Monday, March 3, 2014

OB -- Unhappy with the neighbors

"We retired, sold our house, moved to a new neighborhood and it was wonderful.  Then we found out our neighbors had a different lifestyle and didn't do things the way we do.  Now we feel uncomfortable.   Help!"

I'm going to take at least one glove off for this one.

Just because you paid money for a house in a particular place doesn't make you the local rule-maker.  Unless it's a brand-new development, the community already had its own ordinances and customs. 

What's worse, you moved in among a bunch of people who have already established their personal habits and you expected them to conform to what YOU think their habits ought to be.  You don't get to make that choice.  It's an invasion of personal liberty.

You won't know the ordinances of your new community unless you look them up online -- most localities have their ordinances online now.  But once you move into that community, you are bound by its ordinances. 

And you won't know the habits and characteristics of your new neighbors until you live among them a while.  You have no right to judge them until you know who they are -- and you have no right to judge them after you know who they are, because they are the same people you thought were so nice when you first moved in.

Another version of this is the person who moves in and starts landscaping and gets in trouble with the community because it violates city laws or Home Owner's Agreements or changes the nature of the neighborhood from what it was.  I know about somebody whose favorite landscaping was actually harmful to the property and another who was destroying a State Bird Refuge before the locality put a stop to it.  A third wanted to cut down 100 beautiful mature trees saying they were nut trees and his kids were allergic to nuts; he got stopped by the science that points out the kids would have to actually eat the nuts to have an allergic reaction.

If you live among people who all seem to think the way you do and that's the only way you can be comfortable, STAY WHERE YOU ARE, don't move just because you are retired and have the money for a new house.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

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