If it’s nice next door, it could help to seal your sale

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Everybody needs good neighbours and if they happen to be over 50, it could make selling your property less traumatic.

A poll by Saga Home Insurance reveals that more than 80 per cent of people in Eastern England asked say the condition of a neighbouring property is important when house hunting.

And it seems the over 50s make the best neighbours, because they are less likely to let the neighbourhood go to the dogs.

The survey shows that younger people are more prone to letting their property become an eyesore, with peeling paint, collapsing fences and bin bags dumped on top of an unkempt garden.

Of the various eyesores that put Eastern England residents off making an offer on a house, rubbish in the front garden topped the list, followed by dismantled cars, overgrown gardens, unkempt lawns and any evidence that the property owner keeps lots of pets.

The survey found that more than four fifths of over 50s throughout the UK say that they like to keep their front garden tidy and they put a lot of effort into doing so.

A quarter of these constant gardeners say they mow their lawn once a week, compared to just eight per cent of under 50s.

They are also less likely to have peeling paint, fences in need of repair or rubbish strewn over the front lawn. Regionally, of people in Eastern England asked, 27 per cent say they mow the lawn once a week, making people here among the most houseproud in Britain.

In comparison, just two thirds of 25-34 year olds say they like to keep their front garden tidy, they are eight times as likely to have rubbish in their garden as over 50s and one in ten have fences in need of repair.

Other front garden frights people admit having includes dumped furniture, building materials and garden gnomes.

Saga Services chief executive Roger Ramsden said: “The over 50s seem much more house-proud than younger generations, which is good for their neighbours and the area they live in.

“The Saga generations are keen gardeners and clearly believe that first impressions count, it appears that keeping your bushes trimmed has kerb appeal and lifts house prices in your neighbourhood.”