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When you’re thinking about making an offer on a home, you’re likely fixated on the interior of the space, or at least the site itself. Sometimes, however, it pays to look outside the home a little…at some very specific people who might be able to provide some valuable insight.

Neighbours

Whether you’re looking at purchasing a unit in a condo building or a home in a subdivision, the immediate neighbours can be a great source of information. If you happen to bump into someone in an elevator or taking out their trash, try asking them what they think of the building or the area. Are there lots of families nearby? What’s the noise level like? Is there anything a prospective buyer should know? As a bonus, you know you already have one connection, should you end up moving in!

Garbage Collectors or Municipal Employees

If you happen to view a home on garbage day, you’ve lucked out! Believe it or not, city maintenance staff and waste collection management see a lot of stuff, and can be a surprisingly good source of information. Have they had any problems? What kind of people live in the area? Do people ever throw out questionable items, like infested mattresses? These are all good things to know, and these kinds of professionals don’t have anything to lose by being honest about it.

Dog Walkers, Labourers or Service Staff

Other people who spend a significant part of their day in the building or area at large can be great sources of information too. Building cleaners can tell you whether the building is well maintained, while dog walkers or those who work on homes in the area can give you a sense of what the community is like.

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