward homeowners. It may be that bad previous experiences with renters have clouded the perspective of some respondents. Others may expect renters to be young and noisy, or less likely to provide care and maintenance to the premises. Others might prefer more stable, long-term neighbors and see an influx of renters as too unpredictable.

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