Share your condo townhouse noise experiences...

Mia_January 16, 2004

I would like to know from those of you who have lived in a condo townhouse (nobody lives above or below you, but they live beside you) what the noise issues are regarding next door neighbors. Can you hear through the walls, like muffled conversations, music, tv, banging cabinets, slamming doors, etc.? Is there a lack of privacy?

I live in a house now, but have been thinking for a little while about looking into buying a condo townhouse because I wouldn't have to worry about all the outdoor maintenance issues and also because now I live next to a loudmouth problematic neighbor. However, if I am probably going to be able to hear next door neighbors through the walls in a townhouse, I'll pass because I don't think I'd be happy with noise from neighbors infringing upon my personal space.

Thanks for any comments.

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Mia -
It varies from building to building, depending on construction, and with the frequency of the noise. Bass travels further. To test, take a portable radio and ask the neighbors of the place you are looking at to let you put it in their place and crank it up.

My sister lived in one where the walls (although to code) were totally not soundporoof ... we could tell if her neighbor was peeing in his toilet, and hear TVs and conversations.

Others (usually older) have heavier walls. I seldom heard the neighbors in a 1890s building unless the windows were open. I could hear anyone walking on the floor above if they were off the carpet area.

One of the few noises

    Bookmark   January 16, 2004 at 7:16AM
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My husband and I lived in a condo for a year after we were married and we felt it was just like living in an apartment. We had people on both sides of us. The one couple was arrogant and rude. He constantly parked in our spot in front of our condo instead of in their own. They also had a dog that they put in the basement during the day while they were at work and it barked CONSTANTLY. Once they went on vacation and left the dog at home with just someone coming a couple of times a day to let him out and feed him. The darn thing barked 24/7. It was miserable!!!

The family on the other side was SUPER nice and we only had problems with their teenage son's stereo. He would crank it up after everyone in his house left for work, but that was before my daughter woke up. We finally discovered that his speaker was backed up to the shared wall between their bedrooms (his and my daughter's). He moved it and turned it down some and we were all okay. I didn't mind hearing it a little, but when it shook my walls, it was too loud.

We fortunately didn't buy the condo, we were just on a lease option. We couldn't move out of their soon enough.

If I were you, I'd look into Patio Homes. They are "condo living" in detached homes. They are close together, but you wouldn't have shared walls.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2004 at 9:15AM
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I must say, I have lived in a 1973 built condo for 5 1/2 years now, side by side ones. My neighbor Jean was 63 last year. I never, once could hear a peep coming from her condo. I am on the end unit so no one is attached on the other side. Now she died in that condo, if she was calling for help we did not hear her. She was sick and weak and fell and laid there for a while. I found her the next day noticing things were not right outside the condo.
Sorry but true.
New neighbors moved in, in August and I have heard music twice very faintly.
A neighbor of mine the next set of condos down says he is ready to punch some crazy teens in the rental unit, moms' never home and they go bonkers all day and night.
That is his experience.
But he is the only neighbor known of that has a problem in 51 units.
(The mom got sick and the teens, mom moved to cheaper rent)
Go to the condos' your thinking about and knock on doors, ask questions to all..they will help you know the truth.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2004 at 10:49AM
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I just read your entire thread about the lousy neighbor you have, because I'm trying to decide if I want to buy a house or condo/coop.

I live in NYC (in a 100 year old building) and have had a slew of LOUD neighbors come and go over the years. Doors slamming and shaking my apartment all night, music BLASTING until 8 (yes, 8) AM, vacuuming at 1AM, moving furniture around all night, knife fights, threats against me, etc. It's been a fuc*ing nightmare. The problem is, it can happen anywhere and, unfortunately, is a fairly common problem. Honestly, I think the only solution is waiting until you're old enough and moving into a retirement community where the people are probably quieter and don't party all night :)

I dread the thought of buying a house and winding up with the same problem AND a mortgage on top of it.

A condo/townhouse, if it's attached, carries the same risks as an apartment- afterall it is an apartment. Don't rush into anything. You can plop down a lot of money and have people come and go and make your life miserable in a condo. I don't know how you can be assured of good neighbors.

Can you put up sound deadening fence/wall between your properties? the kind they use on highways to protect the residential areas along the highway from the noise?

Boy, does my heart go out to you. There's nothing worse than dreading going home.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2004 at 8:31PM
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Thanks for the replies!

As far as a Patio Home, that sounds really nice, however, I haven't seen many of them in my area, and I'm sure they are expensive. I had stayed in a friend's mother's Patio Home in Florida once, and it was impressive and quiet and overlooked a large pond. I fell in love with it! But I'm not in Florida so that condo complex is out of the question. Another option may be an end unit with a garage between me and the next door neighbor on the ground floor, but there would still be shared walls upstairs.

There are of course pros and cons to condos and homes, with homes offering more privacy, but requiring much more maintenance and responsibility, but you have your own driveway and yard and don't share a wall with neighbors. With a condo, the other neighbors can use the grounds right outside your window if they like, so it's not like you have space outside to call your own, as far as I know. In either situation of a house or condo, you never know who you may get as a neighbor. So I've thought some more about the issue, and I do prefer a home to a condo, though NOT the home I'm in now simply because of the lousy neighbor I have. However, I'm slowly becoming tired of all the outdoor maintenance...but the only thing I miss about living in a condo (it was a top floor condo) was that I didn't have to shovel snow or mow the lawn or rake leaves, get the picture! But I don't miss my loud neighbors from the condo building.

It's funny because I thought that maybe if I lived on 5 acres of land, for example, I would be immune from potential neighbor problems, but I have read what other people have written in an online forum about how they have several acres of land in a rural setting, but they have neighbors who let their dog(s) bark all day, who don't keep their home maintained, who are loud and obnoxious, who shoot their gun(s) off for target practice, and the police won't get involved.

To bbaird: think carefully about the pros and cons of home ownership vs condo ownership...if you buy a home, in my humble opinion, try to get one with enough land between you and your house is very close to my problematic neighbor's house with no trees providing privacy, though if there was more land between us, things wouldn't be so bad. Also make sure that you can handle all of the maintenance issues involved with owning a house.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2004 at 1:03AM
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Okay gang great points made.
Here is one more reason I like my condo....
I stole it for 69,000.
They go for over 92,000 here.
I made some great profit there.
I have 1,200 sq feet of liveable space.
Most cheaper homes here are 800 square feet
and 112,000 plus dollars.
I got a bargain, quiet neighbors (except the rental house across they street and our constant calling the police got him evicted.)and no maintenance myself.
Well I pay out $110.00 a month for other people to mow, trim, wipe, name it.
I would like a bigger house with a yard
but I will not shell out 200,000 $ to do way.
I was paying $ 675.00-ish for a 2 bed appt in this same town back in 1997. I am paying $522.00 a month here for my house, condo house. I can write that mortgage check and not feel faint.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2004 at 4:38PM
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We lived in a townhouse for 6 months while our new house was under construction. I NEVER want to live in that situation again. These were brand new townhouses almost like a duplex with two side by side in each unit. We didnt have problems with the adjoined wall neighbor but had constant noise issues with the neighbors next to us on the other side (not attached about 8 feet between buildings). Parking was a huge issue because they threw parties several times a week with several cars parked in all sorts of non parking spots. Given a choice I would not choose a townhouse again.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2004 at 7:44AM
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I live in a half-duplex and I almost never hear the people next door. The walls must be a foot thick or something (except on the third floor where they are made of paper - good thing neither of us uses the third floor as primary living space!) They are always apologizing for their crying baby and I have yet to hear a peep from her. Once in a great while (about once a year maybe) I hear music faintly.

It really depends on the construction - every complex, even every building in a complex, is going to be different.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2004 at 11:56AM
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I'm in a townhome with neighbors on either side. No noise. The neighborhood is very quiet to begin with. It is not a child-friendly neighborhood since you don't get any yard, just patios, so families with small children don't move in here.

These homes were also very cleverly built - entries, closets, stairwells, laundry rooms and other "non-living" spaces are placed next to common walls, and the homes are also on a hill so they're staggered - the neighbor to my right is lower than me and the one to my left is higher.

So check the construction of any unit you're looking at, and try to visit several times at different times of the day if possible.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2004 at 4:43PM
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I have lived in a townhouse now for only a couple of months. Every once in a while I will hear the neighbors talk or walk around but it is hardly noticeable. The thing that got to me was that they complained to the owner that we were WALKING around too loudly! What am I supposed to do, NOT WALK? What irks me the most is that they never ONCE came to us with the problem. They just went to the manager with several complaints. I guess they assumed we knew they were annoyed? I don't know. Thankfully I am moving here in the next month or so to a house in the country with lots of space and land. Thank goodness!! :)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2004 at 12:01AM
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I agree with you that your neighbor could have approached you first about the issue of noise. But, there's nothing they or the manager can do to stop you from walking normally.

Anyway, you have a lot to look forward to with your new move to the country!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2004 at 5:05AM
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We have lived in two different condos over the past 28 years. We have been very fortunate--only had one upstairs neighbor that was noisy, and they stayed for about 3 years.
Right now we are in our seond condo and are so pleased to find we cannot hear the neighbor next door, and the one upstairs is barely audible--only when her 3-1/2 year old grandson visits, and even then it is not annoying. We looked for a building (it was being constructed) with concrete floors, at least a foot of space between floors and insulation between the floors. Also, we have mainly retired older women and couples as neighbors. Only one couple complains and it is because their neighbor does her laundry at 10:30 p.m. Granted, these are built very well and it showed in the price; but they have increased a great deal in value in three years. Maybe it takes different atitudes when living in a condo. I like the security also. Our entrance doors are opened by a telephone security system; and there is a camera on the lobby at all times. That doesn't mean it is criminal-proof, but it is better than living in a secluded house, in my opinion. Annieil

    Bookmark   February 26, 2004 at 7:08PM
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I live in a duplex currently (not a condo) and I have never been able to hear the people living on either side of me although I can hear everything from the 6 people living below me. They are terribly loud (son's stereo, videogames, jumpping around, surround sound tv etc.)and leave home every morning (loudly) at 645am. I love the area though and the people below me will be moving out soon

    Bookmark   March 5, 2004 at 5:33PM
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I am currently living in a condo, it's a 50 unit five floor building, and I HATE IT!

We had a crazy lady living upstairs from us, who on top of that had no soundproofing under her tiled floors, (per the rules here you are supposed to put cork down under your floors if you redo them, no one ever does, though. They don't have to show proof, and it is hard to detect what apartment the noise is coming from.)
She used to pace the floors all night long and just pound her feet against that floor, plus she'd listen to loud music all night long, she'd go out to her balcony and scream, we finally got her evicted; it is a long process for those refusing to leave.

I can hear the one neighbor to the left of me all the time, his music and his TV, along with his telephone when it rings, and his answering machine.

The neighbors on the other side of me I can hear having sex, their bedroom wall is my living room wall, so sometimes when I'm on my sofa watching TV I can hear them banging up against the wall, it's awful!

I hear people dragging stuff across the floors upstairs (I'm on the 2nd floor) I can hear vacuums running, dishwashers, washing machines, I swear, it's just unbelieveable!

Lastly, the lawn crew shows up at 7:30 am twice a week to maintain the property, and because I live in an area where several of these types of buildings exists, along with 10th floor condos, the noise is loud and ALL DAY LONG, right into dinner time!

So, I have learned that:

A) You don't want to share a wall with anyone!
B) You don' want to live in a LARGE condo area because it takes a long, long time to maintain the grounds.
C) Don't ever live anywhere but the top floor because you definitely will hear the upstairs neighbors, and it will be hard to determine what apartment the noise is coming from, therefore, harder to fix the problem.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2004 at 11:20AM
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I moved into a beautiful small condo development - I think what someone above called a patio home, since we have separate cottages with our own fenced side yards. But a guy moved into the one directly across from mine who is truly obnoxious - 20 feet from my porch and living room window! These are one bedroom cottages with a loft, but he moved in with two adult kids and another who visits regularly. We are only to have 2 pets, but he has two dogs there plus I think three cats. We are to have only two cars per unit, one in the garage and one outside space - he takes up at least 3 outside spaces (there is only one per unit outside). He has the most noisy obnoxious windchime which clatters and clangs all the time - when I tried to get him to understand that it intrudes into my house every time there is even a little breeze he used foul language and told me he didn't care if I didn't like it - to go inside and close my windows (I hear it with the windows closed over my music).. and it is very hot in Bend in the summer! One of his dogs barked for 4 hours straight on Christmas morning so loud my sister who called from England thought I had a new dog! He also spends all his time on his deck, smoking, hawking and spitting, drinking, and yelling including cuss words, spends hours on a cell phone talking loudly so all the neighbors can hear. Bad thing is, there are only 3 on the board, one being me... the others are two wimpy guys who don't like confrontation - the guy even bought a hose because he didn't think the sprinklers were powerful enough and insisted the association pay for it - I said no, the guys said yes! I was outvoted! The President of the Board has rented out his cottage to three girls who have three cars and frequent overnight boyfriends and they take up at least three of the parking spaces! So two houses of the 17 take up anything from 5 to 10 of the 17 spaces at any time! Help!!!! I am thinking of selling with almost no equity because it is a horrible situation!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2004 at 12:24AM
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I really feel for you! It's very unfortunate that some inconsiderate people have to ruin the peace and quiet for the rest of us. It's like they cannot understand the impact their actions have on others and they don't care. I'm surprised that your condo rule about the number of cars per unit to be parked outside isn't enforced. The association has the power to enforce the rules, but since there are only the 3 of you on the board and the 2 guys don't take any action, you are almost powerless I think.

Many condo associations don't always enforce their rules. My former condo association had specific rules about noise, but when I had to complain about my loud neighbors below (I had a tape recording of the noise and a log), the association did not do anything to enforce the rules which state that an owner can be fined for excessive noise after 10 pm. I had to move out because of the noise and nothing being done about it.

It sounds like you live in a nice place, but perhaps things would improve if you were able to have more board members who would be willing to enforce the rules.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2004 at 3:01AM
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We rented a townhouse for awhile and then owned a different townhouse. The one we owned was built in the seventies and it was very solid. I'd got back to a townhouse like that in a heartbeat. Both the neighbors to the right and the left of us had kids. *Never* heard the neighbors on the sides, maybe a rare bump or two.

In the townhouse we owned, we found the front was a little flimsy (standing right in the kitchen you could hear someone talking outside and vice versa) but there weren't a lot of people walking by, we really only noticed if we had guests who were smokers and they were outside smoking and talking on the front steps.

The townhouse we rented was maybe a tiny bit flimsier, but not bad at all. The only reason we didn't buy it was because the neighborhood was getting seedy and the owner really wanted more for it than it was worth.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2004 at 10:41AM
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I have owned two condos and would never buy one again because:
1.Owners/renters on both sides change a lot- so you never know if you will have friendly peace or he11 on Earth. Unlike a detached home, they are right up beside you all the time. Your property is only as good as your neighbors. Even nice neighbors can have a baby- one that screams all night, every night.

2. Home Owners Associations- the people who make idiotic decisions about the property YOU are paying for.

3. Surprise assessments- hey, you need $2500 by next Wednesday because they're redecorating the laundry room.
4. Condos don't appreciate in value like detached homes.
5. Harder to sell- because you cannot control things like the lobby appearance, etc. If the HOA likes it decorated like a Florentine cathouse, that's what it will be.
6. You can't ever really make big changes, such as major remodeling or adding another room.
7. Exterminate and you will get nasty notes from the people on both sides the next day.
8. I just got really tired of having 500 roommmates!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2004 at 7:37PM
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Regarding townhouses (they're not condo townhouses here, I have never heard of or seen any that are), there are two types of construction used for the party wall that separates the units:



Believe it or not, the masonry (block) party walls seem to let more sound through than the drywall party walls.

I found out that the standard for drywall party walls is two 1" pieces of type-X fire-rated drywall--which is about what the thickness of the two sides of the masonry block is, but I think drywall is a much denser material than masonry block.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2004 at 1:44PM
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I'm in a decent 74 unit condo complex. It's a "garden" apartment style and not townhouse style. I've been here 12 years and for the most part don't have noise or too many bad neighbor issues. The place is pretty well run and also pretty nice. I'm now on the HOA board after many times avoiding it. Now I have an agenda and that's to get central air spec'd and approved and installed. It's going "okay", just taking a long time.

Neighbors haven't even been a problem until this last 4-5 months. The rental market took a dive here and my downstairs neighbor who used be an owner occupant but then bought a real house, finally succumbed to renting in a bad situtation in my opinion. The tenants that finally moved in after about a year of the unit sitting empty are on government assistance. Overall they're not too bad. Just too many people living in a small space (these places are only 2bd/2bath 1200 sq.ft. places) Many surrounding neighbors complained loudly to the mgt company that (this is before I was on the board, have been for only 2 months)the unit owner has gotten fined and has attempted now to get them to comply to some of the rules. That has helped, but they still discard litter and cigarette butts all over the shared stairwell, breezeway, and carports. They have two clunkers for cars that leak oil like a sieve and also one that leaks pink fluid enough to create a 5 foot puddle. Makes the place look dumpy IMO and I'm just glad that I'm not trying to sell right now... It just makes my blood boil that they have no concept of respect for the common areas and that people actually don't want to live in a dump. I have also complained, but only about the oil since that's tracked on peoples' feet into the carport stairwell and breezeway sidewalks and stairs. I'd hate to see what the carpet looks like in their unit...

I wish I could afford a house with a yard, maybe even a gargage and also I would probably be happy with a real townhouse over a condo if I could find the right one. The real estate is crazy here and I want the tech sector (I fear losing my job) to recover more before I risk a house or a townhouse. I payed $160k 12 years ago and the comps in this complex are around $330 right now. People are starting to sell and buy up again as our economy is starting to recover.

But even with my equity I don't want to risk the costs associated with a $600-750k house, so a townhouse might be doable. I also just put $10,000 in this place in new carpet, paint, ceilings, closet doors, and all new appliances (incl furnace and hot water heater), well except frig which is next. So the place is pretty nice and livable at the moment and very joyful to come home each night (sans downstairs neighbors).

But noise side-to-side here has never been a problem, just noise from downstairs and the stairwells if windows are open. When the property inspector came through he commented that the shared walls were of a very nice thickness and material. I literally NEVER hear side-to-side noise and I share a common wall on one side and a landing on the other side. Now only if I could find a townhouse style version of this place, sans the downstairs tenants for around $350-$400k, I'd be a happy camper...


    Bookmark   April 30, 2004 at 7:02AM
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With the warmer temperatures, now my next door neighbor is outside every day after work with her 3-yr old and they are louder than ever! She's always yelling at that little boy and her dog. The boy responds by saying, "NO!" We live on a cul-de-sac (I will never buy a house on a cul-de-sac again), and so her boy is always in the street playing, he's on my property and on everyone else's property. The mother has no control over him. She only yells at him, "get over here!" I've never seen her run to get him out of people's yards, rather, she walks sloowwwly. She associates herself with the trashy renters across the street who have a little girl who likes to play with her boy. When I say trashy, I mean that this couple argues out loud so the whole neighborhood can hear, they tie up their dogs and let them bark all day, they even have started to let their dogs run loose despite my neighbors and I having called the police 9 times on the dogs, they play loud rap music for all to hear, they have many different visitors at all hours, the husband looks like a rap gangster, they drive Mercedes cars (hmmmm), they're noisy. So these are the type of people my next door neighbor wants her 3 year old boy to be around.

Anyway, the other day when I was outside, her boy had ran all the way to the end of the cul-de-sac onto someone's property, and so she walked slooowwwly down the street yelling at him to "get over here!", but he was tuning her out as usual, so when she finally made contact with him, she grabbed him by his arm and started pulling him down the street. Of course, he started crying and crying as she pulled him by his arm up her driveway. Then she yelled at her dog, "God*amnit, stop it!" in front of her boy. Oh, and she always mows her lawn with the 3 yr old running around...dangerous situation with her back turned! When she stopped running the lawn mower, the boy went behind it and started pushing it by the handle and all she did was yell.

I had taken a walk down the street away from her house, and I could hear her yelling clearly, so that means the whole neighborhood must hear her. And when I'm in my bedrooms, which are closest rooms to her yard, I can hear everything she says and yells. I cannot stand her voice's driving me up the wall. Nevermind her son who gets into everything, but it's not his fault that his mother is raising him this way.

I've thought about selling the house to get away from her and the trashy neighbors across the street because these 2 families are the loudest in the neighborhood. My other next door neighbor agrees with me that those 2 families are the problem on this street, that it used to be very very quiet to live on my street.

I am planning to install a 6 foot privacy fence between my yard and her yard, but that won't solve the noise issue. Her house was supposed to go into foreclosure, but the bank withdrew the heart dropped when I learned that she's still going to own that house.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2004 at 12:47AM
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Hi. We've lived in a condo townhouse since 1989 and have never had a noise problem. Unfortunately my aunt also has one and her neighbors installed surround sound. When they use it you can feel the vibration in her living room. She is trying to find a solution, but has not at this point.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2004 at 10:21PM
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My upstairs neighbors have just installed surround sound as well. True - I live in California, but do I really want to experience perpetual earth tremors and bass sounds that shake my internal organs. My trouble is that the building is just so poorly constructed. I have gone upstairs to complain and their tv isn't even very loud. I hear everything from above me, every step they take sounds like an elephant on the rampage - I have to sleep with earplugs every single night and sometimes I come home and have to sit with my walkman on. I have nobody under me but now that I've heard that it is possible to hear downstairs neighbors I am frantic. I had been planning to move to an upstairs apartment in the Fall. What to do??? Of course my upstairs neighbors cannot hear a squeak out of me - only when I run the bath or open the windows (which make a horrible nails on a chalk board sound).

    Bookmark   May 17, 2004 at 5:33PM
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Are there any one-story apartments that have no one living above or below or townhouse apartments for rent? How about an in-law apartment in someone's home?

I know that with multiple story apartment buildings, you never know what kind of neighbors you will have (not to sound negative or anything). You may have the great fortune of having quiet neighbors, though.

Even with the house I'm living in, I can hear the loudmouth next door and her 3 yr old screaming while I'm in my house with all my windows closed and they are inside their house! I have to wear earplugs to sleep because if I don't, I will be woken up early in the morning by them and, as I said, this is a house! I at least have quiet neighbors in the house on the other side of me.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2004 at 3:59AM
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I would try looking at floorplans in the townhomes before you consider buying (some have websites you can view - others, just go in and look around). Try looking for ones that have closets or hallways or non-lived in rooms on the adjoining walls.

I have a friend who lives in a townhome. Four units share the entry way (each unit is 2 floors and one on top of the other). Each unit had the hallways on the common walls. So with the stairs and entrance ways plus the hallways, there's a pretty good buffer zone. They've never had any problems hearing the neighbors. The ceilings are also pretty high so they can't hear anyone above them.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2004 at 2:24PM
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If it's a townhouse and you own the walls (ie, not a condo), replacing the windows can often make quite a difference in reducing sound that comes from the outside.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 2:20PM
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An update:

I finally called the police on my neighbor for letting her dog loose on my property...I heard the officer tell her to tie her dog up. I've spoken to her in a friendly manner at least 4 times in the past two years about how I want her to keep her dog off my property, but she continued to let her dog out without a leash, and the dog would go on my property often, into the street, and onto the other neighbors' properties. We have leash laws. If she hasn't trained the dog in two years to stay on her property since I first spoke to her, then obviously she doesn't care. I believe the dog thinks part of my property is his territory because he watches me closely when I'm on my front lawn and he's even stood on my property and barked at me, not letting me reach my front door.

So it's about time I took action! The friendly way didn't work with her...I tried. She's also a bully to me, as she's yelled at me for asking her (along with her son & dog) to stay off my property. Anyway, I'm going to file a formal complaint at the police dept regarding trespassing and the dog being allowed to roam at large. I didn't realize that I could be held liable if her child gets hurt on my property, even though I've asked her many times to keep him off my property.

I have other neighbors who stand behind me on my decision to call the police, because they have seen her dog and child on my property, too, and they don't want that dog on the loose.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 3:32AM
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Mia, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Many folks don't ever call their local police, and they put up with all kinds of stuff. Use your local PD, that's what they're there for. And if you live in a condominium, don't use the homeowner association as a substitute for the police or other services. HOA's, just like apartment managers, are not God or your nanny.

To address what someone above posted about HOA's:

1. Your property is only as good as your neighbors. Even nice neighbors can have a baby- one that screams all night, every night.

----True, no matter what type of housing you live in.

2. Home Owners Associations- the people who make idiotic decisions about the property YOU are paying for.

----HOA officers are voted on by YOU, and you can run for office as well. Get involved.

3. Surprise assessments- hey, you need $2500 by next Wednesday because they're redecorating the laundry room.

-----This is illegal here. See your HOA rules and regulations regarding assessments. Here they can't be done without notice and a majority vote.

4. Condos don't appreciate in value like detached homes.

------In California they do - in fact in SoCal they've appreciated more.

5. Harder to sell


6. You can't ever really make big changes, such as major remodeling or adding another room.

-----You should be able to change anything about your interior, but nothing on the exterior.

Every condo complex and HOA is different. Townhouse living has many advantages.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2004 at 11:39AM
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I'm glad I came across this message thread. I am currently facing noise issues in my 3-story townhouse, which was constructed in 2003, typical gypsum board party wall construction. Only in my 3rd floor bedroom do I hear my neighbor walking around and I can slightly hear his conversations. There aren't any "buffer" zones between us such as a closet. I don't hear anything on the other neighbor side but there is a closet and bathroom on that side. I now know that those "buffer zones" caused by closets, bathrooms, utility rooms, and other non-living areas can be great. A lot of the other townhouses this builder has built have those, but ours don't have nearly as many of those buffer zones for some reason.

I am actually writing a letter to the builder to find out if this is something normal or if they can check out the wall to make sure it hasn't been compromised in some way. I haven't hung anything on it - and I'm kind of afraid to put a hole to hang anything on any of my shared walls anyway.

Also on the 3rd floor, when I walk in certain spots the floor makes a "pop" or "creaking" sound (carpeted floor). I don't have this problem on the 2nd floor, but that floor is hardwoods. Is there a difference in construction or something as you go to higher floors?

I really like the townhouse other than this problem. I lived in a regular single-family detached house but wanted to move closer into town and not have to deal with a yard, highway traffic, etc.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2004 at 6:05PM
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Im delighted to have stumbled onto this web site where a homeownerÂs noise concerns are discussed. I live in a 106 unit single level townhouse HOA in an age-restricted community in Arizona and even here there are noise problems. The homes range from duplexes where there is one shared wall to four side-by-side units where, of course, you can have two share walls. I live in an end unit next to a large common area and so, theoretically, my noise problems should be minimal. But alas, not so. Our major noise concerns are the dogs. Seems like at least one per household with the emphasis on the "seems". Those who do own dogs apparently prefer the yappy lap dogs who when theyÂre not yapping just to yap, yap because their territory is (presumably) being invaded. One significant instance is a near neighbor in a unit being rented out who appears to work during the day and who, naturally enough leaves their dogs (2) in their walled-off back yard. Dogs bore easily, I guess, and so yapping is interspersed with whining pretty much most of the day. But those arenÂt the only dogs on the cul-de-sac. Sorry state that the residents have so little regard for those around them as long as their lives arenÂt affected.
IÂm on the BOD (Treasurer) and IÂm darned if I can find a satisfactory solution to this community problem. Being one of those who back off from the confrontational I sent the dog-owner a humorous and informational printout from the Internet pertaining to barking dogs, but to no avail. Guess I'll have to suck it up and pound on their door.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 8:06PM
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I think since they haven't responded to gentle indicators that there is a problem, maybe something more drastic is needed to get their attention. I think I'd toss an empty (emphasis on the word "empty" here) DCon box into the yard. It won't harm the dogs but might indicate to the owners that others consider their yappy dogs more than a slight annoyance and get them wondering. (And I'd never advocate harming the dogs in any way - this is just a way to get the owner's to think.) Some folks just need to be addressed in a way they can understand.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 10:46AM
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Appreciate the DCon suggestion and might try. And am willing to consider any others that come my way. Read a humorous online article which kiddingly offered the idea of a bit of ExLax buried in a hamburger ball. That, too, has appeal but punishes the dog for its master's inattention.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 12:50PM
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I live in a side by side condo. For years it was a nice place to live,we had good neighbors on both sides. They both have left ,and I've got only one quiet neighbor now.
For the past 3 years the new couple,girl friend is homeowner,boyfriend is a live in,plus 2 loud mouth kids her's. I have had to call the police on the mother & boyfriend for super LOUD stero blasting that shakes my entire unit. Police have come 5 times and caught them each time.Now I have a case #. My HOA did nothing,but they never do anything.And I pay them for what?? They all run ,or stomp up and down the stairs,with jumping the last 2 or 3 step's for added noise. And the door SLAMMING is out of control. As I'm typing this I'm in a great deal of pain with my ear from a slamming of the front door 2 weeks ago. I now have to go see the Ear nose &throat doctor next week.I have pain in my ear and I'm not hearing well any more,in that ear.She slammed that door soooo hard I thought I had a nose bleed.
Privacy,is a joke,can't even BBQ with out her 2 teenage girls,singing dirty songs to hubby and myself. They invite all of the kids in the entire area to sit either on the front steps or out on the rear stoop. All that is between us is a railing. HOA said the kids must be quiet while talking or playing on the stoops,but once again my HOA does nothing.
We are thinking of moving to a 55 and over trailer park,just for some privacy and peace and quiet. But selling half my belongings to fit into 733sq ft because of them just ticks me off.
Pretty soon with all the door slamming,I will be totally deaf so maybe I won't need to move!
Condo living is only as good as your neighbors let it be.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 11:32PM
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Those neighbors of yours sound awful. I went through the same thing with my HOA when I lived in a condo, and the HOA refused to take any action against the loud neighbors. The HOA even refused to listen to a tape recording I made of the loud noises coming from the neighbor's condo late at night. I had a log of when the noises occurred, I had witnesses, I had a tape recording, but the spineless HOA would not enforce the rules of quiet after 10 PM. And the noisy neighbors only got noisier...slamming doors on purpose, stomping on purpose, having loud company at late hours. I had to move out for my sanity.

If you have to move to have peace, then believe me, it is worth it. There are situations in which the police and the HOA do nothing to stop the nuisance and so it can be very frustrating for you to have to live with a situation that is not changing for the better.

I truly wish for your situation to improve soon or for you to find a better place to live.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 2:42AM
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Hi Mia, you have great posts and I feel so much better to know that I am not the only person going through a noisy neighbor situation. I just contacted my rental office today and am looking forward to moving to a TOP FLOOR apartment!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 1:17PM
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Buying a condo is just like anything in life--sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. Nothing is totally black or white, though. Sometimes you marry the right person, and sometimes you marry the wrong person. Life is not a "perfect" match anyway you look at the equation. There is a little good and a little bad mixed-in with everything.

Condo buying is complex. Condos are probably the wave of the future, and "yes" condos are appreciating faster than homes in a lot of areas.

Nothing stays the same forever. Las Vegas--for years, and years, and years, and years, and years saw little appreciation in home prices. The place was entirely overbuilt as people preferred to buy new homes as opposed to resale homes. In last couple of years, homes have appreciated beyond the wildest imaginations of anyone--40& appreciation in one year. Just in 1999, a $225k home was at least 2500 square feet with a 3-car garage. Now a $225k home in Las Vegas buys about 1100 square feet or a 700 square foot high-rise condo. Of course, location, location, location determines most of the price.

As far as noise is concerned, living on the top floor is the best. I own a 2 bedroom 2 bath condo. Luckily, the noise problem with my next-door-neighbor has been with the common wall in the smaller bedroom. The master bedroom has been very quiet, as the next-door-neighbor is older. Very rarely can I hear the TV. Bass levels, coming from the other condo, in the smaller bedroom is another story.

The present neighbor smokes as did the last neighbor--next to the master bedroom. I could smell the smoke as it was coming in through the vent in the master bedroom closet. I covered the vent and it alleviated most of the problem. Smoke, though, is hard to contain just like noise is hard to contain.

My condo is beautiful, but the construction was shoddy. Many condos suffer from shoddy construction. Of course, many homes suffer from shoddy construction too. During the 1990s, builders took little pride in their homes because they were selling soooooooo fast. The economy was go-go-go-go-go and people had money to burn, and they were buying homes with all the goodies--granite countertops, 3-car garages, heated towel racks, etc. These "goodies" acutally mean zilch, as the quality of the house should be the main concern--not granite countertops.

My condo association has had low reserves as long as I have lived here. Don't buy into a condo association with low reserves!!!!!

Don't buy a new condo with a low HOA fee. Builders set an artifical low fee to entice buyers. I looked at a condo two weeks ago with a $90/month HOA fee. I laughed in their faces!!!!! Who are they kidding? When I moved here 10 years ago it was $165, and now it is $350 a month. This complex has a pool, and a pool is very expensive to maintain. The PH levels have to be checked regularly and it requires a professional. Bacteria in pools can make people sick, so everything has to be documented.

I could have fared much, much, much, much worse, but condo living is "different." Your neighbors know everything about you because the walls are thin. For couples who like to have heated exchanges of words---don't buy a condo. If your honey says: "I have a headache tonight, you're next-door-neighbor may hear everything.

What amazes me is the high-rise condos that sell out in a matter of a month. The condos aren't even built yet, and they are sold out. How could anyone buy something "unseen." In Miami this is a problem because many buyers are speculators hoping to resell the condo at a higher price.

It's a little like marrying a person from their personal ad. They tell you that they are young, beautiful, thin, and rich. When you meet them, your mouth might drop a bit. Like dropping to the floor!!!!

Condo gossip is included in the price. As I said earlier, everyone knows your business--even if you sometimes don't.

The best thing about condo living is the safety. Safety is a real concern to many--especially if you are older

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 11:04PM
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Those are some good observations, condoperson. I'll admit I've never owned a condo, but many of the same things apply to apartments, about which I'm all-too-familiar.

What gets me is just how oblivious some people can be about how their loud, disruptive activities affect those next to them. Or maybe they're fully aware, but just don't care in the least. Loud stereos, with POUNDING bass (people are IN LOVE with bass these days!); crowded, noisy parties, spilling out into the common areas, and going all night; kids lighting firecrackers in the hallway; etc., etc. What exactly is going through their heads?? They're like animals, or worse.

And you people that absolutely can't eat something unless it's seared to a fare-thee-well on an outdoor barbecue, and aren't the least bit concerned about filling my home with charcoal smoke to do it... you really need to move into a house!

There, I feel better now.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 2:45AM
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Paula, I agree with you 100%. Everyone seemingly wants to do their "own thing" regardless of how doing their "own thing" might infringe on someone else's turf.

Pardon the pun, but I do have a "beef" with barbecuing too. The fumes from barbecuing are a nuisance, when you live in a condo. I do not eat grilled food as it as been shown to cause cancer.

As of yet, I have not experienced firecrackers in a hallway. Something to look forward to!!!!!!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 12:26PM
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i think if i wrote my views on what to do with noisy "people" explicitly there'd be trouble...anyway, spent the last year suffering from noise abuse, and it's HORRIBLE. like people here said, nothing's worse than having no home to go to (while still paying for one...).

what to do? you tell me.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 6:21PM
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I think the lesson is that rotten neighbors make for a rotten home life, and that there are a lost of stupid, annoying people out there. I am still stuck in an apartment (and if you think condos for $200,000 are nuts, come on down to Maryland, where we sell them for $270,000), and I've had my share of worthless neighbors... it can be very frustrating. What's really annoying is if the HOA doesn't do anything in a condo environment; you'd think they'd at least do their job since that's why they are there! Ugh...

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 9:01PM
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Although I really like my townhouse, it is a "country" ghetto. However, I can say that I have been blessed to live in the older section, which is quieter. It was built in the early '80s, but there is very little noise coming from the shared walls. Just across the street in the older section is worlds apart! I understand that there is open air drug dealing, armed robberies, excessive loitering. Strange part is, they are the newer, larger, more expensive townhomes. I understand from my neighbors that it has been this way for 12 years.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 2:47PM
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That's the problem - it is getting harder and harder for decent folks to be able to afford life outside the ghetto. Of course, the ghetto-people make plenty of money selling drugs, so escaping them is nearly impossible.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 9:03PM
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Well, it's me again, and the loudmouth neighbor that I posted about still lives next door to me. Her house was going up for foreclosure three times so far, and she somehow managed to save the house....good for her. It's frustrating because everyone else on this street is decent and quiet, except for her and her little boy who she screams and yells at all the time. It sounds as if she is yelling inside my house, that's how piercing her voice is. On three occasions, when I was outside minding my own business last year, she made negative comments loudly in my direction to her little boy.

I never liked winter, but it has kept this loud neighbor indoors and the noise has been bearable. But now that spring has arrived, she is bringing her loud, screaming voice outside. Her son cries and screams in response to her...I feel sorry for him. I am not looking forward to warm weather...I've never in my life felt this way.

Why, of all the quiet neighbors on this street, did I end up next door to the one loud neighbor? And her house is so close to mine so that there's no privacy and no buffer from the noise. I just don't think I can deal with another spring and summer living next door to this neighbor. She has no respect for other people's property, like she owns the whole neighborhood. She's a bully type of person, too, as I found out a few years ago when I tried to talk to her in a friendly way about keeping her dog off my property.

I wish I could afford a house with lots of land between my house and next door neighbors' houses...then you have a buffer for noise. With houses so close together, it can be really awful when you have a crappy neighbor.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 5:43AM
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I rent a townhouse. I don't own anything yet. One thing I find amazing is that many who have posted here don't present their dissatisfactions to their neighbors within a reasonable period of time. I am a very private, non-confrontational person, but I don't let people walk over me or abuse me.

I have lived in a rented townhome for 6 years. One of the reasons I haven't had many problems is that I let my
neighbors know when they bother me enough.

I have been lucky, so far. Several people have moved in to either side of me. Invariably, they all had to have a party weekend when they moved in. It never fails that on the Sunday evening after they move in I have to knock on their door and ask them to turn it all down. I know that it's a happy occasion for them, just like it was for me, so I wait a couple of days before I explain to them that the walls are paper thin and their bass is shaking my entire house.

Just do it. Talk to them. Sometimes you will be surprised at what you can accomplish.

I have just been approved for a mortgage, but can't afford enough to buy a single-family home in any neighborhood I want to live in because prices have become so obscenely high. Although I thought my loan limit was quite nice, I can only afford a townhouse or condo in any area I would like to live in. Based on what I'm hearing here and my own suppositions, I am very afraid to proceed.

I know that many people are stupid and care about nothing other than themselves. Perhaps that's the most frightening and disheartening thing of all when considering community living.

I'll proceed with caution. - Ranina

    Bookmark   May 7, 2006 at 4:40PM
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I live in rowhome and have cement walls between neighbors and yet hear there t.v, radio, talking, etc... They like to blare there music and have partys and there adults with 3 children that are young. They have no respect for others nor for themselves. There yard looks like a junkyard and could use a overhaul. If I could go back to apartment living, I would in a heartbeat. No other houses around that are in our budget. well, good luck. Kim

    Bookmark   May 7, 2006 at 8:26PM
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I lived in a two bedroom condo for almost 2 years It was built in 1970 and for the first year I had no problems with noise. Occasionally I'd hear the neighbors stereo when they had guests over. But the neighbors on both sides were great about inviting me over when they had guests or letting me know ahead of time that they would be having company and to let them know if it got to loud.
The second year the neighbor in the one bedroom next to me moved out and this young kid moved in I think he was about 21. He had two huge white pit bulls that he'd just let out all the time without checking to see if anyone elses dogs where outside...his dogs were the only ones in the building that would attack. The rest of our dogs played together often. He'd blast his music and after about a month his girlfriend pretty much moved in with him. Now I had 2 parking spaces b/c I had a two bedroom and most of the time would get home from work to find that he, his gf, and their friends had filled the spaces(the condo was on the side of a mountain so parking was limited) and I'd have to park down the street. I did let the landlord know about this and he talked to them. I also spotted a pot plant growing on their back porch but was trying not to cause problems so I didn't say anything. The worst though was after the gf moved in they had put their headboard against the wall that seperated our bedroom and everynight around three am they'd start rocking in.....that in itself I probably could have ignored but I guess they left their dogs in the room with them because as soon as that headboard started hitting the walls the dogs would start barking and not stop til they did. I'd bang on the walls and talked to them a couple of times but it didn't help. Finally one night I woke up to hear them threatening each other and could see from my porch that one of them had a baseball bat and the other a knife so I called the sherriff's office needless to say they were out of there within a week after that. The problems only lasted for a month or two and the people that moved in after that were extremely quiet and we were back to peaceful living again. I'd move into a condo like that again in a heart beat, I'd just check out the neighbors ahead of time and make sure that the landlord doesn't rent to college students or younger kids.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 10:32AM
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I love reading all of your responses to my original post. Geeze, there are a lot of inconsiderate people in this world...wish we could house them all in one place and put the law-abiding, respectful, considerate, quieter people in another place...only in my dreams!

I'm still dying to sell this house because of issues with the house and with the awful next door neighbor (but I don't think I want to go back to condo living...too close for comfort). My next door neighbor's house went up for foreclosure for the 5th time with an actual sale date set by the court, but the foreclosure was cancelled at the last minute. She filed for bankruptcy, so somehow she is protected. Of course, if the forecloseure went through, I wouldn't know what I would get for neighbors, and they could end up being worse than this one. Anyway, every day she yells at her boy, and sometimes it sounds like she is actually inside my house. One night she yelled at him because he wanted her to read the same story before bedtime as the night before, but she refused to read him the same story. Then she yelled at him that if he didn't get up off the floor, she would put him in her bed, and she yelled "and you know what that means!" Okay this remark really concerns me. Complaining to the dept of families and children is like complaining to a wall. Last week her boy climbed my backyard fence and was hovering over part of my backyard...he could get hurt! Her boy yells just like she does. Like mother, like son...she brought him up this way. Poor kid. I wish I could give him a hug because she never consoles him or plays with him.

Thank goodness my other next door neighbors are great, but they installed a pool this summer, and it's right next to my property line...they used their pool every day even when it rained. You know how loud people can get when playing around in their pools? But the pool use is only for the summer, so I'll have to deal with it. At least they invited me to go in their pool...they really are nice people!

As alway, my advice is: if you can afford it, buy a house with as much land as possible between your house and your neighbors' houses. I don't like to feel as though my neighbors are right on top of me, and that's how it feels here where I live. I'm the type of person who loves land and loves beautiful views...I'll have to win the lottery.

Hopefully, there's a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us going through neighbor problems.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 4:51AM
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I purchased a Condo In April and started to do some remodeling. I recently put in hardwood floors in my condo, which is on the second floor. I read the By-laws, and I checked with the President of the association before I did it. She said that I could do Pergo, Hardwood, or Wall-to-Wall Carpeting or even all tiles. The By laws state the floor is ready for any type of floor covering. My Neighbor below me is complaining that I am walking too much, and keeps bothering me to be considerate and walk quieter or not to walk. This Past weekend my Aunt and Uncle cam to visit and we were in the Condo for not even 15 min because we just stopped in to get a few things and go to my parents house and he is already ringing my doorbell at 2:30 in the afternoon that I am making too much noise form walking. The president of the association told me I am within my rights and that I should not have to worry. But He keeps bothering me about it. What do you all think I should do?
He tries to make a lot of noise but it does not bother me. Like playing his Music with a lot of bass at night, and leaving the water running in the bathroom, and opening and closing his closet doors. He basically complains every time he hears a creak in the floor. I have never complained to him once yet. Also the unit I purchased was Vacant for almost 9 months before I purchased it.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 8:49AM
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For the person who suggested complaining. Are you supposed to complain about people having normal conversations? I dont think you can grasp how poor the noise transmission is in some places.
A lot of people get assurances about the noise isolation. Move in before their neighbors in a new complex and then find out they're in a living hell where they can hear every little noise on either side of them.
You confront the builder and they say 'we built it to spec'. You talk to the architect and they say 'its up to code'. You find out that your corrupt locality omitted the basic noise code of the International Building Code.
Then what? Are you supposed to complain about normal human activity? Can you whisper in your own home please?

No you're stuck. Luckily for me I have wealthy parents and can dump this piece of crap and can live somewhere else while I wait to sell it. I really feel for people who sign 30 year leases on places like this and literally go insane because they have no privacy.
The people who design these places and knowingly make them uninhabitable to save themselves a few thousand bucks on materials are evil, there is no other way to describe them.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 9:53PM
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i`ve never heard a sound. i share a wall, and a floor, with neighbors

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 5:10AM
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I am now in a condo and just came out of a nightmare landlady situation,funny thing is above me is someone that walks as loud as my previous landlady and you just know when someone is lonely,they make all out effort to make noise and disturb others. The person also has a spring bed that squeaks so loud,i wonder if they know we can hear,luckily its not a couple i would hate to hear that bed during a sex session.
I would never suggest purchasing a condo to anyone.Now that i know what we can hear from others,I am aware of the level of noise we make and try to not disturb others.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 2:12PM
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I moved into a condo in July last year, and for the first couple of months, it was great. I only share walls (master br/2nd br) with another condo, and I have no upstairs/downstairs neighbors, so everything was really quiet. But then after September, the parents in the condo next door thought it would be a great idea for their kid to take up drums. Then they thought it would be an even better idea to put a drum set in his bedroom (which shares a wall with my 2nd bedroom).

I don't know if you're familiar with drums, but they're intolerably loud. While he was drumming, I literally could not go anywhere in my condo and not hear it. I went over there to talk about it and the parents first promised to only have the kid play during specific daytime hours while they found a way to soften the noise. Well, a month later, the noise was still loud, and they apparently had no intention of getting the noise level down.

So I went over there again and said this wasn't going to work, and if I had to go to the HOA/police/etc then that's what I was going to do. Finally the father went out and bought the kid drum-mute pads for his drum set so that now I can still hear it, but only if I really strain to hear it, and it's at least at a tolerable level.

Yesterday was a holiday (MLK), and the parents I guess still went to work, but I had the day off. The kid's in high school and he had the day off, and I guess he assumed I didn't, since he took the pads off and started banging away again. I pounded on his wall a couple times, and that stupid kid finally put the pads back on. Idiot.

I just don't understand the common sense of people. How selfish can you be to think that moving a drum set into a condo/apartment type of setting would be a good idea? I mean, seriously. I enjoy listening to music and playing video games, but I do everything I can to make sure I'm not bothering anyone, and in my 10 years of apartment/condo living I have never had a noise complaint filed against me. Is it that hard for people to be considerate of others?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 3:20PM
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I have neighbours from Hell on both sides of my condo townhouse, both sides are musicians & are in bands, I have to put up with their practising and playing loud music on a daily basis, day & night. The one side is a bass guitarist, has a recording studio in his basement, & I have to constantly endure the vibration from his bass, which hurts my ears, makes my ears hurt,my heart race and gives me a headache.I have anxiety attacks every time I have to be in the house, I have complained to my condo management company, they will do nothing, just tell me to call the bylaw & the police, which I do regularly, the police do not want to come out, & the bylaw say to call the police, so what do I do. I would love to move out, but cannot afford to move anywhere else around here, so would have to move further away from my job of the last eighteen years. By the way, I have been putting up with the noise & vibration from the one side for over ten years, i deserve a medal, he is very ignorant,& smirks every time I see him, his girlfriend is as bad & they have a young son, who has his friends help him to throw stones & rocks at my windows & doors.The other side the guy is retired now & has two sons between 18 & 21, they are as bad & will not stop, I am sure that they are trying to get me out,I have been living here for 21 years now, and they will not quit. The one side comes in every weekend from the bar on Fridays & Saturdays around 2.30am to 3am, and blasts his music & has his bass turned up, until after 6am the next day, so consequently I am up all night until they decide to go to bed.
I would gladly move, if I had the money to move to another place,I am being forced out, & it is not fair, it is very depressing and is affecting my health.
I live in Burlington Ontario Canada, & would give anything to have decent neighbours, even on one side!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 6:56PM
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I can almost guarantee you that if the person that shares a wall with you isn�t noisy now, sooner or later a new owner, guest, or renter of that unit will make noise that will bother you. And if you�re used to living in a single family home, it�s a matter of when not if.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 9:35AM
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I bought a condo in a new building on the bottom floor. At the time I moved in I did not have anyone living above me. It was fantastic! About 3 months after I moved in, someone moved into the unit above me. They installed hardwood floors in their unit and have a young boy around 12 years old. Whenever they are home the best I can hope for is just footsteps. It seems to be a combination of banging, children running, along with wrestling, and other noises. Unfortunately these parents don't have a good set of house rules for their kid. I wouldn't mind so much if I didn't have to work early in the morning. Sometimes these people will walk around till later in the night when there kid is in a deep sleep and then do the deed. I can hear moaning and the bed creaking. I have gone up before and mentioned that I can hear every little noise and that at times it can get pretty loud. They apologized, but it hasn't done much to quell the noise. Gonna need to get myself some sleeping pills cause I can't work if I can't sleep!!! I hope KARMA is real so these people can get a taste!!! Anyways good luck to the rest of you out there dealing with a similar problem.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 1:25AM
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i moved into a quiet condo in 2006. the first year was great. adult neighbors. quiet people. working schedules that were similar.

Then one of the neighbors next door moved. a family of 4 foreigners moved in-2 adults and 2 boys ages 6 and 9. the only reason that i point out that they are foreigners is because of the dynamics that resulted from them moving in. first the woman was home all day and the father did not always stay with the wife and kids at night. the boys stomp and wrestle tirelessly. she -the mother doesnt or cant control them. they scream and shriek. i find out later that their bedroom is the master bedroom. the parents took the second bedroom so the boys are right on my wall wrestling all night. and they have access to a master bath door which they slam all the time. i have tried asking them to cool it and the mother told me in broken english that they werent that noisy. perhaps to a person from egypt they arent that noisy. they often have family member's children for stay overs and the noise is even worse. this tells me that some other condo or apartment community has the same issue that i have with the other family members.

also despite the boys going to school, this family never retires for sleep until 11pm. and the mother will regularly vaccuum around 10pm.

i realize they have no concept of a 1200 sq ft condo not being for a family. i am sure they purchased it at a high interest rate which means they will never leave even if they wanted to since they cant with only about $10 of each mortgage pmt going to the principal.

i am now further convinced they have no concept of the HOA rules either as they had a baby last year and now are in violation of the 4 people rule for our condos.

its a bad market right now and i dont want to hurt anyone, but i didnt move here to live next to a family of five!

i am in a livng hell as the bad market also keeps me from selling an moving!

never buy a condo! never! dont do it! realtors dont give a sht who they are selling to and will stick anyone next to you. they are protected by that federal rule that doesnt allow you to ask what kind of people live next door.

as a result you are screwed and suffer eternally.

sincerely yours,

Wanting to Die

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 11:42AM
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I bought my semi-detatched house 10 years ago. I never heard the neighbors on the other side of the shared wall. This house was built in 1926 and is a stick built house. No insulation.

Then things changed. The owners broke up, they both moved out and the property remained empty for more than four years.

About a year ago, they started to make repairs on the house in preparation for the owner's stepson to move in with his girlfriend and THREE kids ages 4, 2, and 6 months. Bad things happened even before they moved in 7 months ago. First, they left a litter box with cat crap in my driveway one day. I was really happy about that. Then I heard a neighborhood rumor that the house was being used as a crack house.

Then they moved in. The second night they were there they have 1/2 dozen kids running in and out of the house screaming and pounding on the floors. My kitchen cabinet doors were rattling along with the grates on my stove. The next weekend the couple argued all weekend. She was yelling at him because he didn't go to work for two days because he stayed home to smoke crack. I could hear their elevated conversations and arguments clear as day.

It has been constant noise since then. I have been completely embarrassed when company was here because we actually had conversations interrupted by the neighbor noise. Yelling, screaming, and running on the floor which drives me absolutely insane, have been a constant. I have moved out of my living room and now seek refuge on my second floor. I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING THAT I CAN DO LEGALLY!!!

I have gutted my living room and kitchen (BRAND NEW KITCHEN I FINISHED A YEAR AGO) walls in an attempt to sound proof and fireproof the walls. I discovered that my nighbor has 1/8' plywood in one section of our shared wall. AND THIS IS MY PROBLEM!!! Can't move and can't sell. I am screwed.

DO NOT DO IT unless you have physically tested and witnessed the soundproofing yourself.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 1:06PM
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I own and live in a condo. The bylaws state that no owner should rent or lease a condo. The women I share a wall with rents the condo from her son. Other owners have wanted to rent their condos and are threatened with a five hundred dollar fine for each month they rent it. This women has been there to close to seven years. She slams doors constantly, and runs washers and dryers for hours and hours day after day. The owners running the association told me there are no noise ordiances in our association. In addition the nine owners that are running our association decided about six years ago that they are not going to pay their dues because they are doing enough and don't receive a 401 K plan for running the place. Alot of owners don't pick up after their dogs. The president of our association sprays orange paint around it. That is the way the solve issues.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 11:50AM
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Oh thank heaven I found this post!I was begining to believe I was the only one being tormented by inconsiderate neighbors.Let me give a little background. I lived in an apartment bldg that was over 100+years old for 15 years.I loved the place! Prior to that I'd lived in apts before so I know&knew I'd have to expect&accept a bit of noise from my neighbors(dwnstairs&couple in unit next to me). I didn't go in blind. For the first 3 or 4 years nothing too terribly noisy went on.Eventually I'd hear the stereo from the guys dwnstairs but it was a once&awhile thing. The people dwnstairs moved&so did the couple living next door to me. I had no one below or next to me for the next year&a half. It was pure joy!!Then a couple moved in dwnstairs with their 3 kids.I thought I was in for h&ll.Much to my surprise though I didn't hear a peep out of them.That couple stayed about a year or so&then moved out.Actually they had to move because their kids were next door(in bldg connected to the one I lived in)alone&started a kitchen fire trying to make something to eat. Luckily no one was injured. The 6 units in my bldg weren't damaged.The 6 units adjacent to us were heavily damaged so they were a complete loss.Anyway,in 2006 I got a new dwnstairs neighbor.I didn't hear or see her move in.In fact I didn't know she was there until a visiting friend told me he heard gospel music coming from the unit below mine. "Gospel music?That has to be a good sign" I thought to myself.Well that woman went from gospel to hip hop in no time flat.Now it wasn't the music choice that bothered me it was the volume&the hours in which she played the music.Someone gave her a stereo that had the most powerful bass I've ever heard in my life.She'd crank the volume&bass up whenever the urge struck her.Didn't matter if it was 3am,6am,or 11pm at night(or anytime in between).I went&knocked on her door one night to complain.I explained I didn't have a right to tell her how to conduct herself in her home but her loud music was disturbing me(especially when played after 11pm or early in the am).She apologized politely,promised it wouldn't happen again,and turned it off.Problem solved right?WRONG!! over the course of the next four years the music got louder&louder and played for longer periods of time.I complained to the landlord each&every time.Each time he'd speak to the woman,she'd apologize&stop for awhile.Awhile being the key word here because she'd always go back to playing that stereo on full blast whenever she wanted.December 2009 I saw her in the hall&said hello.I also thanked her for being so 'polite&kind'by not having the music playing as loudly as it had in the past&for stopping at 11pm.Just as I'm climbing the stairs to go to my home she tells me her 16 year old daughter was moving in soon. I knew that was the beginging of the end. Daughter moved in two days later(Dec21,2009).At 12:45 am I heard(and felt)that powerful bass coming from the woman's stereo. I called dwn stairs to complain but the woman wouldn't answer the phone. A few seconds later my telephone rang.It was the daughter calling from her cell to ask who had called.I asked to speak to her mother.I told the mother the music was too loud&it was too late to have it at that level. She said it was her daughter&she didn't know if she could get her to turn it down.I told the woman I'd call the police if it didn't stop. I felt horrible for threatening that but I'd put up with this for 6 years off&on. The music stopped......for 10-15 mins.Then it came back on louder coupled with loud bangs on the walls and something banging their ceilings(my floors). I called my landlord(figured why should he be allowed to sleep if I couldn't. He said he'd speak with her.He called back& said he'd spoken with her and she'd turn it off. She did,for a few minutes then it came back,loudly,and they began banging on their walls&ceiling. I got fed up&called the police.They came and heard nothing because(as is often the case)the neighbor had turned everything off when the police car pulled up. The officers left&the noise,and loud swearing at me,began all over again.I called landlord again&told him I had phoned the law.He became very angry&I was out of line.He accused me of engaing in "overkil". After having complained for on&off over the course of 4 years to him I knew this was the last straw.I told the landlord I felt well within my rights to call on the law since he wasn't able to effectively handle this situation.I told him that I'd be forwarding my notice in the not so distant future. I took my time looking for another place.I carefully(so I thought)checked everything out about each and every place I looked at.Afterall I didn't want to get into the same hellish situation I was leaving.My former landlord didn't think I was serious about moving. When I sent my notice he came to my home asking me to stay.He told me had he known I was being bothered so much by the noise he'd have evicted the woman. I told him that I didn't want anyone being evicted on my behalf(don't want that on my conscience)but wished he'd have been able to handle the situation. Well 8 months later I found a condo I liked a lot&decided to lease it. My thinking was since all but two of the condos in the bldg were owner inhabited I'd not face the same problems I'd encounter at my previous apartment(don't know what made me think that though). So after 15 years in a home I'd come to love dearly I moved out. I settled into my new condo thinking I'd found a little piece of heaven. I had three wonderful months(more or less)of bliss here.One day in January I was in my kithcen when I heard loud voices coming from the kitchen next door. I knew what it meant but was hoping I was wrong. A couple of weeks later my new next door neighbors moved in. After they'd unloaded the last batch of their stuff I heard loud talking outside in the parking lot(my 'garden style' second floor condo overlooks the parking lot)and running up&down the stairs out in the hall. I didn't say anything nor did I let it bother me too much.I figured the young couple needed time to settle in&time to explain to their friends/family that they'd only bought a unit in a communal setting instead of the entire building&parking lot.About an hour later I heard an even louder commoction outside.I look out of my bedroom window&see at least 2 dozen men lauging&talking with the doors of their cars wide open&stereos on full blast. Again,I figured this is just a fluke.I was wrong. My new neighbors,who incidently are very nice friendly people,started renovating their condo apartment 2 weeks after they moved in and didn't stop until just a week or so ago. I understand everyone wants as nice a home as possible&they've a right to it but I don't think anyone has a right to run power tools until 10-11pm at night especially in a condo/apartment with paper thin walls&floors. That wasn't the worst of it though. The woman next door is all of 5'5-5'7 and can't weigh more than 110lbs soaking wet yet walks like she's about 770lbs. Hearing her stomp through her condo reminds me of those old movies where Godzilla's storming Toyoko(sp). To make matters worse the couple decided to take up every inch of carpet in their unit despite the fact that the bylaws clearly state the units(especially upstairs units)cannot have hard flooring surfaces throughout. They got around this by telling our resident live in board member that they were pulling the carpet up with plans to put Pergo in the entrance of their home&carpet down the halls&bedrooms.Well they didn't do that. Now I have to constantly hear the wife stomp(not walk but HARD STOMPING) throughout her condo! She does this from the moment she wakes to the time she turns in for the night.If she's working this starts at 7:00am. When she comes in it goes until at least 1-2am. The husband is quiet for the most part,well aside from his nightly 12:30am-1:30am showers. I only mention the showering because our pipes rattle/bang when the hot water is turned on. When my neighbors shower I'd swear someone was in my bathroom taking a shower.The wife also can't simply put anything down or away in the closet.Oh no!She has to throw things against the wall and slam her doors with all her might. I know this because I went next door one night around 10ish&(very politely)to ask that they stop banging or slamming their doors as it was making tons of noise in my home.First they claimed not to know what I was talking about.Then,after listening to me try&explain it for about 10mins,the wife tells me it's not her husband it's her("He's quiet.I'm the loud one" she said) I told them that I've no right to tell them how to live in their home but couldn't be told I had to listn to noise,that I'm not making,in mine.They laughed,agreed,&apologized. Things quieted dwn for awhile then the let loose again.When it started again it sounded as though it was louder&being done on purpose. I even heard the wife(through our paper thin bathroom wall)say "F**k him!We live here!" Fast forward to the Sat before this Halloween. I'm sitting in my spare bedroom at my desk on the pc when I hear a lot of heels hitting the floor next door.I'd asked weeks before about the hard flooring next door but was assured they had carpeting. I knew they didn't but didn't press it(I didn't want to be labled our building's male Gladys Kravitz). This particular Saturday the heels started around 6:00ish&continued for an hour or so before they stopped.But they did stop thank goodness. Shortly after 7pm they started again only this time they'd multiplied.It sounded like a herd of cattle had been brought in. I,trying to keep in mind that I'm in communial living&everyone has a right to enjoy their home,put headphones on&started listening to music. I had the volume pretty loud trying to drown out the noise but I could still hear very loud banging on the walls&doors slamming over the music coming from my headphones. I decided to give up on the music&go watch tv.I figured I'd turn the volume up and drown out the heels,door slams,wall banging,and talking/yelling coming in. That didn't work for 2 reasons.(1)My tv was up so loud that it got on my nerves lol(2)I felt bad for subjecting my downstairs neighbors to my noise. So I turned the volume down&decided I push on through it.Afterall they couldn't keep it up much longer.I was wrong again. The group spilled out into the hallway. There was laughing,stomping,and yelling out in the hall&outside my bedroom window. That was enough for me.I called the board member to complain.She said it was getting to her too&that she'd ask them to keep it dwn&tell them to stop the hard walking/stomping because it was disturbing me&her(they live directly above her).That did the trick for 20 or so mins but they started again. So I decided I'd say nothing but I'd soon have to start looking for another place to live.A little while later I hear all the partying out in the hallway again. I open my door to see what's going on&I see the board member talking to the woman next door to me.She was telling her that the noise was out of hand&it had to stop. Before I could get back inside my home my neighbor(the board member from dwnstairs)asked me to go to the local MickeyDs with her. I thought she was attempting to get me out of the house because she knew I was upset.I said as much to her but she said she was the one who wanted to get away from the noise.It had gotten to her to. After that incident a letter was sent to the offending neighbor's via the association. As was the case before things settled dwn for a few weeks. That takes me to last night. I'm again sitting at my desk when I hear what sounds like someone trying to break down my wall. In addition there's several pairs of hard shoe soles clapping back&fourth on the floor. I,having been told that noise must cease or at least settle to a reasonable level after 9pm, grinned&did my best to bear it. When the noise hadn't subsided/settled by 9:15 I went next door. My neighbor opened the door&I told him I couldn't,wouldn't actually,take anymore of the banging on my walls.He tells me,with a smile,that the visititing kids must be the ones slamming into the walls. I told him I didn't care who it was I just wanted it to stop.Once again I told him I recognize I can't conduct affairs inside his home but pointed out that he couldn't continue to disturb the peace&quiet I've a right to. Long story short(too late I know)I had to resort to calling the police. I also emailed my landlord telling her I'd have to move.I'm blessed enough to have the most fantastic landlord in the world!She telephoned this morning with an offer to have my place sound conditioned. I told her repeatedly I didn't want her to have to bear that kind of expense(she&her husband are parents to two small children)but she insisted.I then told her I'd pay for half the work but she'd have none of that.
So that's my long drawn out story. If given the choice I'd not recommend condo living to anyone. Apartments are no better(after all a condo is just a glorified apartment to my way of thinking)but at least in an apartment all are renters&subject to management. Condos are owned by the individuals. Unfortunately some who buy think that ownership gives them the right to let the good times roll no matter who may be infringed upon or disturbed.
I can't understand why the concept of consideration&decency is such a foreign thing to some. I've a rule that I've always lived by:If I wouldn't want it done to me I'll not do it to anyone else.If I know I live in a place that isn't properly or sufficiently sound conditioned and I know sound travels then I'm going to make every effort I can not to make excess noise. My gosh I'm so worried about disturbing others that I turn the volume on my tv down every night at 11pm&use closed captioning!!I'm reading my entertainment lol&tipping around my carpeted home just to make sure I don't disturb those dwnstairs or next door to me.Do I like living like that?Absolutely not!! I do it out consideration.It'd be nice to get a bit of consideration thrown my way.
Friendly advice to any who are looking to rent or buy an apartment or condo,do as much research as you can before signing anything. If possible try to visit at different times of the day&evening.You may go to the potenital place and find it blissfully quiet(as I did during my many daytime visits to my current home). Trouble is most,or all of the residents may be out for the day&that may account for the peace&quiet. If there a people next door to the unit you're considering ask if it's possible to have a radio/stereo played(loudly)from that unit.This will give you a chance to gauge how loudly the noise is when it reaches your perspective new home.
Ask plenty of questions before signing a lease please.It may sound silly but doing so will help you avoid undue hell and torment from inconsiderate people.
I'll post again after I have the place sound conditioned(if I do)and let you all know how that worked out.
Thanks so much for letting me rant.I've had no one to talk to about this.Most people don't understand how trying it can be. The few times I do attempt to tell someone about this the first thing they say is "Well you have to expect some noise." That's so very true.I don't mind&do expect some(reasonable)noise.What I'm putting up with isn't reasonable and shouldn't be something I should have to put up with.At least I don't think it is.
(again I'm deeply sorry this is so dang long lol)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 4:50PM
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I've lived/owned a condo since I was in my late 20's and decided five months ago to leave a large complex in a busy area and relocate to a small town duplex unit. I figured that I'd be trading "dorm-like" living (I was on the third floor but you could hear cabinets slamming, people clomping up and down stairs, etc.). I was wrong! A townhouse seemed perfect but I've discovered it's all about WHO your one neighbor is. One neighbor who is awful can be worse than five or six decent ones. I now have a horrible couple who play their stereo/TV/woofer against the common wall at all hours (despite my asking them nicely to turn down the bass), who literally sound like a herd of elephants when they run around on wood floors, and let their dogs bark constantly. They do not believe condo rules apply to them. So...while I don't miss the noise at my old "dorm" condo a townhouse has proven to be not much better. Yes, you only have one neighbor but that neighbor could be the people next to us. We're thinking about putting up QuietRock to stop the thumping bass and crashing into the walls but it was not what I expected. Sorry - just need to vent. I personally liked my three shared walls at the "dorm" better than I do the one which I share with the awful people next door. We had hoped to buy a house and although I know you can have bad neighbors with a house there isn't that dreaded shared wall. The HOA can't do much due to noise ordinances but both my boyfriend and I are starting to dream about putting speakers against the shared wall and doing jumping jacks wherever we can to show the idiots next door how loud they are. We've refrained because that's not who we are but the fact that my laid-back boyfriend (who was not bothered by five/six neighbors) is ready to do whatever it takes to piss these people off speaks volumes. They slam the door so loud that it wakes him and he sleeps like a log. I'd say do a "test run" with sounds but when I looked at the place the wife was more than pleasant. The minute we moved she turned into a witch. Pluses and minuses for everything but in the three months we've been in the townhouse we are both at our wit's end.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 11:01PM
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To kathydaffy - You have to move as soon as possible. It will not get better, it will get worse. It will drive you absolutely crazy to the point that you will not be able stand being home and will listen to every little sound they make, maybe even wait for it to happen, because you know it will. It will damage you mentally and physically (lack of sleep, etc.) The same thing happened to me, I waited for things to get better for a long time, so that maybe my neighbors come to their senses and realize there are other people living at the other side of the wall. Finally I gave up and moved, and never regret it. BUT beware - and you were right - it takes only ONE bad neighbor to make your life absolute hell, and unfortunately there is one almost everywhere you go. Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 8:14AM
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We just stumbled onto this forum and are happy to see we are not alone. We wonder what became of Mia if she ended up moving into a condo. Hope she didn't. Mia you have no idea how good you have it! It's one thing to have problem neighbors outside your residence, but giving up your PRIVACY AND PEACE OF MIND INSIDE your own residence is beyond words. We had a townhouse-an end unit. our only neighbor was one woman that we shared a long wall with-a wall that included all of the rooms in our place our-bathroom, bedrooms, etc. Everything of course was fine when we first moved in. We never heard the neighbor, wouldn't even know when she was home. Then about 6 months after we moved in, everything changed. For some reason we became the woman's target. She began banging repeatedly in response to our movements. She'd bang loudly on the walls, stomp repeatedly whether we were quiet or doing normal activities. And whoever said on this forum to tell the offender that they are disturbing you was so totally wrong. We did that and boy was it a mistake, as the noise only intensified when she was confronted. You know the type of people that once they find out something bothers you or is a weakness, they prey on it. She knew every room we were in at all times, if we took a shower, she'd be right there banging on the walls, if we were in our bedroom, she'd tap on the wall as if to constantly let us know she was there. We were devastated to learn that she had been monitoring our every move from the time we moved in and wondered why she decided to reveal it to us at that point. Though my wife and I were both affected, it really took its toll on my wife. HOA was absolutely useless. Having them come into our place and stand to listen to her terrorizing us was pointless, as she always knew who was in our place, what we were doing at all times, so obviously she wasn't going to make a sound when HOA was there. We ended up moving to a small cottage and it was the best thing we could have done. We will NEVER EVER share walls with anyone All we can say is don't do the condo/townhouse thing or anything where you have to share walls with other people! That period of time was one of the darkest in our lives. No one took us seriously and that only intensified the nightmare for us. Humans were not meant to live like that.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 12:40AM
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I thought that this thread that I started was dead, but I stumbled upon it today and didn't realize that people had still been posting on it. So thanks, everyone, for sharing your experiences. I can relate with everyone here, since I've lived in different types of condos over the years with both terrific neighbors and inconsiderate, loud, obnoxious neighbors.

I am still living in the same house as when I started this thread. I can't believe how time flies, and I had intentions of moving out years ago. Where did the time go?

That loud next door neighbor who I wrote about moved out and in moved the real neighbors from hell...BLASTING music with very foul language ("I'm going to F*** you up/ blow your brains out" type of lyrics), being kept awake by loud argument with cursing late at night between the couple, no parental supervision of the kids, a slew of police at their house, etc. That family is gone now and we finally have nice, normal neighbors in that house.

I definitely still want to get rid of this house (I never wanted to live here), yet I am very grateful that the neighborhood is so much better now. Anyway, after re-reading all the posts here, and based on my living in condos in the past, I know for sure that I'm NOT fond of sharing walls, because you never know what you might get for neighbors. A condo is more suitable for me in terms of not having to maintain the outside of the home, but not suitable in terms of the possible issues that may occur with living very close to neighbors and sharing walls and the yard.

Now lots more communities are popping up where the homes (ranch homes/townhouses) have no shared walls and are separated by a small slice of land (we didn't have these types of homes years ago), though the condo fees tend to be pretty high. My concern is that there could be neighbors that often party on their deck next door and that hang around in the yard right outside my windows, and there's nothing a person can do about it; I'm used to having my own piece of land. It only takes one bad neighbor to make you regret your purchase. I'd love to hear from people who live in these homes (patio homes) that don't have shared walls and have a small bit of land that separates them from their neighbors' homes. This type of housing is an option that I would consider, as it's much better than sharing walls, however, I'm not thrilled with the high condo fees. Plus, these homes currently cost as much as many single-family houses here that have up to .75 acres of land!

I am so sincerely sorry for any of you who are going through a bad neighbor situation. It may happen to almost anyone at any time (I've had my fair share), and it can be a difficult situation to resolve, especially with neighbors who think that they should be able to make whatever noise they want to and that the homeowners' association rules do not apply to them.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 1:01AM
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wegotout55: Wow, what a bad situation you were in with that woman. She doesn't sound like she had all of her marbles. It's amazing that one person can cause all that trouble.

When I lived above neighbors in a condo, the noise and problems only got worse after I tried to talk with them about their loud entertaining late at night, constant stomping, loud music, and slamming doors. First they denied that the noise came from their unit and said that the noises were coming from a store up the street (did they think I was a fool?), and then they finally admitted that they love to entertain. The condo association refused to uphold the rules, so I decided to move out. I'm so relieved that I've not had to hear another slamming door or stomping feet since then. Personally, I could never be inconsiderate of other neighbors.

Well, I'm glad you finally have your peace back!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 1:19AM
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Iâve had experience living in both a condo and townhouse.

1) Condo ��"lived there for 8.5 years: had neighbors above me and on both sides of me. It was an older building and the walls were not that soundproof. Lived there for 6 yrs relatively peacefully until new neighbors above me moved in. She broke the condo rules by pouring water from her balcony which ended up down on my balcony. When I reported them, claimed it was an accident. Then she started getting up at 6 a.m. to go to the gym. The problem was with all of the stomping it woke me up and I couldnât go back to sleep. Even a guest complained to me about how âhard they stomped.â When I asked if they (couple) could they walk softly, she proceeded to come home every evening and open and close her balcony door repeatedly [for no reason] and then banged on her countertop [for no reason] other than to provoke me into an argument. I never complained to her or management again because I was at a disadvantage by living below them. I knew it was time to go and a yr later I moved out. They told my renter that I made their lives miserable despite the fact that they violated the condo rules and lived above me and disturbed my peace and tranquility. Another problem was sharing the washer/dryer on the floor. One woman had the habit of leaving her clothes in the washer/dryer. Yes, I gave her enough time to come get them after the cycles stop, and then I took them out because I too needed to do my laundry. Again, it was not the structure itself but the neighbors.

2) Townhouse- lived there currently 2013-for 13.5 years: all of TH have garages, but neighbors used their garages for storage of JUNK and occupied all of the visitor/guest parking spaces. (a) I complained numerous times, but the HOA did not strictly enforce it. It was IMPOSSIBLE to invite anyone to my home because there was no place for them to park. At 9 a.m. the lot cleared out and by 5:30pm the lot was full and on the weekends/holidays it was worse. Even though each resident had been given one visitorâs past, many residents somehow lied and obtained at least 2 additional passes so they could park their personal vehicles in the guest lot. Two of my neighbors parked 3 cars in the lot EVERY DAY. I reported them frequently but without strict enforcement it fell on deaf ears. (b) Children playing in the street in front of my home: there were play areas in the community for kids to play. Instead the parents turned them out in the street to play which happened to be at the dead end in front of my house. I was labeled a âmean personâ but sobeit because I had landscaping lights broken, flowers trampled, garage door banged up, kids leaving clothing and bikes and toys in my tiny yard. From March-October the street was a playground and the kids refused to move out of the street. When the older kids didnât think it was cool to hang out with the younger kids, there were always younger kids old enough to take their place ��" it was continuous. (c) By far the absolute worst thing were both of my neighbors playing music or installed surround sound. 1) Neighbor 1 played his stereo late in the evening and it was so loud even in the morning when he was preparing for work, I could hear the beat/vibrations while in the shower. I spoke to him at least 5 times about it. He was always apologetic, but it still happened on occasion. Then in 2012 his roommate tried out new speakers. Again I complained directly to him. 2) Neighbor 2 installed surround sound in October 2011. Instead of putting it in their basement they put it in their living room which meant the sound came through the wall into my living room and kitchen. It was so loud it sounded like a herd of elephants were coming through the wall, or a freight train or an airplane. I spoke to them 3 times about it, always apologetic, but each and every day I came home, I could hear the music, a video game or a movie. Seems like all they did when not in school/work was watch movies. It was so loud the last time I went over at 10 p.m. to ask them to turn it down, you could hear it outside of their front door, and the speakers were on the 2nd level and I was at the street level. I was so stressed and angry every day for over a year. I rarely had any peace unless I was home while they were at work or school but as soon as they came home, I ran to my bedroom to block out the NOISE. I realized once again it was time for me to go. I could no longer live there because of the NOISE. It was a blessing to me that one day in January 2013 I came home and they had a for sale sign in their yard, long story short they just moved in April 2013, after having endured their NOISE for 1.5 yrs it was truly a blessing. So you ask me why leave? Iâm still going to move and am putting my house on the market next month because no matter whom my new neighbors ar, Iâve had enough. Iâve been in my TH for over 13 years now and Iâm tired of peopleâs bad habits and disrespect. In all honesty, while Iâm not perfect I do not have surround sound and do not play loud music, donât have any kids and try to treat others the way I want to be treated. Iâve had enough. I want to be able to invite guests to my house and have them park in my driveway or on the street, I want to be able to read a book, sleep or watch a movie and not hear what my neighbors are doing next door. I feel trapped and need space. I need peace. While no neighborhood is perfect, Iâve outgrown mine. I am not happy living there. Itâs time to move and I canât do it fast enough.

My advice to anyone moving into a condo or townhouse: BEWARE. You cannot pick your neighbors and while you may live peacefully for a while, donât get too comfortable because all it takes is for the NEIGHBOR FROM HELL to move in and life as you know it will forever change. PROBLEMS HAPPEN ANYWHERE ANYTIME in condos, townhouses, single family homes. It all depends on the type of people you have as neighbors and what you can tolerate. I know people who live in $600K single family homes and their neighbors throw parties, park numerous cars all over the street, neglect their lawns etc. Iâve learned that unless I can buy my own private island, there are some things I will have to endure, but everyone has their breaking point and I reached mine twice.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 2:53PM
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don't count on a retirement place being quiet...fil lives in a house and you can hear the tv because he's deaf...

we had an upper unit over the garage, and the common wall was also the hall and a row of closets so buffered noise...

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 10:48PM
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We love our condo! Not only do we save a ton of money versus what the house we used to own was costing us, our neighbors are nicer too.

The neighbors to the north of our previous house were a nightmare. They were hoarders with two teenage sons that came and went at all hours with much slamming of car doors. The hoarding wasn't just in the house and visible through the windows but escaped into their yard. There was trash and broken furniture all over the yard. They never mowed and the grass was usually knee high. Also full of weeds like deadly nightshade which crept over to my yard. They had these weed trees in the narrow space between their garage and our fence that were slowly knocking down our fence and overhanging our garage. I had to pay several hundred dollars just to have them trimmed enough to be safe, but wasn't allowed to cut them down.

Now we share a staircase with five neat, clean, quiet single people. All units but one are owner occupied, which I think makes a difference. All the units in our tier are 1br, so we only have single people or couples without children. There used to be another married couple, but they moved out when they had a baby. There are no issues with parking. We have a deeded space which we own (it even has it's own real estate PIN). If someone else is parked in it, I have a towing number I'm supposed to call. This has never been an issue once though.

In short, condo living has been so much better than house living.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 4:15AM
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Oh no! I have lived in two condos- one was built 1986 in Phoenix-wonderful! Could not hear anything!
Now I have a 1985 condo that has a unit above me. I cannot tell you the many times I have been flooded-the water/ice cube connection was not installed right by Home Depot.... The bathtub drain was not lined up properly-I came down from the house up north to find the ceiling over my tub, IN the tub....their tub water went into my tub. I was thankful my drain did not fill with drywall and make my tub overflow. That happened three times. She gets her drunken uncle to ,fix' things.....
The washer/dryer is in the bathroom. Every time new people leave, the faucets drip into my wall. People just moved out yesterday....sigh.
The owner refuses to repair anything....
I hear the dripping and cannot sleep... I worry about water damage...
I have had more sex via listening to whomever lives there... You shoulda heard her first time after she had their first baby......yippee!(only a L&D nurse might understand this one!
EVERYTHING is heard-the kids uneven legs on the high chair, little feet running, his alarm clock. He doesn't get up when it goes off! Now I am awake, and I just went to bed a couple hours ago. (I am nocturnal, they/diurnal! Some of the renters have never learned to pick up their feet while walking.....thud...thud...thud!
These last people were great-they just did not know how flimsy the ceiling is!
I am quiet by nature, except when dealing with idiot technical support people-who must live on another planet and are programmed to hear everything you say as the opposite of what you said...sigh...
Anyway-cannot WAIT TO GET OUT OF HERE!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 5:12AM
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It depends on the building and the sound proofing that was used. Certainly something to find out before you buy/rent.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 1:20PM
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I hope that anyone considering buying a condo reads this thread thoroughly. As a single person with a busy lifestyle, the idea of condo living attracts me quite a bit. I lived in a beautiful 100 year old condo building for 8 years. It was hell, no different than living in an apartment. The noise level was one thing; the spying and nosy neighbors; the mean neighbors; the cooking smells; the headaches of having to go to HOA meetings with irresponsible and unreasonable people, etc. etc. Please beware. Yes, it can be wonderful, but it can change in a moment with new neighbors. It is never really your own home.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2014 at 12:30PM
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Hi all. I didn't realize that my thread would still be active after all these years.

Several years ago, the condos I've lived in and visited had wall-to-wall carpeting. The only rooms that weren't carpeted were the kitchens and bathrooms. In recent years, I've noticed that the trend is hardwood floors throughout (bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms). And even if it's a condo with a unit above or below, they still have hardwood floors rather than wall-to-wall carpeting or area rugs. So I guess there's no rule here that 80% of the floor must be covered in carpeting/area rugs. I'm not sure about other areas of the country. Of course, hardwood floors are beautiful, though they aren't exactly quiet.

I once lived in a second floor condo with a unit below me, and even with wall-to-wall carpeting, you could still hear the heavy walkers, stomping feet, running, things dropping. I'm surprised that the condo associations here don't require the use of area rugs on hardwood floors to muffle noises, or that they even allow hardwood floors in units that are above/below other units.

So this is something to think about and to inquire about with a condo association before buying, if it concerns you. And condo associations can change their rules in the future.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2015 at 3:08AM
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We have been pretty lucky with our next door neighbors. One is louder than the other, so we made sure that the bed in that room is far away from the shared wall. On the other side, no problems at all. It can be hit and miss.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2015 at 3:26PM
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