neighbor's inadequacies (sorry but true)

newontarionianOctober 22, 2008

i know this is out of my hands but, i wish i could paint/refresh the garage of my neighbor's house on my left side (insulting to offer, i am sure) and i want to pull out weeds, etc at the house of my neighbor on my right side (also insulting to offer) ..

i dont really know these people (rather new). how to deal with neighbor's inadequacies while i try to sell my house?

please help so i remain calm! ;-)



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Do you know the circumstances why these maintenance lapses in your neighbors part? When we sold our previous house, the the house across the street was very dirty, needed pressure washing. Since the neighbor was single mom with 3 little kids, when my DH got our house pressure washed, he asked my neighbor if she minded her house to be pressure washed in the front for free. She did not and it helped the curb appeal a lot. :) So it can be done in non-confrontational way.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 9:20AM
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I like Punamytsike's idea about suggesting how you can help. The neighbor's weeds can be part of a "I'm doing my end-of-season gardening this week, I'd be happy to clean up the weeds by your house" conversation. The garage is tougher, as that involves more labor on everyone's part, but maybe you could make an offer of some exterior paint you happen to have lying around (*little white lie allowable*), would Neighbor be interested?

Full disclosure: we were the Inadequate Neighbors on our block this spring/summer. We moved out so (ongoing)renovation could begin and we let our front garden and tree well go unattended. At the time we were dealing with the usual architect and contractor headaches, unpacking into a short-term rental, busy time at work, major family medical issue, etc. etc., and weeding was about 100th on our list of priorities. Unknown to us, the block is chock-full of passionate gardeners who were itchy about our lack of maintenance. One of the women on the block approached us nicely, said they were having an all-day gardening session and would be happy to clean up our area if we didn't mind. It was said so nicely, it took us a little while to realize that our overgrown areas had been bothering our neighbors a lot more than us. If I'd been approached with a "well, when are you going to handle it" attitude, I'd've been defensive and feeling like they were overstepping their bounds about what is, after all, MY private property.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 12:29PM
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When we had our house for sale in Michigan we had a sort of similar situation. We had a very nice house close to a small inland lake. kitty corner across the street was a flat roofed UGLY house and they had a permanent yard sale going on all summer. If it rained they covered the plywood tables up with tarps. The yard was a mess...I could go on and on about this. But, they were very nice people. Eventually, in the winter when things were all covered with snow, and the yard sale was packed away we sold our house.

We never complained, but I sure did get upset. We were so fortunate to sell...this was last winter when Michigan was really having a hard time. We still say ours was the last house in Michigan to sell!

Good luck to you...someone will come along and just love your house no matter what!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 7:04PM
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I wonder if you can phrase it as a lesson for your kid to learn the meaning of 'hard work' (if you have a kid.) When I was younger I stressed out a friends parents by disappearing into the woods for a few hrs with the friends to go exploring. (Hey- we said we were going exploring!) Well the parents freaked out and it was a huge deal- so the next day I had to go to their house and do chores as a way to apologize.
Maybe you can white lie that your kid got in trouble playing with paint in the house and now the punishment is to paint and paint til the arm falls off...and do the neighbors have anything that needs painting like a fence or a garage would really help you teach your kid a lesson.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 8:25PM
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i really want to thank each of you for sharing your ideas and stories. you have put my mind into a real frenzy of thinking of my own "little white lie" which was exactly why i even thought to write the question.

goodness, i truly appreciate your comments!!!


    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 6:47AM
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i know this is out of my hands but, i wish i could paint/refresh the garage of my neighbor's house on my left side (insulting to offer, i am sure)

Did they paint all of the garage but didn't do that one side?

and i want to pull out weeds, etc at the house of my neighbor on my right side (also insulting to offer) ..

Depends on the situation. Some people don't know what are weeds and what are plants if they've just moved in. If this is the case, you could be the "knowing neighbor" that helps them figure it out.

I'd take into account the situation there, do they have kids? Possible weeds are the last thing on their mind. Some times you can throw the offer to help into a conversation. Do you see them at all? Can you start up a friendship? Won't be as insulting if you know them a little better.

I just saw a neighbor the other day, he said they've been hit with medical problems. I'd wondered why their trash can was left on the street so often. I also didn't realize he had 2 small kids.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 8:22AM
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