Unfriendly Neighbors Story

goldensmomMay 31, 2007

I just love reading about neighbors and since this has been bugging my DH & me for awhile thought I would post and see what you thought. We moved into our neighborhood which consist of 68 homes 4 years ago. At the time nobody welcomed us and to this day the same neighbors that are still here ignore us. I use to wave hi and they would just stare. Pretty strange I thought but oh well. Two years ago a young couple who are teachers moved in. I made banana bread for them and welcomed them to the neighborhood, they accepted the bread, said thanks and haven't spoken to us since. They completely avoid any contact with us. The 2nd couple (2 older females) had a house built recently next to us and last week we bought them a beautiful ceramic basket, filled it with fruit and took it over to them. The one woman was on her cell phone and the other just glared at us as we introduced ourselves and welcomed them. The one continued talking on her cell and the other never said Thanks, kiss our ass, NOTHING. Has "thank you" become passe? Although I have made friends blocks from us our closet neighbors are just downright rude. We're just two normal people who work hard for a living, maintain our home and believe "do unto others". I just bought a book "Talk to the Hand" about rudeness in the world today. Maybe after reading it I won't give a crap about any of these neighbors & just forget about their behavior all together.... Boy now I feel better...thanks for reading.

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So sorry for you... most people aren't so rude that they wouldn't even say thank you! What a bunch of jerks.

And you are right, most people don't seem to want to interact with their neighbors anymore. Could be they are just that busy though. Today's jobs are killer... more hours, less pay. And if you don't put in the hours, they threaten you with your job.

No one welcomed us to the neighborhood either, except the older couple down the way, who have become our best friends in the neighborhood. I don't think people do an official "welcome" anymore. They just stop by when you happen to be outside in order to check you out mostly.

From now on, I would nix the welcome baskets. They are obviously not appreciated where you live.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 11:04AM
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I'm glad you wrote in - makes me feel not so alone anymore! Sometimes you wonder if you have something branded on your back that you didn't know about!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 8:16PM
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Just a thought, not excusing anybody...

Did you move into an ethnic neighborhood and you're from a different background?
Or are you a same sex couple and the neighbors are not accepting of your lifestyle?
Do you notice the other neighbors greeting each other or do they seem to avoid any contact among themselves as well?

I'm not sure I could have stuck it out as long as you have. We're not an "in your face" kind of neighborhood, but we watch out for each other, bake treats for others occasionally, certainly we wave as we drive by, collect newspapers if a family is out of town.

There's no excuse for being rude and it sounds as if your neighbors are expert at it.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 9:47PM
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Thanks for the responses. Klimkm ... yep its true people are so busy these days but for the 2 new people the teachers have the summer off and the same sex couple are always on their porch no matter what time I get home. Monablair...no actually this neighborhood is mostly Italian and Irish with a few orinetals but that's it. My DH & I are both Irish and darn proud of it. :-) I'll just accept the fact that some people are rude & hope for them what goes around comes around....

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 8:34AM
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an awful lot of people have been burned by bad neighbors and so are now extremely cautious about becoming "friendly" with the neighbors, but to not acknowledge you with a nod of the head, a wave and especially a thank-you is just plain rude. forget about them - they're toxic. I don't need my neighbors to be my friends - civility however goes a long way.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 8:54AM
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Yes, unfortunately some people can be excessively "clannish" or "clique-y". They do not want to expand their circle of friends beyond what they already have. We have neighbors like this, they will only associate with their friends that they have had since high school and their immediate family. No interest at all in cultivating other friendships.
That thinking is just weird.
And us "of Irish descent" (Sligo and Waterford!) people like to gab that's for sure. Kind of "unnatural" when we meet folks who don't share our ways!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 11:14AM
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do you live in Jersey? that might explain it

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 12:56PM
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No I don't live in NJ but that's where they are from.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 7:57AM
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Another thought. Did you have a hard time when you bought the house from the previous owners? Did they possibly badmouth you to the other neighbors?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 11:55AM
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Just would like to state that I have lived in NJ my entire life......we are good neighbors and have great neighbors. We've formed lifetime friendships that are closer than some families.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 1:56PM
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I live in NJ. Good neighbors on both sides; crazy family across the street (and I do mean crazy). I live in a modest section of a very upscale town. I knew absolutely nobody when I moved here; just liked the town and it was close to the city and very safe. I've made some friends who live in the wealthiest part of our town. Some of them have good neighbors, some don't. There are idiots everywhere, as there are good people. Living in NJ doesn't exclude you from either. Some people are just clannish or private, some people are shy and have a hard time making new friends. There are many people in my town whose families have lived here for generations; some don't seem interested at all in cultivating new friends. Some people are just rude. period.
I'm not friends with everybody on my street; but I'm certainly not rude. I do look out for my neighbors.
I think you have to accept the fact that everybody's different and look to make new friends elsewhere.
Please don't think that everybody from NJ is rude!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 3:12PM
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We've lived in this house since December. None of our neighbors have made any effort to meet us - we've met a few out of....uh....necessity. The neighbors on one side because we caught their kids on ATV's in our woods & they sided with their kids so that didn't work out well. They've been unfriendly since then but just yesterday the husband told mine they were going on vacation & would we mind keeping an eye on their property. Sure - no problem, our pleasure. Also, the PO's really slammed us to some of the neighbors because - long story - they tried to back out of the sale & we wouldn't let them. I like having good ( not necessarily close) relationships with the people around me so we'll see....

Then we met another neighbor that is sort of behind us when a huge tree of ours fell across their fence in a storm. We have 7+ acres of big trees & the only one that fell did so where it caused damage - what luck... Anyway very nice Aussie gentleman. Said no problem mate he'd have it fixed & wanted no money from us. Said it could just have easily been one of his trees - but it wasn't so my DH cleared the tree & fixed the fence as best as he could (which is pretty good actually - I wouldn't require anything else if it was my fence) and all is well with them. We offered several times to pay for it or split the cost and he declined. Great neighbor!

I've been thinking that in the fall we might have a "road party" inviting the people just on our road. Most people probably don't even know our house is here since you can't see it from the road. Would that be wierd?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 4:54PM
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I'm disappointed that your neighbors couldn't even say thank you for the welcome gifts. A "thank you" never hurt anyone. If you were my neighbor, I would have appreciated your gift and have thought how nice and generous you are.

I totally think it's rude for your neighbors to not even reciprocate your wave with a wave back. Can't they see you wave? Geeze, what's wrong with people? It's not like you're inviting them to dinner, it's just a wave.

I would say to try not to analyze why your neighbors act the way they do because you'll probably never figure them out. They are not worth your time and energy. Some people don't know how to act when strangers show kindness and friendliness. You have a good heart and please feel good about that fact.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 4:40AM
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I feel sorry for you. I bought this house in 1991 and all neighbors were very friendly. I was single at the time, and; I am sure I came home sometimes at very unusual hours for some neighbors. Regardless,if any neighbor ever had a complaint they would tell me as opposed to calling the police. I occasionally played my stereo too loud and one neighbor called and asked me if I could turn it down. I thanked her for calling me, turned it down, and told her to feel free to call or tell me anytime if I was disturbing her. The neighbors always wave to both my wife and to me, and; we are good friends with the lady who called. I talk to the neighbors across the street,too. The problems I have had only come from my neighbor on the right now. The house became a so called investors house in late 2001, and; I have had four neighbors there since 2001 fo a total of six since 1997. Only two have been jerks. I always say hello to new neighbors and try to be nice to them. The problems from next door started around 2000 when a jerk called the police when my wife washed her car and turned her car radio up at 1PM on a Saturday afternoon. He lives over 100 feet from where my wife was washing her car in our driveway. He or his wife interferred with two contractors legally working on our home,too. They were strange. The police told him to not call anymore or he was going to jail.

People are not like they were years ago or so it seems. I have noticed a change here even since 1997, but; I think it has to do with how fast the area has grown.

I do hope things get better. Smile.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 12:08PM
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I live next to 4 houses that are rental houses. If I knew that I would have never bought the property we are in now.

The one directly next to us was a nightmare for the first 6 years or so. The landlord that owned it would never screen his renters and they were all deadbeats, drugdealers, and psychopaths (serves him right). Finally he got tired of dealing with having to clean up and/or rebuild a totally destroyed house whenever his tenants were evicted or moved out in the middle of the night.

The new landlord must screen his renters well, because it is like night and day, the new ones have all been great so far.

The other 3 renter houses still owned by original landlord, he does keep up his properties but he has always rented to odd people. Luckily the renters are never there for long, like you have experienced. 2 years tops, then they move.

lumper sorry to hear about your loser neighbors. Maybe they will move out soon! You can always complain to the landlord about their erratic behavior if it continues. And remember, always keep a logbook of things you are dealing with. Dates and incidents.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 10:35AM
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Thank you. A logbook is excellent advice. Unfortunately the house is owned by a so called land trust, which is a perfectly legal loophole for the get rich quick real estate invester, who preys on owners who are down on their luck,and will not face having a foreclosure on the credit bureaus. The lender/mortgage company never calls in the due on sale clause as as long as the loan is being serviced/ paid as they do not care who is paying the loan as long as the asset is performing.

I could tell you how that house has been run down to blighted property, and; we even have very strict minimum property codes here. The problem is that rarely will anyone enforce minimum property standards. They are low priority.

There are two types of investors who use this. One is actually looking for people who will be able to buy the home using the lease 2 purchase, and; the other is looking for the real deadbeats to get as much cash up front while knowing they will never be able to rebuild their credit during the lease option period.

You think Miami vice pulled some raids? There were 7 undercover narcotics agents loaded for bear that raided that house last summer.They knocked on our door first and scared the heck out of my wife. However, the drug dealer was the best neighbor of the bunch, and; he made 30K in improvements to the interior. Yes the dealer had more actual flooring,electrical, plumbing heating and cooling, plus every other skill necessary to build a home better then most contractors. What a waste of talent.

Well, I do not want to rant. TY.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 11:47AM
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I keep all my rental properties in excellent shape, but as a general rule of thumb I'd never live in, or invest too much money in a home next to a rental property, or in an area with several rental properties.

I've converted multi-family apartment houses to single family homes, and had my neighbors thank me since I increased the value of their home, increased privacy, decreased noise created more parking etc.

Overall neighbors aren't as friendly as they were in the past. Population growth, high housing turnover and people coming from other regions probably has something to do with it. Back in the day some people worked the same job, and lived in the same home for decades.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 11:56AM
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Mark good points. Big difference in the condition that rental property must be maintained in in my city as opposed to most lease 2 purchase properties including sweat equity types. You sound like a real pro who runs credit checks plus verifies employment/source of income. That is a big difference then what these so called gurus are teaching. This was an upscale professional type subdivision and still is with the exception of that one house. The new subdivision across the street from us is an HOA with all homes being brick and a minimum of 2,200 square feet. We are looking into forming a HOA to solve this one problem as everyone else keeps their homes immaculate here. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 12:30PM
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lumper, forming an HOA now will do no good unless you get hte problem landlord to sign the charter. my neighborhood tried to form one years ago, but 1 lady refused to sign. because of this they could not do anything.

and personally i am glad, cause if they had formed a HOA i never would have bought where i did.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 1:53PM
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Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 1:47AM
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Ug..... I would love to be more friendly with my neighbors, at our old place we were all friends. When we moved to our new block two years ago we got a very lukewarm response from most of our neighbors, I was realy good friends with the lady right next door but the moved last summer. When the new family moved in I went and got them a beautiful glass plate with fancy chocolates from a candy gift place. The husband opened the door and looked almost shellshock that I came by (so strange), his wife wasnt home and its been two months and she has yet to come over and say hi or (gasp) thank you.
And this is really funny! Last week we had to call out the fire department for an oven fire and all these neighbors came over to see what was going on, one even came into the house. Ive never seen any of them before, One of them said "welcome to the block" LOL IVE BEEN HERE FOR ALMOST 2 YEARS! I dont get people.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 11:15AM
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There's no excuse for being downright rude, but I must question why you were surprised when the neighbors didn't bother with you further after you welcomed them with banana bread and they thanked you for the gesture... Did you think the bread would entitle you to socializing or other future association? Sometimes, nice, well-mannered people really like to be left alone when they're at home... Home represents an escape from the world for some, and privacy really should be respected. It sounds to me like you are a VERY sweet person who is reaching out to others because you may feel a bit isolated or lonely -- there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but you must realize that not everyone is looking for the same association or contact with others, so don't be insulted if your friendliness isn't reciprocated in a manner which you deem appropriate. You're not entitled to people's private time just because you were kind and greeted them when they arrived, unless they invite you into their lives!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 2:05PM
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I agree with doctors garden. Also, some people (like me) are quite shy, and donÂt really feel comfortable socializing and being involved in the neighbours' lives. Some people are loners who just arenÂt social butterflies. Personally, I would feel a little bit uncomfortable if my neighbour expected me to be part of their lives; although, I would most definitely say thank you to any kind gestures. ThatÂs just the way some people are  you have your introverts, and you have your extroverts  and of course, the ones who are somewhere in between.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 8:17PM
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I have a neighbor who has terrible social skills and is considered rude and odd by the other neighbors. She has never lived away from home and is now probably in her mid-forties. I suspect she is autistic from what I know about this disorder. This makes her behavior much more understandable. Everyone is different.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 9:50PM
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And now for "the rest of the story" as Paul Harvey used to say.

I am one of the afore described "Unfriendly Neighbors" and if my mannerisms seem a bit rude, so be it, on the other hand, I am 60 years old and in those years I have owned 11 different homes in 7 different states, not to mention a dozen or so other homes that I rented during that time. From these facts it doesn't take a math wizard to see that in my life I have moved about every 3 to 4 years.

Now please don't take this as a personal attack upon your character, but in my experience, every time I have moved into a new home there was always someone who came running with a cake, pie, donuts, box of cookies or other form of baked goods and making an introduction as if their gesture in some way obligated me to invite them in and put the coffee on.

In my younger days I did invite a couple of them in, only to find out very quickly that there motives were not near as innocent as one might think.

There we were going through the motions of coffee and cookies, while this new found friend took it upon themselves to introduce me to the neighborhood, filling me in on all the gossip about who was good to know and who I should avoid. Not to mention the fact that they pumping me for information on what kind of work I do, what organizations I belong to, and where I shop and all the while they were scoping out my digs to see if my decor or lifestyle was in keeping with their views. To be perfectly honest, this is my home, and my only concern is that it is comfortable for my family and friends. I could really care less if it meets the mold of contemporary living as determined by the "In Crowd".

My dad used to say "Educated people talk about ideas and concepts, illiterate minds talk about other people".

You may have been very sincere in your gesture to make the banana bread, and in that light I commend you, but on the other hand, in my experience the ones who come running to be first in my kitchen for coffee are generally the self appointed paparotzi for the local gossip mill, and if someone want to make an enemy real fast let them come into my house and even attempt to spread inuendo's or gossip. You would not believe how fast I can show them the door.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 10:07AM
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Please don't be mad at your neighbors for not wanting the gifts. Remember the saying "when in Rome..."? You moved into their neighborhood, not the other way around.

Though I think it was kind of you to make the gesture, if someone brought me a beautiful ceramic basket filled with fruit, or even a loaf of banana bread, I would feel obligated to reciprocate.

In some neighborhoods, people don't want to have to thank strangers for inflicting their "good intentions" on them.

lazypup wrote: "every time I have moved into a new home there was always someone who came running with a cake, pie, donuts, box of cookies or other form of baked goods and making an introduction as if their gesture in some way obligated me to invite them in and put the coffee on. There we were going through the motions of coffee and cookies, while this new found friend took it upon themselves to introduce me to the neighborhood, filling me in on all the gossip about who was good to know and who I should avoid. Not to mention the fact that they pumping me for information on what kind of work I do, what organizations I belong to, and where I shop and all the while they were scoping out my digs to see if my decor or lifestyle was in keeping with their views"

Good point. Sometimes the friendliest people are the ones you have to watch out for.

Shortly after I moved to my old neighborhood, I was greeted by an extra friendly woman. Because we had spoken and exchanged names, she felt that she could drop by whenever she liked to just "chat". This got old so I told her she would have to call ahead instead of dropping by and making ME have to stop what I was doing in order to entertain her. She liked to talk and sometimes it took a long time to get her to leave.

I eventually met some of the other neighbors and found out that she was the neighborhood busybody. Other people avoided her. Especially when they learned that she invited other neighbor's young children into her house WITHOUT their knowledge or permission.

Before you give up on your "rude" neighbors, give them a chance to get to know you. They may not be so bad.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 10:58AM
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Interesting thread. My first thought was "I'm so glad I live in such a wonderfully friendly neighborhood."
However I completely understand the "other side" explanations.
This neighborhood waves. A lot of people walk and we tend to chat with each other on our strolls. Neighbors borrow tools (and return them!) help move heavy items, take care of the mail when someone is away - that sort of thing. However, we don't "hang out" together. Neighbors have been in the house a few times to see new flooring, or some project, but they don't stay for coffee or dinner. They don't drop by to chat. It is this funny line that we all seem to have and be very comfortable with.
I'm increasingly grateful for my neighborhood!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 12:58PM
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Nice to hear someone has a nice neighborhood! They still exist, I am hopeful.

I am having such a horrible time with my one neighbor - I am totally shellshocked - the next place we live is going to be MILES from any neighbor.

Somewhere we cannot see, hear or smell anything our neighbor does. We lived next to a drug dealer and across the street from a prostitute, in the city who did not bother me as much as my current NDN now does.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 2:29PM
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Just got back to read some of the replies. Although I appreciate everybody's thoughts I'd like to clarify a few things.
doctors-garden wrote "It sounds to me like you are a VERY sweet person who is reaching out to others because you may feel a bit isolated or lonely".
Yes I am a very sweet person but isolated and lonely I am not. I work everyday with hospice patients & their families and I see plenty of homes and am in constant contact with people from all walks of life. Maybe because of the work that I am in I expect people to be civil.
I agree with "gardenspice" when she wrote "A lot of people walk and we tend to chat with each other on our strolls. Neighbors borrow tools (and return them!) help move heavy items, take care of the mail when someone is away - that sort of thing. However, we don't "hang out" together. " Now that's the kind of neighborhood I have always lived in.
lazypup mentioned "I have owned 11 different homes in 7 different states, not to mention a dozen or so other homes that I rented during that time." Although I am not 60 but because of my DH work I've lived in 10 homes (some rentals) in 8 different states from California to Maine and have to say that gardenspice's neighborhood is what I'm used to.

I didn't want to sit down with these people and have coffee with them or see their house. I didn't intrude on them. In both cases they were sitting on their front porch watching the world go by....I was making a gesture of "Welcome to the neighborhood" which is exactly how people welcomed us into their neighborhoods until we moved here. We never "hung out" but we were friendly, waved hi & above all "CIVIL". I guess in my profession I take each day as a real gift and try to treat everyone with respect.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 2:47PM
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We've been in our new neighborhood for three weeks now and no one has welcomed us as of yet. But we really don't expect anyone to either. We are rather private people and don't want neighbors who feel they can drop in anytime or bug us every time we're out in the yard. We've had people who live on the street wave at us or say "hi" when we're out walking, but no one has brought us bread or cookies--again not sure we've really like that anyway. We have a deck on the back of our house and that's where we spend most of our time, so we're not exactly "friendly" ourselves.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 2:47PM
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Lazypup I am laughing with you as I am your age and you are dead on. My experiences with neighbors from many homes in numerous states is similar to yours. I share your views at my age, and; frankly, I do not want anyone coming over and banging on my door without calling us first to ask if it OK with us. I am friendly with one neighbor if she happens to be moving her yard and wants to talk, but; I respect her right to privacy, too. I have enough things to do to keep this house and property up without worrying about what others are doing or what they think of me. Most people buy a house expecting some right to privacy. Heck, if I wanted to socialize with neighbors or was looking for company, I'd have bought into one of those pre planned activities condo retirement communities. I could care less what my neighbors do as long as they do not infringe on my right to peacefully enjoy my home and property.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 6:32AM
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I agree, lumper20Â and, I enjoyed LazypupÂs post, as well. Even at my age (and IÂm not very old) I feel the same way. A lot of people look at their homes as a retreat away from the world; and we donÂt feel the need to be involved in other neighbourÂs lives past the extent of a very occasional chit chat, and a wave every now and then.

One neighbour that lives behind me, is very outgoing. I mean I've seen him bellow out from his deck to another neighbour on their deck that he's bbq'ing hotdogs. The neighbours didn't really know each other that well; and I found it kind of strange that one stranger feels the need to tell another what they're having for lunch. The other neighbour didn't seem overly eager to know, either. The 'bellowing' neighbour doesn't do it with me, though; because I haven't given any signs that I'm interested in getting into personal details. Just a wave and a smile is fine with me. I would guess they probably think I'm unfriendly; but what can you do?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 10:23AM
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Yes - sometimes the opposite - over friendly neighbors - are worse. At our last house in a rural community my DH had to consider "the neighbor factor" when doing any project and add time accordingly. Any time he went in the yard, someone came by hung out at the fence to observe, offer opinion, etc -- haha!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 11:30AM
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"We are rather private people and don't want neighbors who feel they can drop in anytime or bug us every time we're out in the yard." This is so true, although I have been guilty of soliciting remodeling advice unannounced from some neighbors in particular. In my neighborhood, we are all friendly, but no one is over the top friendly, which is just as well. I dont cook, I dont make coffee, my house can be a mess...I work 60-80 hours a week and I personally dont feel that I should be obligated to invite someone in to my home to chitchat unannounced. That being said, I have befriended many of my neighbors and they know and understand me. These people I would do anything for at any time necessary. I have one neighbor across the alley from me who is too friendly. I find him waiting at my garage when I get home. The last thing I want to do is chitchat about nothing after working 12 hours. He doesnt work and I am not sure why. I value my time off, but to him it's all the same. Two weeks ago on my day off, I opened the garage and ran upstairs to get something I forgot before going out to get coffee. I came downstairs to find him IN the house. He had wandered in through the garage! Now I am not too friendly to him. I dont like to find people wandering through my house when I am barely presentable. I think it comes down to the fact that people work harder than times past and they value their home time more than ever. I think single people or single couples may be more private than those with kids. I nonetheless think your neighbors are outright rude. Common courtesy begs politeness in this situation.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 2:39AM
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I am now one of the so-called rude neighbors. We have lived in this neighborhood for 30 years. First my parents bought the house when I was 4 and then I bought the house from them and they now live with me. It used to be the type of neighborhood that everyone knew each other, looked out for each other, helped build decks, etc. We also knew when to leave each other alone. About 4 years ago, neighbors started moving. That summer alone 8 or 9 houses in a 15 house radious were sold. I kind of felt bad for the realtors, there were usually 3 or 4 for sale signs at any given time. It kind of looked bad if youdidn't know the neighborhood. 1 sold due to her husband's death, 2 were relocated in their jobs, a couple were divorces, a couple moved because the kids friends moved and they decided to upgrade to larger houses.

Anyways, we were the type who always said hi to the new neighbors, tried to be friendly etc (kind of a wave across the road and a welcome to the neighborhood). Sad to say, after the last couple of houses were sold and people moved in, I'm done being polite to people. We have neighbors from hell next door to us, a drug house (but I think they may have been evicted as it has been really quiet lately)3 houses down (let's just say I went out on Christmas eve to 3 cop cars, paramedics and an ambulance), a single mom 2 houses the other way who gives every single mom a bad name (new boyfriend every other month moving in or out, and I only know that as I have heard the screaming matches in the middle of the street) and let's her kids run wild with no supervision, opens the door and let's her prescious dog run loose to poop everywhere, my immediate neighbor, who rarely talks to her son and can't understand why I don't mind answering his questions throught the fence as I am gardening (ummm hello? your son is 3 and is curious, no his questions don't bug me, no I don't mind answering them. What I do mind is you sitting on your butt, blabbing away on your cell phone rather than paying attention to your kid). My neighbor's from hell on the other side of me don't understand the concept of a fence and stay out of my yard. To them, it is an obstacle to be climbed and every yard belongs to them. So far they have cost me several hundred dollars in repairs for things they have damaged ($200 on the fence alone because they won't stop climbing it) and talking to the mother does no good whatsoever (been there done that).

The house beside me is for sale again, forgive me if I don't go out of my way to be friendly to the new owners. I now have the attitude of this is my space, that is your space, you me alone and I will leave you alone and we will get along fine. And it really sucks as it was nice having neighbors you could count on in an emergency.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 4:46AM
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The 2nd couple (2 older females) had a house built recently next to us and last week we bought them a beautiful ceramic basket, filled it with fruit and took it over to them. The one woman was on her cell phone and the other just glared at us as we introduced ourselves and welcomed them. The one continued talking on her cell and the other never said Thanks, kiss our ass, NOTHING.

Sometimes self-absorption and inattention to others occurs in crisis situations. Perhaps the woman who was on the phone had just learned of someone's serious accident or illness. Perhaps she was talking to someone who was emotionally distraught, etc.

It's really not the kind of thing I would want to explain to a stranger and I can easily see it resulting in the behavior you describe.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 10:47AM
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Well, we have now met a couple who live on our street. We were in our yard one night as they were walking their dog on the street in front of our house. They seemed like nice enough people, but did let their dog pee in our yard while we were all standing around talking. We have a dog and know how hard it is to prevent a dog from peeing in someone's yard or stop her midstream, but I did find this a little rude. They did notice it, and the wife said "oops." I just smiled. Our dog was in the yard too, so they probably figured we understand dogs.

Jennye...your neighbor sounds really strange. I'd keep my eye on him and explain to him that he needs to stay out of your garage. He sounds lonely. I remember a time when I worked long hours too and lived in an apartment complex. I was friendly with an elderly single lady in the building who had a tendency to "bother" me at the most inopportune times. One night I came home after a 12-hour+ day and was home no more than 5 minutes when I heard a knock on the door. I looked through the peephole and saw this neighbor. I decided not to answer the door but she kept knocking. I finally answered, and I'm afraid I wasn't very nice to her. She later apologized for bugging me. I had to sit down with her and explain what my days are like and how much I valued my home time. After that, she called before just dropping in.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 2:29PM
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We moved into our home in April. The neighborhood is composed of Zero Lot Line homes, and ours is the first home at the edge of the Cel de Sac. Due to this odd positioning, we have a great yard, but seven neighbors (including the one attached to us.)

So far, only the neighbor directly attached to us has given us a "welcome to the neighborhood" gift, which was a wonderful plate piled with homemade eggrolls. That family is very nice, but like us, quite shy. I want to ask them questions about the house to learn some history about its up-keep, but can never cross paths for more than a second or two.

Everyone in our neighborhood seems to keep to themselves. There are a couple of people across the way that seem to keep their yards blooming beautifully and they chit-chat at times. I've met a neighbor from a few doors down who is very nice. haha We're very introverted, ourselves, and I enjoy chatting with people, but I don't seek it out. That certainly hasn't stopped us from nicknaming each neighbor or house. "The party house", "Patio guy", "Hot guy", "Old man", "Trampoline family", etc.

It could be "for the better" that people keep to themselves. We're not into drama. I form my opinion of people based on their personalities and get annoyed when a local 'gossip hen house' forms opinions of people based on what they do or who they are.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 3:01AM
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WOW! this thread is a treat :)
My hubby and I both work very long hours and when I get home I just want to curl up and enjoy his company. Our neighbors are a varied lot and I enjoy my solitude. I grew up in a very large family and have lived only in apartments until 4 years ago at 35 we bought this house. We have some lovely neighbors who we watch out for and they look out for us. We also have the loud guy, the smokers, the deputy and the family that is never there.
My hubby and I have put in trees as we can't have any fences and yet we wave to everyone when we ar out walking. Our home is our sanctuary after long hours of dealing with strangers all day and our neighborhood is respectful of it most of the time.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 8:08PM
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When we lived in places in the midwest or further east, we mostly didn't interact much with the neighbors. A few we did, but not a lot. It wasn't really deliberate on our part, but it seems that schedules, lifestyle and the patterns of apartment layout, or house lot size and orientation wasn't as conducive to social interaction. I thought I was OK with it for all those years. The situation is completely different here in the small southwestern town we live in now. We haven't been able to avoid getting to know people well from the first HOUR we moved here! It has completely changed my view of community and neighborhood, and I'd never go back to the relative isolation and anonymity of the way we used to live back east. We feel SO much more connected to life in this town, and the friends we've made are fantastic, open and very sweet and genuine people.
I do find it a bit perplexing that people will shrink from becoming too friendly with their real, live neighbors but then retreat inside their homes to spend spare time 'socializing' with strangers in cyberspace--????

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 11:38AM
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i can see both sides of the fence on this one...

we were the nice friendly neighbors, untill last year when a family moved in across the street.

our neighborhood is mostly older folks, and not really the socializing type. when a younger couple moved in, we were excited to have someone to chit chat with, kids to play together, occasional bbq on the deck, etc.

that went south REAL fast, as only 8 months in they asked us to borrow money. i am normally very stingy with money and dont lend it, but they had a real sob story. we agreed. a month later, the woman was in jail (we believed that she was in trouble for something she really didnt do) and the husband lost his job because he had to stay home and take care of the kids. we really felt bad for them and bent over backwords, helping the husband out with making dinner and such for their kids... well actually we pretty much fed them every night for 2 weeks.

to this day, i still dont know why we didnt see what was really going on. most of what they told us was lies, and we were taken for a ride!

the story ends with seeing a uhaul in their front yard, and us asking when they would be repaying us the money we lent them, and as the truck was headin down the road they shouted "the check is in the mail!"

now, we have had 2 new neighbors for a few months now, and i have no intention of going there and introducing myself, nor does my wife.

it will take us a while to get our faith in humaniy restored.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 12:46PM
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What con artists... sorry to hear about your situation. I believe there was something in the news in our area of IL, in Elmhurst, where a woman had everyone convinced she had cancer and they paid her house mortgages and bought her food and everything... she was just a con.

They are everywhere. Watch out people esp. they like to prey on elderly. Every year there are scams in the paper.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 2:24PM
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well my hubby and i bought our first house in a middle class neighbor hood in edmonton 10 years ago and it was great we had block parties everyone got along, but as life happens we all sort of moved on to bigger and better things. my neighbor next door (who im still the best of friends with, she is a god mother to one of my kids) moved into a fancy new neighbor hood and lived their for 2 years. the only contact she had with any of the neighbors was fighting with the guy next door to pay for his half of the new fence. he could afford the house but not to finish it. she moved because she couldnt stand living somewhere where people didnt even wave back. i think that we just try so hard to work and afford the life styles that we feel we are entitled to that we forget the little things like getting to know your neighbors. we now live in a small village and its great people are very friendly here so my heart goes out to the people who dont have this luxery of nice neighbors.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2007 at 11:50AM
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All I would ask in a neighborhood now, is neighbors that are civil and don't hate your guts for no reason, keep up their yards in a semi-reasonable manner (grass mowed and minimum junk in the yard), and think twice about the loud noises they are creating for the neighborhood... That's all... and these days... it seems to me that is a tall order.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 10:50AM
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