Considering Your Neighbors When You Choose a New Home

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There was lots of loud banging coming from my neighbor's house early last Thursday morning. Instead of being annoyed, I was excited: the noise was the sound of work finally being done on my absentee neighbor's roof...

My husband and I bought our Baltimore row house in 2011, and we've experienced neighborly extremes. The majority of our neighbors are very friendly, in what seems like a throwback. Not only do we know one another's names, we actually sit down and talk, and I'm buddies with the six-year-old girl three doors down. In one instance, I was eating dinner with her and her parents in their home, when another neighbor knocked on the door to let us know my smoke alarm was going off (I had forgotten to turn off the oven). The sense of camaraderie is refreshing and, in some instances, very helpful!

We had heard tell of how friendly the block was before we moved in, but we didn't know or notice that we were moving next door to an absentee owner. (I blame first-time-homebuyer blinders.) I've dubbed his house the Miss Havisham home, because it's so paint-peeling decrepit. He has neglected the building for years (not that this case is by any means unique in the city): the roof is crumbling, and the backyard is a jungle complete with poison ivy and a ramshackle shed. All this to say, I'm very excited to know he finally has sold his home to the developer who flipped ours.

You can't really know your neighbors before you move in, but they can really affect your quality of life. They add happiness to mine, especially now that the fly in the ointment is gone.

Now that I've vented, have neighbors ever affected your choice to move to or from a place? How do you make an effort to get to know your neighbors? How have you resolved issues or seen them resolve themselves?

(Image: U.S. National Archives via Flickr)

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Kim has been sharing creative projects and ideas as a Contributor to Apartment Therapy since 2010. Her writing highlights stylish, budget-friendly solutions to common household problems. Kim is a fluent French speaker and a houseplant enthusiast.