Your neighbor's yard is an eyesore - wwyd? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 36 Old 11-10-2013, 03:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
mamazee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: US midwest
Posts: 7,528
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Every neighborhood has one neighbor who doesn't mow or take care of the yard and leaves trash and toys out all over, right? At least almost every neighborhood I've lived in has. Is there any good way to handle that? Is there something you can say to a neighbor to encourage them kindly to keep the neighborhood looking nicer?
mamazee is offline  
#2 of 36 Old 11-10-2013, 04:39 AM
 
katelove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,751
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
I don't think so. Unless there is some reason like it is an elderly person who isn't physically able to do the work or someone who doesn't have a lawn mower and doesn't have the means to get one. Then perhaps you could offer to help or loan equipment.

If it is just that they don't value a tidy garden then no, I don't really think there is anything you can say that doesn't have the potential to be taken badly.

WWID? Probably feel resentful and gripe to DH and feel bad about feeling resentful and griping to DH and try to think of reasons why they haven't done it and why I shouldn't judge. And then feel righteous about being so tolerant and then feel guilty for feeling righteous because it should just be my default to give people the benefit of the doubt because my yard isn't usually perfect and that's what I would want them to do for me. But, possibly you don't have my issues bag.gif

Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012  mdcblog5.gif

katelove is online now  
#3 of 36 Old 11-10-2013, 10:32 AM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,705
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
If the grass is too long it may qualify as a firecode violation. You may have recourse under the neighborhood covenants if you have any. Your city may have a code that covers some of the issues, like things blocking the sidewalk and overhanging branches. Otherwise I have no idea what you could do unless you are willing to be blunt and offer he'll or equipment.
One_Girl is online now  
#4 of 36 Old 11-16-2013, 09:22 AM
 
ancoda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Round Rock, Texas
Posts: 1,263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Most cities and counties have code that have to be followed, but most places things have to get pretty bad before they are in violation of those. 

This is why lots of people love to live in places with HOAs. I have found most of our HOAs to be rather annoying, but they do help keep things pretty most of the time. 


oAlisha- eternal companion to mike:, mother to three energetic boys (02):, (05), and (07) and one sweet little girl 3/13.  Two in heaven.7/21/2010, 11/05/2011 mecry.gif.

ancoda is offline  
#5 of 36 Old 11-16-2013, 09:55 AM
 
mamabear0314's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,260
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

Nothing, other peoples yards are none of my business. I dont interfere with other peoples lives unless there is abuse of a child/elder going on and a messy yard doesnt indicate either.


Single, student mama slingboy.gif to 3 boys jumpers.gif 

 

homeschool.gif saynovax.gif signcirc1.gif bfinfant.gif femalesling.GIF familybed2.gif h20homebirth.gif 

mamabear0314 is offline  
#6 of 36 Old 11-16-2013, 07:00 PM
 
gitanamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: High desert or Peruvian coast
Posts: 521
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm the owner of one of those yards you're upset about (insert blushing emoticon here.) We don't have trash in our yard, but we do have DS's plastic toys strewn about. Also, DH runs a landscaping business from home, so there are always tools and machines here and there. He tries to keep them tidy, but they still aren't really nice to look at. Luckily we live on a very diverse neighborhood- some houses with impeccable gardens and never so much as a rake left out of place and others with junk cars and old couches out front. I would suggest looking away when you drive past a house that you know will annoy you. It's hard to know what's really going on in your neighnor's lives- maybe they have a legit reason for having a messy yard. Or maybe they're just like me and got tired of spending every waking moment cleaning up. wink1.gif
mamabear0314 likes this.

~may all beings be free from suffering~
gitanamama is offline  
#7 of 36 Old 11-17-2013, 02:41 PM
 
mariamadly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,430
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)

DH was deployed from an active-duty army post during the Gulf War.  DS1 was a toddler, and DS2 was just a great idea for someday.  I was really casual about our yard to say the least.  One morning, I woke up to some very pretty yellow ribbons tied around the larger and more tree-like grass specimens -- my neighbor's point about how out-of-hand the lawn was getting.  :P

 

Fast-forward about ten years and we're living in an HOA-run community here in New England (bought from my parents, would never have picked it otherwise) with a very WASPy board, rules about upkeep, no laundry outside, types of outdoor decorating by the townhouse residents restricted, etc.  It was an appalling resident-community match, so we moved as soon as we were able to . . . but not before fantasizing about putting an El Camino on blocks with a "For Sale" sign in a foreign language.


Empty-nesting SAHM to DS1 (1989), DS2 (1992), an underachieving Bernese Mountain Dog (2006-2014), and an overachieving mother (1930).  Married to DH since 1986.
mariamadly is online now  
#8 of 36 Old 11-17-2013, 04:45 PM
 
rachelsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 1,555
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

Every neighborhood has one neighbor who doesn't mow or take care of the yard and leaves trash and toys out all over, right? At least almost every neighborhood I've lived in has. Is there any good way to handle that? Is there something you can say to a neighbor to encourage them kindly to keep the neighborhood looking nicer?


Is the messy yard posing any sort of danger, or is it just something you don't enjoy looking at?  If it's a matter of aesthetics, is it worth risking a feud over it, or would it be less stress in the long run to just get in the habit of looking the other way?  Personally, I much prefer messy yards over the yards that are kept immaculate through the liberal use of chemicals.  And after living with a view of a large parking lot, I appreciate views that include plant life, even if the plants are a bit rambunctious.

mamabear0314 likes this.
rachelsmama is offline  
#9 of 36 Old 11-17-2013, 04:53 PM
 
dalia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,982
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post

WWID? Probably feel resentful and gripe to DH and feel bad about feeling resentful and griping to DH and try to think of reasons why they haven't done it and why I shouldn't judge. And then feel righteous about being so tolerant and then feel guilty for feeling righteous because it should just be my default to give people the benefit of the doubt because my yard isn't usually perfect and that's what I would want them to do for me. But, possibly you don't have my issues bag.gif

OMG ARE YOU ME????!!! LMAO!!!
Springshowers likes this.

Wife to one amazing husband superhero.gif, SAHM to DS bouncy.gif 10/09, DS babyboy.gif 10/19,  one furbaby dog2.gif, and lots of chicken3.gif!

 
joy.gif

dalia is offline  
#10 of 36 Old 11-17-2013, 05:56 PM
 
MichelleZB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 966
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

It's just a yard, so no, I wouldn't do anything about it. I have bigger fish to fry.

MichelleZB is offline  
#11 of 36 Old 11-17-2013, 07:34 PM
 
philomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 9,427
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Keep calling the code office and have other neighbors call, too. These unsightly homes can lower home values and that's important.
One_Girl likes this.
philomom is offline  
#12 of 36 Old 11-17-2013, 08:27 PM
 
mama24-7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: with the dust bunnies
Posts: 2,436
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

Another owner of an eye sore yard here!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by gitanamama View Post

I'm the owner of one of those yards you're upset about (insert blushing emoticon here.) We don't have trash in our yard, but we do have DS's plastic toys strewn about. Also, DH runs a landscaping business from home, so there are always tools and machines here and there. He tries to keep them tidy, but they still aren't really nice to look at. Luckily we live on a very diverse neighborhood- some houses with impeccable gardens and never so much as a rake left out of place and others with junk cars and old couches out front. I would suggest looking away when you drive past a house that you know will annoy you. It's hard to know what's really going on in your neighnor's lives- maybe they have a legit reason for having a messy yard. Or maybe they're just like me and got tired of spending every waking moment cleaning up. wink1.gif

Tired of cleaning up is me too!  My children have varying degrees of food allergies from just a few to can't eat more than he can.  I spend the majority of my time on food.  Right now it's 11:19pm.  I just got done washing the buckwheat groats I'm going to soak to make the crackers that my son eats (which is about 25% of his diet - the groats first get sorted, then washed w/ baking soda three times, then rinsed, then ground up in the food processor w/ a few other ingredients to make cracker batter - it's a long process!).  Dh is traveling for work so all food stuff (prep, cook, clean up, etc.) is on me right now.  My little one will probably wake at 6:30am.  So, the last thing I have energy for after doing this day in & day out (dh helps more than probably your average dad but no where near enough to truly be helpful to me) is clean up my yard.  Unfortunately, this house we bought had a lot of landscaping & for some reason that is not known to either of us, we didn't discuss how we'd care for the yard when we bought it.  We did that twice.

 

I'm sure my neighbors aren't too happy w/ us.  Dh keeps the yard mowed & usually does the leaves (my dad did them this year - dh was in the hospital last month & things have been slow to get done since).  I've mentioned the potential for our yard to bring down property values around us & my dad who has been working at ripping out landscaping to make it grass (I'd prefer other stuff but don't have the energy to do it myself so it won't get done).  My dad has some very unconventional ideas about how to convert stuff so it looks terrible until there's grass seed put down.

 

All this to say, your neighbors have reasons for why their yard is the way it is.  Maybe make friends & then you can help each other out, either w/ yard work (who doesn't want a garden?  I'm sure there's someone somewhere but it ain't me!) or w/ other tasks that are likely too big for a single or married person household anyway.

 

Best wishes,

Sus


Baby the babies while they're babies so they don't need babying for a lifetime.
mama24-7 is online now  
#13 of 36 Old 11-17-2013, 09:38 PM
 
ananas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,993
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm with some of the others, I have too much going on to even care about what my neighbor's yards look like.


Newly single, chronically sleep deprived mama to my little wild thang wild.gif, born 11/17/12 

fly-by-nursing1.gif

ananas is offline  
#14 of 36 Old 11-18-2013, 05:49 AM
 
mamabear0314's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,260
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

If property values are that important to you, you should live in a HOA area. If I lived somewhere with such petty neighbors who took the time to make my life harder, I would then take the time to make my yard as obnoxious as possible, while still staying in code. ;)

mamarhu and rachelsmama like this.

Single, student mama slingboy.gif to 3 boys jumpers.gif 

 

homeschool.gif saynovax.gif signcirc1.gif bfinfant.gif femalesling.GIF familybed2.gif h20homebirth.gif 

mamabear0314 is offline  
#15 of 36 Old 11-18-2013, 07:22 AM
 
stormborn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,671
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

Is there any good way to handle that? Is there something you can say to a neighbor to encourage them kindly to keep the neighborhood looking nicer?
Honestly, I can't think of any approach that wouldn't make me cry. I do try to keep the yard presentable but dh and I care for my Mom, his Grandmom, homeschool our children and work (night shift for me, running a business for him). There are only so many hours to work with and having a perfect lawn is so far down my priority list right now that the best I can do is keep the toys and tools in some semblance of order between feedings and butt-wipings! Fortunately we live in a diverse neighborhood with no HOA.
rachelsmama likes this.
stormborn is offline  
#16 of 36 Old 11-18-2013, 07:32 AM
 
JollyGG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,645
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gitanamama View Post

I'm the owner of one of those yards you're upset about (insert blushing emoticon here.) We don't have trash in our yard, but we do have DS's plastic toys strewn about. Also, DH runs a landscaping business from home, so there are always tools and machines here and there. He tries to keep them tidy, but they still aren't really nice to look at. Luckily we live on a very diverse neighborhood- some houses with impeccable gardens and never so much as a rake left out of place and others with junk cars and old couches out front. I would suggest looking away when you drive past a house that you know will annoy you. It's hard to know what's really going on in your neighnor's lives- maybe they have a legit reason for having a messy yard. Or maybe they're just like me and got tired of spending every waking moment cleaning up. wink1.gif

Same here. I'm the owner of the unkept yard. We don't mow as often as we should, we still haven't raked this fall, the dogs have torn up the back yard. Our city has pretty strict ordinances and our neighbors call on us at least monthly. All they've really accomplished by doing so is that I now resent them and don't want anything to do with them. I fix up whatever the code violation is, pass the follow up inspection, then continue to let it ride for a while. At one point the calls were getting rather petty and I did inform the city that I didn't want to hear from them if the complaint was anonymous, as they'd need a record of who called when I subpoena those for my harassment law suit. The visits trailed off for about a year, before picking back up again.

 

For us it's an issue of time, with two working parents and kids in multiple activities it just falls to the wayside. Another issue is cost. I'd love to reseed the yard, and can afford the seed, but I can't afford the watering bill to get the seed established. It's a little bit of know how. I honestly don't know how to get the thistle to stop growing in my yard. It makes my head spin to try and figure out when I'm supposed to fertilize, seed, put down pre weed preventer, do an overall weed and feed, etc. But all of these excuses can be summed up to priorities. I simply have other things I prefer to prioritize my time and money on. I have offered to split the cost of a privacy fence with any neighbor who wants to take me up on it so they don't have to see my yard. But since no one has yet taken me up on the offer we'll keep slowly saving up the money to buy it ourselves.

EarthRootsStarSoul likes this.

Mom to DS 4/24/03 and DD 4/17/06
JollyGG is online now  
#17 of 36 Old 11-18-2013, 08:26 AM
AAK
 
AAK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Eastern Washington
Posts: 3,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)

I finally have to reply to this thread.  There are so many definitions of "eyesore" for a yard.  

 

We have a rental house and there was one renter that was terrible and the neighbors kept calling us.  The family was just tossing bags of trash in the back yard, eventually some of these got opened up and trash was everywhere.  I agreed with the neighbors that this wasn't acceptable--the trash didn't just stay at the one house and the neighborhood was dealing with it constantly.

 

We don't have neighbors that are close enough to bother us with their yard.  However, we have before.  Firstly, I don't think anyone's backyard is the business of the neighbors.  Our trash example was an exception because it opened up (smelled, and went everywhere).  I don't care if toys are left around.  Personally, I don't want my kids to leave toys out front because I wouldn't want them to be taken, but if others leave them out front is up to them.  

 

Mowing: again the backyard is off limits for complaints in this regard.  However, if the front yard was never being mowed (and it actually bothered me), I would offer to do it.  Some people really have situations that make it difficult to get this done.  I would offer to do the front, but would accept it if I was turned down.  

 

Hedge maintenance, etc.--give it up.  That is what I would do.  

 

Weed control--this would be a bit annoying because we try to control our weeds.  We do so without lots of chemicals, but if someones weeds were taking over our lawn, dh would want to use chemicals.  However, if the person was mowing, I wouldn't say anything.  The yellow clover though (is the worst) and it doesn't spread with seeds so I know if we shared a border, dh would go and talk about weed control methods with the neighbors.  He could do this in a nice way; it would be better for me to stay home.  :-)

 

Watering--give it up.  Water in our area is cheap, but not everywhere.  We did have a neighbor whose front yard dried up.  Turns out that they had some stuff going on.  When things settled down and her dh returned home (I believe he was in jail--but why he was gone isn't relevant) they started watering again.  We never mentioned it to them, because it wasn't our business.

 

So, I guess I would only really be bothered by garbage.  If I was trying to sell my house and was worried about a particular house, I would go over (explain my situation) and offer to provide the care it needed while I was waiting for my house to sell.  If I felt the need to bring anything up, I would make every effort to do so as a friendly neighbor who wanted to help (if possible).  I don't think being bitchy is helpful in this case.  You don't know what is going on in their lives.  

 

Several neighborhoods in our area have "neighborhood clean up days" in which they take a weekend in the fall and spring (as a group) to tidy up the neighborhood and they have a nice potluck a the end.  I see this in neighborhoods with lots of leaves (helps to do this all at once so that the wind doesn't thwart your efforts the next day).   Everyone helps everyone else and they seem to have a good time.  It isn't a finger pointing event.

 

My close friend offered her backyard to her neighbor.  She wasn't keeping up with her garden area and decided to throw in the towel.  Her neighbor was an avid gardener and loved the chance to expand.  My friend pays the water bill and the neighbor does the work.  My friend gets some produce and everyone is happy. 

 

Amy

Springshowers likes this.

Mom to three very active girls Anna (14), Kayla (11), Maya (8). 
AAK is offline  
#18 of 36 Old 11-18-2013, 08:57 AM
 
farmermomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Indiana
Posts: 801
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Yep. It's me. Feel free to mow my lawn. Clean my house. Etc. I've thought about turning myself in but the cows and corn have never complained.
farmermomma is online now  
#19 of 36 Old 11-18-2013, 09:20 AM
 
dalia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,982
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by micah_mae_ View Post

If property values are that important to you, you should live in a HOA area. If I lived somewhere with such petty neighbors who took the time to make my life harder, I would then take the time to make my yard as obnoxious as possible, while still staying in code. wink1.gif

We don't live in an HOA area, but property values are important to us. It really doesn't matter where anyone lives or how much the houses are worth, losing money sucks. I would say that if a neighbor's yard was so bad that it lowered property value, then it would make their neighbor's lives harder. It's about being considerate, IMHO. We don't have a perfect yard, but we don't have junk and garbage all over the place either. Our backyard has several garden beds and a big area for my chickens and ducks. I am constantly checking with my neighbors to make sure they are okay with it.
journeymom likes this.

Wife to one amazing husband superhero.gif, SAHM to DS bouncy.gif 10/09, DS babyboy.gif 10/19,  one furbaby dog2.gif, and lots of chicken3.gif!

 
joy.gif

dalia is offline  
#20 of 36 Old 11-18-2013, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
mamazee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: US midwest
Posts: 7,528
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I'm not worried about a yard looking perfect. We don't put chemicals down, so we don't have nice grass as it doesn't really grow here without chemicals. But what we have is fairly tidy.

I'm more concerned about having a bunch of stuff around the yard for vermin to breed in. Their kids don't pick up after themselves and the stuff just seems to stay out there forever. And then there's so much stuff out that they can't really mow unless they pick it all up. And I don't expect a yard to be perfect, but when it hasn't been mowed in along time you can get critters living in it, particularly when there are all sorts of things out to use as shelter, and they try to move into other people's yards.

I think there are minimum standards people should keep their yards at. Not perfect, and nothing requiring chemicals, but just making kids pick up after themselves or going outside every day or so to pick up what they've left out, and then mowing when it starts getting really long.
mamazee is offline  
#21 of 36 Old 11-18-2013, 02:23 PM
 
mariamadly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,430
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I'm not worried about a yard looking perfect. We don't put chemicals down, so we don't have nice grass as it doesn't really grow here without chemicals. But what we have is fairly tidy.

I'm more concerned about having a bunch of stuff around the yard for vermin to breed in. Their kids don't pick up after themselves and the stuff just seems to stay out there forever. And then there's so much stuff out that they can't really mow unless they pick it all up. And I don't expect a yard to be perfect, but when it hasn't been mowed in along time you can get critters living in it, particularly when there are all sorts of things out to use as shelter, and they try to move into other people's yards.

I think there are minimum standards people should keep their yards at. Not perfect, and nothing requiring chemicals, but just making kids pick up after themselves or going outside every day or so to pick up what they've left out, and then mowing when it starts getting really long.


Well, this is more a safety issue than the "eyesore" that seemed to be the scope of the OP.  I don't know what part of the country / world you're in, but the "v" word would really bother me -- I'm thinking poisonous snakes, rats, something along those lines?  So, ugh.  I think if things started getting to this point, I'd consider some of the more compassionate approaches above posters mentioned; something along the lines of reaching out for starters.


Empty-nesting SAHM to DS1 (1989), DS2 (1992), an underachieving Bernese Mountain Dog (2006-2014), and an overachieving mother (1930).  Married to DH since 1986.
mariamadly is online now  
#22 of 36 Old 11-19-2013, 08:21 PM
 
journeymom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Having a Gilly Water with McGonagall
Posts: 9,804
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

We were those neighbors. Sorry.  We were in over our heads with that house.   We did NOT live in a diverse neighborhood (really good point), we were the only ones with a run-down yard. All the rest were big and well maintained.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mama24-7 View Post
 

Unfortunately, this house we bought had a lot of landscaping & for some reason that is not known to either of us, we didn't discuss how we'd care for the yard when we bought it.  We did that twice.

Oh my word, this was us. We bought this big, lovely house on a third acre and THEN discovered that dh is allergic to the great out doors and can't mow the lawn or trim the bushes without collapsing and gasping for breath, rashes up and down his arms.  Neither of us are handy, so when sprinklers broke they basically stayed broken. We tore out the ivy that covered the hill in the front yard when we discovered rats living in there. Always with the intention of re-landscaping it. But our income dwindled severely, so in 10 years, we never did re landscape. Just a big, ugly dirt hill for our poor neighbors across the street to look at. 

 

We moved into a rental and, hallelujah, mow and blow gardeners come with the rent.  When the fence gate came loose, the land lady had someone come fix it.  And there is plenty of diversity.  There are lovely, neat and tidy yards with meticulously painted picket fences, as well as overgrown yards with dead grass and tires stacked next to the front door.  YAY! We're not the messy ones!   And there's someone down the road who's been building a nice retaining wall, for 2 or 3 months now.  The whole area is torn up, and messy.  I kinda don't like it, but whatever, I'm impressed he's doing this himself. We'd never have the gumption to do a yard project like that.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by micah_mae_ View Post
 

If property values are that important to you, you should live in a HOA area. If I lived somewhere with such petty neighbors who took the time to make my life harder, I would then take the time to make my yard as obnoxious as possible, while still staying in code. ;)

Who's petty?  Not all HOA's restrict what color paint you can use or whether you can put garden gnomes in your yard.  Many of them simply are for keeping the yard in decent condition.

 

I felt horrible and embarrassed when it occurred to me that our personal home owner issues might be lowering the value of our neighbors' homes.

dalia likes this.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
journeymom is offline  
#23 of 36 Old 11-19-2013, 09:31 PM
 
mamabear0314's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,260
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post
 

Quote:

Who's petty?  Not all HOA's restrict what color paint you can use or whether you can put garden gnomes in your yard.  Many of them simply are for keeping the yard in decent condition.

 

I felt horrible and embarrassed when it occurred to me that our personal home owner issues might be lowering the value of our neighbors' homes.

 I guess I'm crazy, I believe if you spend your hard-earned money to buy a piece of property, you should be able to do whatever you want with it. I don't believe in bothering other people. 

It's a moot point though as we live in the middle of 25 acres where no one can see the house. ;)

rachelsmama likes this.

Single, student mama slingboy.gif to 3 boys jumpers.gif 

 

homeschool.gif saynovax.gif signcirc1.gif bfinfant.gif femalesling.GIF familybed2.gif h20homebirth.gif 

mamabear0314 is offline  
#24 of 36 Old 11-19-2013, 10:21 PM
 
journeymom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Having a Gilly Water with McGonagall
Posts: 9,804
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by micah_mae_ View Post
 

 I guess I'm crazy, I believe if you spend your hard-earned money to buy a piece of property, you should be able to do whatever you want with it. I don't believe in bothering other people. 

It's a moot point though as we live in the middle of 25 acres where no one can see the house. ;)

 

No, not crazy.  I'm just looking at the flip side of the same coin. I don't think it's okay to bother nice neighbors with a really unsightly yard. I guess it just feels like a social obligation.

 

But- I never felt like I belonged in that neighborhood anyway.  The middle of 25 acres sounds lovely. 


Someone moved my effing cheese.
journeymom is offline  
#25 of 36 Old 11-20-2013, 05:31 AM
 
rachelsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 1,555
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post
 

Quote:

Who's petty?  Not all HOA's restrict what color paint you can use or whether you can put garden gnomes in your yard.  Many of them simply are for keeping the yard in decent condition.

 

I felt horrible and embarrassed when it occurred to me that our personal home owner issues might be lowering the value of our neighbors' homes.


 Don't feel horible!  If the tax bills are calculated there the way they're calculated here, you were keeping the tax bills down!  ;)

rachelsmama is offline  
#26 of 36 Old 11-20-2013, 06:45 AM
 
NiteNicole's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,696
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

Unless someone is cooking meth, selling drugs, or making a huge amount of noise, it's not my business. ETA: this list is not exhaustive.  Obviously things like getting drunk and passing out on the lawn, throwing massive parties on the reg, having so much trash your place stinks - these are neighborhood problems that can impact your quality of life and in some cases, health.  If the person (elderly, overwhelmed) needs help, offer to help.  Tall grass and shaggy flower beds don't bother me, nor do toys on the lawn and bikes in the driveway.  Once you start to stink and attract raccoons, you've probably crossed a line ;-)

 

Most people who can physically or financially keep up their lawns will do the best they can.  If they don't have the equipment, time, or money to do it, what is the point of complaining?  My neighbor has three small children (two under three with special needs and frequent hospital stays).  Her husband left about six months ago.  She can not afford to pay someone and does not have the time or equipment to do it herself.  One neighbor is giving her hell about her yard every other week.  WHY?  Other than getting her kids to cut the grass with safety scissors, she really doesn't have any options.  No one on our street is trying to sell a house so "bringing down property values" isn't really all that relevant. 

NiteNicole is offline  
#27 of 36 Old 11-20-2013, 09:52 AM
 
MaggieLC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 410
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

The people who live to the East of us have had problems with their yard. When we first moved in 21 years ago, they never mowed, and never took their garbage to the curb. I saw their then teen aged son grab a dead animal their dog had killed and throw it into a discarded microwave oven that was lying in their yard and leave it there, laughing. The smell was coming into our house, so it WAS our business. Plus, we were worried that it would attract rats. We were given some excuse that the husband had "hurt his back" and he couldn't take out the garbage (why the teenage son or the wife couldn't do it, I have no idea.) My DH offered to do it for them, and they told him to go (%#% himself. Then they told the neighbors that they had "lived here longer than" we had (so?) and we were getting in their business. We've never really been on good terms with them. They did eventually take out the garbage, but it piled up often.

 

We don't put chemicals on our lawn, nor do we do much besides mow, But it isn't difficult or expensive to keep the garbage off the lawn, keep the house looking like squatters aren't living there and mow the lawn once in a while. We live in a society, we're not islands.

 

We live in a area that was going to be sold to developers (which would have been amazingly great, as we would have gotten top dollar for our house and property, plus a bonus) then the economy collapsed and the developer pulled out. So a lot of the houses were on the market and one guy bought them up (he lives in the rich part of town, NOT here)  and he's a slum lord and he has pretty sketchy renters that take NO interest in the houses or their surroundings. These are "Domestic Disturbances on the Front Lawn, Screaming and Yelling and Drunk and Firearms" people. Lovely. It used to be a nice neighborhood. It's gotten better in recent months. Maybe his renters all went to jail, I have no idea. :mischief

 

I believe it IS somewhat one's business when your neighbors don't take care of their property, because the lack of care for your neighbor's property has an impact on your houses' value.

 

How to approach it is an other story. If people can't do it themselves, maybe offering to help, if you can is good. But, if they just don't care, dang, I'd call the Blight Council in your town. Most towns have laws against having poorly maintained property and uncut grass. If worse comes to worse, and it will either effect the value of your house or there is a risk of rats and other things like that, I'd call the Blight Council.

 

Of course, we don't have a Blight Council. We live in a unincorporated area, and the county pretty much just pretends we don't exist. Our house broken into some years ago (it  was a squirrel who had left the house in shambles, we found out, when I found her, but we didn't know that when we can home to a trashed house on afternoon) and the police took 40 minutes to show up. When I called for the 4th time, I was told, "But, you live so far from the Sheriff's Station." Really? Aren't they supposed to drive around every area? OK. I'll shut up now.


Attachment Parenting: The radical notion that children are human. bfinfant.gif
MaggieLC is offline  
#28 of 36 Old 11-20-2013, 10:23 AM
 
dalia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,982
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree with MaggieLC. Yes, your yard belongs to you, but if your negligence effects me in a negative way then I think the considerate thing to do is make an effort to fix it. Her story reminds me of my parents, whose neighborhood totally went down hill when folks moved in who didn't care about how their yard or houselooked. When it came time for my mom to sell, she barely got anything. The whole tone of the neighborhood went down and crime went way up. It was sad.

Like I said, it's not about being perfect, just about being considerate and doing the best you can. Of course it's best to offer help if you see someone struggling rather than immediately calling authorities.

Wife to one amazing husband superhero.gif, SAHM to DS bouncy.gif 10/09, DS babyboy.gif 10/19,  one furbaby dog2.gif, and lots of chicken3.gif!

 
joy.gif

dalia is offline  
#29 of 36 Old 11-20-2013, 10:32 AM
 
rachelsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 1,555
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)

I wonder if the responses would have been different if the question in the OP was phrased a bit differently.  I think most of us would agree that drifting garbage and catering to vermin (critters don't understand property lines) is a reason to be concerned, while there's much more debate about whether the appearance of a yard is anybody else's business.  By the time it became clear that the OP was referring to the first type of problem, the thread had turned into a debate about the second type of neighbour's yard.

mamabear0314 likes this.
rachelsmama is offline  
#30 of 36 Old 11-20-2013, 01:04 PM
 
MaggieLC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 410
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm reading some of the responses on the first page and I don't know if some people don't own houses and are just guessing at what it takes to just mow a lawn or what. I don't care if people own or not, but "taking care" of a front or back yard isn't that much effort. We never fertilize, kill weeds, edge, plant sod etc. My DH cuts the lawn. (Now, all of our acre with a push mower, because our riding mower broke and we can't afford a new one.) That's it, cuts the lawn and once or twice a year we get out the hedge trimmers (person powered, not electric or gas) and cut dead branches and some hedges that have gotten out of line. It's just part of owning or living in a freestanding house. Not doing it to me would be like owning a bed and never washing or changing the sheets.... only that wouldn't bring down your neighbor's property values.

 

You don't have to "control weeds" if you mow often. My DH has a saying "as long as it's green." It if's clover, it's clover, if it's grass, it's grass, if it's crab grass, it's crab grass. It is at least all green. He does seed little patches in our side yard once a year because we get bare patches because of lack of sun. But, if nice pretty moss grows there, we just leave it. We don't use chemicals at all, EVER and our lawn is never watered (it would be wasteful with an acre of land, not to mention I can't see the point. Grass is made to withstand some drought, unless you fertilize and add chemicals, then your lawn will turn brown if you go a couple of days without watering.) or fertilized. It's just mowed and it's green and presents nicely.

 

We live in unincorporated, so I'm not asking for much. Just clean and short so that rats and other vermin don't hide out in it. It really does effect property value, in some cases curb appeal can add or take away 20% of the price of your house. I don't think that's fair to cause someone else to lose 20% of the value of your house. There is usually a nice boy in the neighborhood or town who is willing to make some money to mow the grass or worse comes to worse, a landscaping company can come out every 7-10 days in the summer and never in the winter (at least where we live.) Home ownership has responsibility. I'm NOT a neat freak, but I don't want to lose thousands of dollars and have a hard time selling my house when the time comes because some neighbors have every excuse in the book to not follow simple rules of etiquette and respect for the other people who care about how their neighborhood looks. I don't think many people need a lawn edged and perfect, but at least short and not strewn with garbage. Rats are nearly impossible to get rid of once you have them. It's best to not invite them with tall weeds and places for them to hide. It is a problem that effects one's neighbors. 

 

We did look into growing a prairie (as we live in what was once long grass prairie land) but that would have taken a lot of weed control and hand pulling of non-native invasive species, planting many plants by hand ALL over the entire acre, careful weeding out of any seed that fell onto our lawn by accident, etc. It was easier to grow grass, moss and flowers in containers. A friend of ours told everybody at once point he was "growing a prairie" but he didn't do any research and thought all you had to do was let the stuff go. No, he got nothing but thistle and stick plants and bare spots and when I brought up a question (because at first I thought he was serious and was interested) about how he was controlling non-native invasive species and whether he was going long grass or short grass prairie he just looked at me as if he didn't know what I was talking about.. Growing a prairie is a lot of work. MORE work than a lawn. It turned out he just didn't like mowing the lawn or paying someone to do it. He "developed" an allergy to grass to try to get out of mowing, but the village told him it didn't qualify as a prairie (because in our area you can get a permit to have prairie, but you have to do the research and do the work) and they said they could cut it for him.... at $200.00 a mow, once a week. He finally just paid someone to mow it.

 

A friend of mine grew a prairie on his parent's lawn and it took he and all his 7 brothers and sisters to take care of it properly. So, it's not a solution for people who don't have the time or inclination to mow the regular grass.

 

As for the people to our East, they now have what looks like an open roof in a few spots. They had some guy come by a few years ago and slap some shingles on it, but animals or... something rebroke through the hole. I have no idea what's living in there, but heaven help me if I see a rat. My DD said she sees "things" going into and out of the hole" at night, so who knows what's living in there. So help me if I see a rat. I've lived in Chicago and had to deal with rats in our alley, terrified that they would get into our apartment.  I cannot abide rats! They are horrid creatures, they urinate constantly, are filthy, will eat anything and they bite and carry disease.  I just want to know how our neighbors can live with.... things  living and running around right above their heads. It's a one story house.

 

My husband and I have decided that if we can no longer maintain a freestanding house with property, we'll move to a townhouse. There the work will be done for us when it gets to the point where we can't manage it anymore. Until then, I think we have a responsibility to both ourselves and to our neighborhood. I'm into Community and I think this is one of the bases of Community: caring about your neighbor's safety and home values.

 

Rant over, Boy, I really didn't know I felt so passionately about this. I guess losing a third of the value of our home five years ago effected me more than I thought.

AAK, philomom, dalia and 1 others like this.

Attachment Parenting: The radical notion that children are human. bfinfant.gif
MaggieLC is offline  
Reply

Tags
Neighor

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off