Won’t you be my neighbor?

When Matt and I started thinking about buying a house, we wanted a single family. We figured, if we were going to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for something, we wanted it to be solely ours. Also, I knew that if we ever moved into one of those huge condo communities, there would be NO WAY I would remember which one was ours since they all look the same. I could totally picture myself coming home and having to count doors until I figured out which one was mine. (Is it three to the left of the courtyard? Or to the right?) Yes. Dumb. I know.

So we started searching single family homes and while we were not totally discouraged, we slowly began to realize that the homes in our price range would require us to become fast masters in the art of home improvement. Namely, wallpaper removal (a LOT of wallpaper removal), carpet removal, floor refinishing, bathroom remodeling, etc. All things that we are surely capable of but were not eager to begin at that particular point. (While the lazy was certainly a factor here, we were also concerned about the money that these projects would require, because after we bought a house, we knew we wouldn’t have a ton of money to spend on major remodeling.)

We talked about renting for a few more years. We talked about condos. We talked about just diving in and trying the remodeling. Finally we talked to our Realtor and he suggested that we keep trying and maybe open up our search a bit.

The next weekend, we looked at a bunch of places, including 2 duplexes. One was pretty nice, and lower in price than a lot of places that we had looked at, but was missing some of the things that we wanted (3rd bedroom, dining room). The other was a dream come true for us (large, completely renovated, nice area) but it was at the max of our price range. We talked about it. Could we justify paying our max for something that wasn’t a single family? Were we willing to sacrifice what had previously been a vital point for our home?

The next morning I checked online and the price of the house had been dropped 30K. We took it as a sign and made an offer. Now it is our home.

When we decided to go the duplex route, we kind of crossed our fingers that our neighbors would be great people who we would become friends with. We knew that it was the luck of the draw, and we were prepared for whatever came our way. (The other side of our house was for sale at the same time as ours. Our neighbors actually closed on their place and moved in at the same time as us. So we had no prior knowledge of what they might be like.)

Now, I’m sure if we went with other places, I would be bitching about how hard it is to remove 17 layers of ugly-as-hell wallpaper. But that’s not the case. Instead I will bitch about HOW MUCH MY IDIOT NEIGHBORS ARE PISSING ME OFF. HATE. OH, THE HATE.

Matt says I’m overreacting. Here are my points to the contrary:

  • We have a somewhat long driveway, as our house is set pretty far back from the road. There is ample room for 4 cars (two of ours, two of theirs) right in front of our house. There is also a parking area at the top of the driveway – room for at least 5 cars. So why do they insist on letting their friends park so that they block us in or so that we can barely open our car doors because they park so close? The final straw with the parking craziness was when I came home one day to find their friend’s SUV parked IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LAWN. Who does that? Does anyone really find that to be acceptable in any way?
  • The weekend before we went on vacation, we got a small amount of snow. It wasn’t enough that our plow company would come by, but it was enough that if we just left it, there would be a ton of ice and basically a big mess. So, Matt went out and shoveled the entire (remember, it’s long) driveway, walkway, etc. areas by himself. He didn’t mind doing this because we were home, and he wanted some exercise, and it would be pretty stupid (and kind of impossible) to only shovel ‘our’ part of the driveway.

However, when we came back from vacation, we found that our darling neighbors had shoveled a tiny little strip of walkway on their side only. By this point, the stuff had frozen so solidly that it took us HOURS to get the ice and snow off of our steps and walkway. It would have taken them 15 minutes TOPS to shovel it when they were doing theirs.

[This is one of the things that Matt says I am overreacting on. However, I say that it is common courtesy. If the situation had been reversed, there would have been NO QUESTION that we would have shoveled their walk. I know that this sounds a bit… pious? But this one really pissed me off.]

  • They are apparently dog-sitting for some friends. They let the dog crap directly in front of our bushes and then left it there. This is the one that finally got Matt riled up.
  • They also apparently let the dog crap all over their house. Now, if that’s what they want, then it’s really none of my business, except that I can SMELL IT. The first time, I figured, whatever, dogs have accidents and well, shit happens (heh). But it keeps happening. And they seem to have no urgency to clean it up. Or at least make the smell go away. And it’s not like it happens when they aren’t home and that’s why they don’t clean it up, because I know they’re home.

There are other examples but I think these make my case. I would love to confront them, but I don’t want to start a real feud going. I also don’t want to continue to stew in silence. Is there a tactful way to say, HEY, YOU’RE MORONS. HOW ABOUT YOU STOP SUCKING TREMENDOUSLY?

Yeah, I didn’t think so either.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Won’t you be my neighbor?

  1. Jen

    Yeah. My husband and I bought our first house last year. Almost all of our neighbors are wonderful except for the 375 year old man who lives in back of us.
    For One, in the summer, he gets up at 6:45 AM on SATURDAY to mow his lawn. And then suck up the clippings with one of those LOUD sucky uppy things.
    For Two, in the winter he PLOWS his BACK YARD. He hooks a plow up to his mower and PLOWS the BACK YARD.
    He has told us that he doesnt like the placement of our compost bin. He has told us that the STICKS that fall from the trees are TOO close to his FENCE and we need to pick them up.
    I do not like him.
    Of course, then if I dont see him our there plowing daily I fear that he has died…I really cant win.
    So, single family or not…neighbors are jerkfaces.

  2. Yes! You see exactly what I mean! The lack of common sense (and common courtesy) is astounding. What can possibly be the point of plowing a back yard? The mind boggles…

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