Here’s an interesting thought: this year, as we head into the competitive autumn market, a Federal Election has just been called.

To me that means a couple of things. First, the real estate lawn signs that usually stand out as beacons of opportunity and availability will now be obscured by political signs. The second is that those signs can be a real source of neighbourhood definition to homebuyers.

Think about it. If you’re buying, trends in political expression could be a real eye opener about the character of an area. In other circumstances, in most showings you wouldn’t know much about your potential neighbours, but add political lawn signs and the story changes. For instance, would living on a staunchly conservative block be a problem for you, with your dyed-in-the-wool socialist sensibilities? You have to figure that part of enjoying your home will include ongoing friendliness with Joe and Helen next door – but if you feel like it’s a choice between hiding your stripes and ongoing arguments (friendly or not), it might give you pause for thought.

Do you pass on your dream home because of the political leanings of the neighbours? Maybe. It could be something to think about. I see it as an opportunity to imagine the possible outcomes and situations.

I’ll just put this out there… the people who post the signs are the ones who feel like they have a stake in the game. In this country, we’re taught that mutual respect allows for differences of opinion. On the other hand, however great a house may seem, good fences do not always make good neighbours. Good conversations do. If part of your house hunt includes finding your fit, it may be an idea to keep an eye on the signs.

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