New Neighbor No-No


One Chance To Make A First Impression

The house across the street from us sold recently, and we were all curious to see who our new neighbor was going to be.  There was no sign of anyone – until last week.  That’s when a chain link fence went up and a port-o-potty was placed in front of the property. The next day we all awoke to a construction crew completely demolishing the house!

Our urban neighborhood is comprised of relatively small lots, with houses right next to one another.  So it was quite a shock when – with no notice – our quiet street suddenly became a very active construction zone!

As the house was razed, we neighbors started asking one another who the new owner was and if anyone had met them and/or been informed of their plans.  But no one had heard even a whisper …

constructionmanThe Real Cost Of Building A Home

We all felt the new owner should have at least dropped a note in our mailboxes introducing themselves, telling us about the construction and giving us contact info in case of problems.  We couldn’t believe that someone would go to the great expense of tearing down a home and building a brand new one, and not think about the “cost” of alienating your new neighbors!

After giving it more thought, I came to the conclusion it must be a flipper – someone with no interest in getting to know the neighbors because they’re just going to resell the house the second construction is complete.  But, I was wrong…

We found out from the construction crew that the new buyer is actually a woman who lives just a few blocks away and will indeed be moving in with her family.  The foreman told us it will be a major construction project (building a new, two story home from the ground up) estimated to take 8 months – which we all know likely translates into at least a year…

The Good Neighbor Policy?

I have to admit, I was completely shocked to learn the new owner was someone who is actually going to be living in the house – and who already lives so nearby!  She could easily have come over to give us all a heads up on this major disturbance. Not a good start to joining the neighborhood…

There has been some discussion among the neighbors of sending a letter to her through the foreman – to introduce ourselves and let her know that we would appreciate an update on her plans, and request her contact information.  Some of us feel we should just wait until we see her visit the site and speak with her in person.  But we all agree it feels like the “good neighbor” policy has been broken – before she has even moved in…

Invest In Your Community

Though we all hope this new home will increase our property values,  it’s only part of the story of creating value on our block.  Maybe we all need to take a moment when thinking about what it really means to “invest” in a new home.  If that doesn’t include investing a little time and courtesy with your new neighbors, I am not sure just how valuable an addition this home will really be.

So – what would you do?  Send the letter? Wait til you spot her on the street? Or nothing? We want to hear from you!



| Print

3 Responses to “New Neighbor No-No”

  1. Lana says:

    It would be a nice gesture for her to introduce herself to her neighbors and to inform them of what she is planning to do, but maybe she is shy or has other issues going on. However, even though she has permits to do the work, it still can diffuse annoyance and upset from the neighbors if the neighbor took the time to let them know about her plans.

    She does have a right to improve her property, providing she abides by the ordinances and laws.

    Hopefully, the new house will be very attractive and will enhance the value of the surrounding houses.

  2. Sue says:

    #1. As Lana said there may be reasons why the woman has not come to introduce herself. Reasons that really are none of your business.
    #2. If you and your neighbors were so interested in preserving your little neighborhood just as it is then you should have purchased the home yourselves. From what you are saying you all want someone to ask for your permission to do work on a property that they purchased. It really is none of your business even though it would have been nice of her to have dropped a note in your box stating that renovation would be being done on the property. If it is going to take 8 months, it must be a pretty big home because that is an extremely long time for construction. Maybe it is a builder who prefers to state the real time frame rather than shorten it so that the owner can make real plans.
    #3. I think that you should wait until you see her in the neighborhood to introduce herself and welcome her and her family. A letter would be rather pushy and if I was the new neighbor, I would back off from you all.

  3. Michelle says:

    I don’t see why this new home owner should say anything to the neighbors. What inconvenience? They are worried about some construction that is most likely going to improve their neighborhood? I would be happy if that was happening in my neighborhood, and believe me nobody would need to explain or talk to me first. People are so uptight and actually jealous if you ask me. They need to mind their own business – their neighborhood would likely improve and now they should think of doing some improvement of their own too.

Any Thoughts?