*edit: The title was changed in order to Google-up this post
I dislike living in a neighborhood. I look with hope and wonder at the people I know who live out in the country. We lived in the country once…well, three times, actually. Eventually we moved into town, as we thought neighborhood living would be Good For The Children- ready access to friends, the ability to walk to their elementary school,etc. Of course, the Ready Access bit turned out to be highly overrated. The walking to school part was ok, I guess.
Here’s what I think…
You know how, if you’re respectable looking, the car dealer will let you keep a car for a weekend, to see if you really want it?
I think people should be able to ‘test drive’ a house. They should get to stay in it for a couple of weeks, long enough to find out if there’s a guy who works 2nd shift and drives by every night at midnight on his modified mufferless Harley motorcycle. So they can decide if they are ok with hearing the Greek guy next door verbally abuse his wife, loudly and often. To determine if the houseful of college students 2 doors up, and their weekly get togethers with the Jacked Up Truck Club (and it’s 25+ membership, who park on the side of the road and leave tire ruts in the yards where they try to turn around) will be acceptable.
It would be nice to know that the next door neighbor on the other side has a small yappy mop-dog and grandchildren who swim in his pool, grandchildren with mouths like longshoremen and a mother they learned it from. It would give the potential owner an opportunity to decide if golfers climbing the fence (in spite of No Trespassing signs and a locked gate) to retrieve a ball (that SHOULD be a signal to them that they need lessons) would be a source of weekend irritation to the point that one would consider sitting in the shed and taking potshots with a BB gun.
Really, a house is a MUCH bigger investment than a car, and one ought to be able to have the opportunity to discover as much as one can about the non-advertised aspects of home ownership.
*these examples may (or may not) be real-life examples. Probably are, but I will not say definitely as the (possibly theoretical) man with the (possibly theoretical)foul-mouthed grandchildren is (probably) nice enough. The one who (theoretically) verbally abuses his wife may or may not be Greek, but probably looks like one (I am not stereotyping, merely adding some adjectives, the way Mr. Bailey taught me to, in order to add interest to the story). The one with the motorcycle may or may not be male, as midnight is usually too dark to tell for sure. S/he is not theoretical at all, and a single night’s test drive would have revealed that little charmer.