|Subject: House for Sale|
Posted Jul 31, 2005 by ouiskiandzoda
I put my house on the market last weekend. I got home this weekend to find that someone left the back door open, and someone left icky semi-solid by-product in one of the toilets (without flushing). There have been nine showings so far, but no word on offers yet. A guy on the next block called my agent to ask the price; when he heard what it was, he said "that's too much" and hung up.
My main problem is the carpets. I have three kitties that my husband adored, no children. All three have urinary problems. So my carpets smell, well, like cat urine. If I change it, the kitties will just soil the new one, and NOBODY wants to provide a home even temporarily, for cats with urinary problems. I would hate even to ask my friends and family to keep even one for a while. And, I'll still have this problem when I move.
My other two problems are the houses adjacent to mine.
The cream colored one is owned by a nice lady; she's very quiet, and nice,too. But, since her mother died she hasn't been keeping the yard up, and her mother's (1970's) car is still sitting in the driveway, tires completely flat. The gravel portion of the driveway to the side is quickly becoming a small field of native species (weeds). She's essentially a great neighbor, but someone driving by would not necessarily think that.
Even worse than that are the people in the blue house. I've taken to calling it "the dump." Their house not only looks worse, it's occupants are "socio-economically challenged" (what we used to call white trash). The have a proliferation of vehicles out front (sometimes in the yard), and they all look like some horrible genetic experiment; at any one time only three of the up to eight may run. Their guests squeal their tires and speed through our nice quiet neighborhood. They sit on the front step and drink beers; it seems like half the time, they all end up yelling profanity-laden threats at each other. They heap junk in the small space between their house and my car port. I am not the only neighbor who has had to call the police to quiet an out-of-control party.
They leave junky, broken furniture sitting on its side for weeks at a time, in front of their fence. The cast of characters (and vehicles) is always changing, but lately consists of large 1970's vans with run-down utility trailers behind them. We share a really large concrete space for driveway, and they leave broken light bulbs and cigarette butts near my house.
The actual owner is a young man who was run over by a car when he was ten years old. On a four-lane highway. He wanted to buy a house, so his mother supervised, and the money came from the settlement when he was injured. The only people his age I know who are willing to take on home-ownership are Mormons. It's a lot of work. He sustained permanent head injuries in the accident. I don't know how badly it actually affected him, because I can't think of any ten-year-olds that would get themselves near enough to a four-lane highway to be run over in the first place.
So, he has the emotions and maturity of a ten-year old, but wants all the priveleges of an adult. He makes the wrong friends; he brings people home from bars who are "not functioning well" (you know, anger management problems) and prostitutes. I think he prowls around my fenced back yard at night; he knows about stuff I put in my woodshed less than a week ago. He makes sexual innuendos when I'm present. He has anger management issues. He spends all the money he earns on beer. He asks the neighbors for beer money. He showed one of the neighbors a knife he was carrying up his sleeve, and made a "Psycho" like motion toward the neighbor with it. I don't know if he can always distinguish reality from TV, or fiction, or cartoons for that matter. That's why we call the cops at midnight to break up the arguments--we're all afraid to do it ourselves.
Why do people buy houses in nice, quiet neighborhoods and then let their places go to hell, and are noisy and inconsiderate? They know "nice" when they see it. How can it fail to register that care, maintenance, and good manners are what make it "nice;" that it doesn't have to be about how much money people make? How can they know they are the "neighborhood dump" but not see that all we do is treat other people with the courtesy we would like back? This is how neighborhoods begin decline. The neighbors are afraid to say something, and when they do, they may be depriving someone of their civil right to...take away our right to peaceful enjoyment of our homes.
It's like entropy. It only takes one household to destroy the peace and quiet and the safe, careful driving. It only takes one yard full of weeds making seeds before everyone else's yards are infested, too.
There is the rub, at least for me. Almost all the houses for blocks around me are inhabited by people who are quiet and responsible. That is what makes the neighborhood great in the first place. But if prospective buyers look at their prospective neighbors, or worse hear the profanity-laced threats spewed between their neighbors, this otherwise great neighborhood registers in their minds as a not-so-great neighborhood. People who think bad behavior is normal are the only people who will not see it as a serious drawback. The difference is tens of thousands of dollars to me. Money I feel I've earned by being a good neighbor in the first place, meticulously mainting my home, and essentially not being a problem for my neighbors.
Perhaps residential areas should be zoned, quiet or ...not, I guess. Where do my neighbor's civil rights end, and mine begin to protect me?
I have two options. The first choice is to, individually or combine resources with other like-minded neighbors, file an expensive, long, drawn-out civil suit to enforce laws that already exist. OH, we'd also be risking being labeled as elitist and politically incorrect by the local press, too. We could sue for monetary retribution for our property's devaluation; or just hassle the dump people till they get tired of it and leave. Or try to get the courts to uphold our civil rights. We'd never see the money even if we won it, and people's right to be terrible to their neighbors seems to be favored over people's rights not to be near terrible neighbors lately.
The other option is to buy a truckload of pork rinds, make a trail of them to, say...the Cape Perpetua Overlook, and put large quantities of beer near one of the steep cliffs. The best outcome would be that they follow the trail, drink the beer, and fall off the cliff. Even the worst outcome would be that my neighborhood is nicer till I can sell my house. Either way, the neighborhood wins.
Anybody want to make a donation to my pork rind fund?
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