Home Buying in Mount Kisco>Question Details

Concernedbuy…, Home Buyer in Mount Kisco, NY

111 Manchester Drive Mount Kisco, NY  Please read all the way through.. Serious question..need advice. This is a nice enough property but there

Asked by Concernedbuyer11, Mount Kisco, NY Sat Dec 24, 2011

is a problem neighbor with a run down property full of junk parts and garbage. The persons family is well connected to town judges and they turn a blind eye as a result even though the home is clearly a health and safety hazard and is ruining the value of the other homes in the neighborhood. There's also a retaining wall on his property that looks like its ready to fall on the house that's for sale. There is what can only be described as a junkyard full of broken down cars and parts right in the front yard. The 111 manchester homes master bedroom has only two windows with the larger window overlooking this neighbors "junkyard" 

1) Is it worth investing in a house that already needs much work when this is your neighbor and the town won't take care of the problem?
2) Should the asking price be discounted accordingly before we should even consider seriously negotiating with seller?

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Concerned Buyer,
I dont blame you for being concerned and curious about this home for sale.
I have a few suggestions to make for you,
(1)Go to the Town Board or Mayor
(2)Building Inspector
(3)check with an Appraiser or get a CMA from a professioanl agent like myself.
There are some attributes of this home including short walk to train and the neighborhood has alot of charm.
It has great pontentials as an investment especailly if it is a short sale and you can get a great low price on this home.
please contact me for further information.

Thank you,

Lisa Loeb
Licensed Realtor
Grand Lux Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 7, 2012
When purchasing a property you should always try and view it as an investment as well as a potential home. If you are having trouble with all the negatives then the possibility exists that the next buyer will also have trouble getting past the negatives. This will make for a tough resale. Then there's the potential hazard of ground soil/water contamination from all the junk vehicles. This is a very real and potentially expensive/hazardous mess to clean up. You may also want to consider the mental capacity of such a neighbor. A neighbor can truly impact your quality of life and living in many ways. Honestly my advice would be that there are so many great opportunities in this market that you could certainly do better than this. Just my thoughts.....good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 28, 2011
I have several suggestions. As a long time Mt. Kisco resident , 27 year Real Estate Broker and one who has lived in that neighborhood, please take your concerns to the Building Inspector and our Mayor. Our Mayor lives in this area as well and can further clarify the issue. Without being vague, I'm not sure if a "blind eye" may actually mean certain issues cannot be discriminated against. Our former home is opposite this "challanged" property and was used in a movie and Pepperidge Farm commercials. This should tell you about the charm of the area homes. The short walk to train and town is another great benefit. The alternative is to live in a gated community or one with Homeowner Association Rules. Creative landscape and fencing can help until this issue resolves itself.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 28, 2011
As others have already answered, there are things you can do. You ask if the asking price should be discounted because of the neighbor. Has it already been discounted? I would recommend either have the agent you are working with verify the zoning of this house or do it yourself. Is this a commercial junk yard next door? You could also talk with the code enforcement officer regarding the situation. They are the ones who issue violations for this type of thing.

I did look up the listing on the MLS and from what I could see from the aerial view it does look like it may be a mess. The problem is it appears that you can't avoid looking straight down the neighbors driveway as you approach this house. Putting shrubs, trees and fencing might block this from view while you are on your intended property, but not as you drive up. FYI, 111 Manchester last sold in 2004 for $100,000 more then the current asking price. It did come on the market about 9 months ago at $515k and is now a short sale at $425k. There are things you need to consider before moving forward on this property. Please feel free to contact me or if you are working with an agent ask them to explain your options and the workings of a short sale.

Good luck!

Donald Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
2008 Realtor of the Year
Prudential Douglas Elliman
Cell: 914-924-8581
Web Reference: http://www.nyhomeseller.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 25, 2011
Hi, keep in mind anything that is a tough sell now will most likely be a tough sell down the road, unless the neighbor changes or moves. I used to live in Mt Kisco so I know the area well. If enough of the neighbors get together to complain, something will be done. They can only turn a blind eye for so long.

As for the home purchase needing work, if the values are there in the immediate aea then it could be a good investment. It also depends how long you plan on staying in the home. You should have a buyers agent helping you with this process and all of the other details you mentioned.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 24, 2011
1. ALL homeowners have legal rights. If the property is in violation of local laws or ordnances then the building department can issue letters/ fines to the owners regarding the violations. If they are not in violation of any laws then you are going to have to "live" with the situation until they can be persuaded to clean thing up a bit.

Health and safety hazards are not decided by the YOU and are always not so obvious. Also, one of the Town Judges lives near to this property and I am sure he is not happy about it either!

The value of this home will be affected by the "neighborhood" so you should take that into account when you make your offer. I think that this home has been for sale for about 6 months so that could also improve your position. If you do purchase this home and "clean it up" it is likely that the neighbors will also start to improve their places. ( It happens all of the time) Westchester County Homes are expensive and it is often difficult to even afford a starter home here.

In the long run, I am sure that you will benefit from home ownership in this area. You also forgot to mention to our out of state friends that within 2-3 blocks of this location there are homes valued well in excess of $1,000,000 . Good luck in your hunt!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 24, 2011
1 - probably not
2- absolutely
it's a shame town hall is turning a blind eye. but even if you went to a town hall meeting and got them to do sometihing, then you would have a neighbor with a grudge. Could get ugly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 24, 2011
To invest in the property or not, is a decision only you can make, will you be happy living there; as for the asking price, review comps with your agent, recently sold similar properties in the immediate area, see what the data suggests, and go from there--as it's possible that the list price already reflects the necessary repairs. As for the neighbor and health and safety issues--have the neighbors considered banding together as a community, to try and have the problem resolved....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 24, 2011
Hi: Assume you can get a better deal because the house is next door to a junkyard. Do not assume that you can get the neighbor to improve or clean up his property. That's not easy & there isn't much that the municipality can do about it. And since you'll be buying at a discount due to the neighbor, assume you'll have to sell at a discount due to the neighbor also. I can help you though, if you want. Sincerely, Michael F. Levy, Principal Broker, Grand Lux Realty, 914-273-9688. BTW, we're looking for more agents & offer a 70% commission split with no fees. If you know anybody who might be interested, I'll pay you up to $1,000 each for your agent recruits. Happy holidays!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 24, 2011

1) No, unless it's a tremendous value.

2) Yes. Absolutely.

What you've got is a problem that's likely to continue regardless of your efforts. So, that house and its problems are going to stay the way they are for the foreseeable future. It won't change.

That means it'll detract from your please living in the home you're considering buying. It also means that, when you decide to sell, there's a chance that eyesore will still be there.

So the question is: Can you live next to the eyesore? And are you prepared some day to sell, with the eyesore still there?

In less extreme cases, I've known investors who've approached homeowners and offered to have their yards cleaned up for free. In some cases, I've known investors to do that for 4-5 surrounding homes (urban rowhouses). I don't know whether you'd be willing to do that, or what the cost would be, or whether the eyesore owner would be open to that, and whether and problem would recur even if it were cleaned up. Still, that's a possibility.

My gut reaction would be to advise you to keep looking. But certainly consider the possibilities I mentioned above.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 24, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
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