Walking Wonders

That grass is about 3 feet high.  Our neighbor mows his lawn once a year.  Usually after it is about 3-5 feet high.  And when I say he mows his lawn, what I mean is, well…One year he paid someone to come do it.  Like some random guy, not a lawn company.  The guy came out, mowed the front, then opened the gate to the rear, took one look and left.  The back yard is essentially a tree garden, but the “trees” are actually weeds which he is cultivating by never mowing his back yard in the 5 years he’s lived here.  Last year he went out and started mowing his front yard.  I was shocked when I saw this as I assumed he didn’t have a mower.  Why else would he not be mowing his lawn.  The fun part of this story is that the grass was so high, he took one swipe and the lawn mower puttered out.  So what did he do?  He left that one swipe in the middle of his yard for 3 months until the town came out to mow it for him.  This year I complained to the HOA and the Town.  Apparently the Town will mow it then send him a $450 bill.  They haven’t come round yet, but I’ve seen the Town trucks scoping it out.  Yesterday UPS delivered a brand new lawn mower to his front door.  I told my husband about the new mower, and hubby got a little pissed off saying “all he needed to do was clean the other mower!”  My neighbor is simply an example of what I’ve been noticing about our neighbors.  A trend in carelessness.

My son and I walk the neighborhood every morning.  We take a different path every day, go to some parts one day and other parts the next.  A few things remain constant no matter what street or section of our neighborhood we walk in.  These are my pet peeves:

1.  Numerous little black bags of dog poop gathered around mailboxes or outside garage doors.  Hey, awesome that you’re bagging your dog’s poo!  But can you put it in a trash can?  I can almost understand throwing them just outside your garage door because that shows you might intend to throw them in a can that might be in your garage, but at the mailbox? So when the carrier comes to deliver your mail he has to deal with the smell and sight of a weeks worth of dog poop sweltering in black bags under the mailbox?  Disgusting!

2.  Broken items, items meant for repair, or just junk outside your front door.  I get it…super convenient to put that thing you’re working on at the stoop outside your front door – easy reminder to get to it, right?  But when that item stays there for ages, it’s clearly not a good place for you to be reminded to work on it.  Case in point, one of my neighbors has had a 5 foot shutter leaning against the house by the front door for the entirety of the time I’ve been living here – over 5 years.  The shutter came off one of the windows, so the empty spot is still there near where the shutter sits.  Classy!

3.  Leaving trash cans and recycling bins at the curb long after trash and recycling day have passed.  I understand that sometimes it might not be convenient to pull them into the garage when you get home.  Maybe you have groceries or kids to bring in.  But when trash day is Monday, and your trash bin is still at the curb Thursday, you’re just lazy.  Another issue with this is kids.  Our neighborhood houses one of the elementary schools in town.  That being said, tons of kids walk our sidewalks every morning and afternoon to get to and from school.  These bins are in the sidewalk, blocking the way and forcing the kids into yards and streets.  Slackers!

4.  On that same note, did you know it is a ticket-able offense to park your car over a sidewalk?  If it forces folks to get off the sidewalk and walk into the street to get around your car, you can get a ticket.  Yesterday my son and I had to go into the street (along with all the elementary school students on the way to school) because some punk pulled into a full driveway and blocked the sidewalk.  We don’t live in New York City, there is plenty of street parking.  Super rude and very dangerous!

5.  Homes in complete disrepair.  Now we’ve all seen homes that could use a little fixing up, right?  I’m sure all of our houses could use a fresh coat of paint and a power washing.  But today we saw one house in particular that had a jacked-up window, completely warped fascia board, and paint peeling off the entirety of the exterior of the house.  This house has a relatively young family living in it, lots of coming and going, and fully capable occupants.  And this house is directly next to one of the most beautiful houses in our neighborhood.  Gross!

6.  Animal holes in attic fans/vents.  This might not seem important to some, or even noticeable to others, but I know what causes those huge holes and you should too – Raccoons, Squirrels and Opossums.  All of which harbor diseases and can destroy your home.  What shocks me is that people let them go.  I’ve seen houses that had huge holes in their attic vents last year, and that same hole is still there this year!  You mean you went through winter with a hole in your attic?  Snow?  Now not only do you have animals breeding in your attic, but you have mold.  Last year I noticed the neighbor across the street had one.  I hoped he noticed, and I let it go for about 2 weeks.  Then I sent hubby over to let him know he had a hole.  His response?  “Oh, I know.  I asked the boys if they did it and they said no.”  Well, that’s that, then, right?

7.  This one might piss you off.  But I’m going to write about it anyway.  For Rent signs.  That’s right.  Huge signs in the yard that say “For Rent.”  You might think I’m being a total snot about this, but hear me out.  The house I live in now is owned by me.  I bought this house with my hard earned money.  This is also the first house I’ve EVER lived in that someone in my family owned.  I grew up in rented homes and apartments – lots of them.  I rented until 5 years ago when I bought this one.  That being said, I have NOTHING agains folks who are renting, or homeowners who decide to rent their home.  My issue here is threefold.  One is the big-ass sign.  It is the for sale sign that you see everywhere to let you know a house is for sale.  Except that this sign has “FOR RENT” on it in huge red letters.  It just looks bad to see that all over a single-family-home neighborhood.  You find yourself wondering why all these homes are for rent and not for sale.  The second reason is the property values.  Let’s say you’re out looking for a new home to buy.  You go into this neighborhood and see a bunch of for rent signs.  You immediately start questioning it, and might not buy a house there.  There are also the websites that show you how many houses are for rent vs. for sale, and how many are owner occupied vs. rented.  Then the values of the homes in the neighborhood start to decrease.  The third reason I take issue with this is that SOME renters don’t care for their property like a home owner would.  Case-in-point, my left side neighbors.  The owners moved out one day with no notice and a few guys moved in almost the next day.  They’re loud, stand outside and smoke & drink, and they don’t take care of the house.  They also have weed trees growing in the back yard.

I take great pride in my home.  This is the first home I’ve ever lived in that we owned.  I bought this place!  I pay the mortgage.  I spend lots of time and money on making it look better, and just as much on repairing it when disaster strikes.  I just find it insulting when folks don’t have decency to care for their property, thus making all my efforts on mine for moot.

Oh, and if you thought I was done, here is another…If you want to sell your home and have for sale sign in the yard, you might want to mow your lawn and pick up the trash cans.  No one even wants to see your house if you couldn’t bother.  No wonder you have to keep dropping the price and taking it off the market.