Saturday, September 20, 2008

Plotting to leave the neighborhood

We put our house on the market.

There are a lot of really exciting things about that and a few really sad things. Our friends here in Town-that-thinks-it's-a-city are some of our closest. It is ironic that we are planning a move back to the town that I grew up in, but my oldest, closest friend lives right here in Town-that-thinks-it's-a-city. There is considerably more "diversity" and "culture" here that we are leaving behind (aka- gays and yummy restaurants). But the decision was based mainly on a daily work commute that has become unacceptable to both of the adults in our house. "Decreasing our carbon footprint" has entered into the discussion as has the conversion of some of that wasted time on the highway into some semblance of a daily cardiovascular workout.

Now that the decision has been made, I am less anguished (less afraid it might be a wrong decision) and more EX-cited about the actual moving (I love moving!) and also the end result (less driving everyday).

Our lawn obsessed, (formerly) nicotine-addicted neighbors asked us a six weeks ago if we minded if they mowed our lawn and power-washed our house. They posed the question to Katy who does more of the laundry and dishes than the yard maintenance type work around here. I'm sure I would have gotten offended, defensive, and huffily refused the unsolicited "favor". In the way of an explaination, you need to understand a few blue-collar fears were ingrained in me early on: 1) ownership is 9/10 of the law - if people encroach on your space, they are probably trying to take it and 2) Liability, liability, liability... if people get hurt on your property, they will leave you bankrupt and property-less.

But katy responded to the neighbor in a SarahPalin-esque non-blink:
"Knock yourself out," she told them.

Their rationale was as telling as the request: "We're putting our house on the market." Apparently, the small amounts of mildew on the siding on the back of our house (please recall, I powerwashed the thing myself a season ago when i was 8 months pregnant and prepping for kate-a-palooza) and our lawn (admittedly, I keep it about 1/2 inch longer than theirs as a rule) was at serious risk for decreasing the value of their property. (Comparison has been noted on this blog in the past.)

What surprised me even more than the announcement that they had bought a home in North Carolina and were moving, and then even more than the "If you can't keep a home (and a yard) as we do than we'll just keep it for you" self-enslavement, was the fact that they maintained the every-other day lawn service until this past week. I'm not exaggerating, it was at least every other day... our lawn never even approached a length that my conscience would allow me to burn gasoline to trim it.

Before you get all, "these people sound really reasonable," you should know they readily admitted to us that they have been calling the town on the neighbors across the street and they are "about to be fined" because the paint job on their home is unacceptable. I guess it is unintuitive (to me) obnoxiousness like this that keeps our property values in good standing, but I've never really thought about "telling" on someone to the town if their house makes them look like they are a little down on their luck. The cats and the inhabitants of that house (not to mention the gutters and paint job) have led to kt and I referring to that place as "the group home" since shortly after we moved in. But the truth is, I've always taken some silent comfort int he fact that because of the group home, there is no one that could point to my house and say, "Them!" Unless they were talking about how hot we are or the fact that we pretty much forget we are G.A.A. and kiss through a greeting in the driveway every morning and evening.

The good news: LO(F)NA neighbors sold their house after only 8 days on the market at about 30K more than we bought our place for. So, we feel confident as we approach the sale of the property that we won't lose money on our house.

No comments: