(CBS) In today’s weakened housing market, even the smallest of factors can have an impact on your home’s future worth and your own enjoyment living there, not the least of which, your neighbors.
The Early Show national correspondent Jeff Glor reports on one man’s hi-tech way of dealing with a rotten neighbor problem.
For many folks location is key when looking for a new home. But it’s not just where you live, it’s also who lives next door.
Whether it’s noisy toys, or bare knuckle brutes, no one wants to be stuck next to the dreaded bad neighbor.
Brant Walker and his girlfriend Kendra Kadas moved into their San Diego apartment this summer only to discover a daily assault on the senses. “You come home from work, start walking up the stairs, you smell it a little bit, and it just starts stinking,” Brant remembers.
Day after day, Brant and Kendra’s neighbors were cooking. The smell, they say, was unbearable. “The smell’s just right in our apartment and it makes it hard to want to cook or eat your own food with this smell in the air,” Kendra says.
Rather than talk to his neighbors about the odor, Brant smelled an opportunity. He launched a Web site – rottenneighbor.com – and posted his grievance to the world.
“Anyone has the right to know what their neighbors are like before they move in so they don’t regret it the very next day,” Brant argues.
Brant opened the site for anyone to post about anyone and right away hit a nerve. Each day, the site gets thousands of postings about neighbor horror stories.
Neighbors being tattled on generally aren’t identified by name but their home, right down to the street address, is. Experts say the site can seriously impact a home’s worth.
“The question is how far would you have to drop your house in order to make it saleable if everyone knows you have bad neighbors? It might be you know a third. It could easily be a third. It’s hard to calculate but I’ll tell you, it could definitely be a lot,” Phyllis Rockower from the Real Estate Investment Club of L.A.
Brant says protecting people’s privacy isn’t his concern. He believes he can help save home hunters from making uninformed decisions. “You have so many real estate engines out there helping people find out where they want to live. This is the first one of its kind helping people find out where they don’t want to live.”
Rottenneighbor.com recently launched a beta version and has gone world wide. The site, which is being supported by private financers, has received millions of hits since launching.