What would you change about your neighbourhood?
I write a lot of about neighbourhoods because I think it is much better to have a good house in a great neighbourhood than a great house in a good neighbourhood. (Of course, having a great house in a great neighbourhood is ideal.)
But until you live in a neighbourhood, you will never be completely sure what you will not like about it. And sometimes you have to put up with some inconveniences just to live in a great neighbourhood.
What are some things that bother most people about their neighbourhoods?
So what are the things that bother most people about their neighbourhoods? A recent survey from Porch.com found that busy neighbourhoods with lots of noise and traffic were the biggest complaints.
Another major complaint was crime. No one wants to have to worry about petty property crimes, or worse.
Interestingly and somewhat conversely, too many restrictive home owner association or condominium association rules were also high on the list.
Besides noise from traffic, or backing onto a freeway, or noise from railway tracks and/or rail yards, visual elements also impact homeowners’ enjoyment of their chosen neighbourhoods. Unkept lawns top the list of visual turnoffs, followed by cars parked in yards, homes with poorly maintained exteriors, and homes with bars on windows.
Vacant homes are not appreciated by neighbours. If you ever have to leave your home vacant for more than a few days, please remember to have a friend or family member collect your mail, flyers, newspapers and other things that might pile up on your front porch. Also remember to set a porch light to come on at night and have someone clear the snow or cut the grass depending on the season.
Some vacant homes are foreclosures. I think banks and other lenders can do a better job with preserving nice neighbourhoods while they are selling foreclosed properties.
For completeness, here are some other things that the survey revealed.
Neighbours do not like unfriendly dogs. If you have a bad dog, you could keep him inside.
Neighbours also tend not to like too much individuality. They do not like loud paint colours, lawn ornaments or RVs and boats parked in driveways or out in the open.
Go along, get along
Personally I’m pretty easy going. I also respect everyone’s right to own quiet enjoyment of their home and property. So I’m more of a go along, get along kind of neighbour, not bothered by lawn ornaments and the occasional bit of noise or visual blight.
What is the best Kitchener-Waterloo neighbourhood for you?