My well-hated, OCD, nasty, grudge-holding, stuck-up neighbor has finally decided to move, and has put her house on the market. The sense of peace and contentment I have now is indescribable, now that she has moved out and I don’t have to worry about being out in my yard when she is out and about.
I want to get good, decent, friendly neighbors. She is asking what I consider a fairly high price for her house, considering the neighborhood and the age of the place and the lack of any interesting features. She has remodeled a great deal, but her tastes ran to gilt mirrors and chandaliers and a lawn jockey that she meticulously painted black every spring. She kept her yard beautifully, but sterilely. She claims a wooded lot, but chopped down almost all the trees except a few ornamentals an one older tree way back at the property line.
Our house is not fancy, and we don’t groom our yard with tweezers, and we certainly aren’t out until ten pm blowing the leaves off the driveway on summer nights. We garden, for food as well as flowers, and prefer to live in our home rather than keep it as a museum. We are practical do-it-yourselfers on a much lower income than hers. We are not pretentious. If we had a dog, and a fenced back yard, we’d let the dog run loose from time to time, rather than walk it out on the leash to do its business and then tie it up on the driveway. Just trying to give you a picture here!
So it’s a really tough housing market these days, and many houses around here have been on the market a while…and some have decided to try to rent it out because selling wasn’t working. We’d like her house to stay empty as long as possible (for the peace factor, as well as to annoy the heck out of her) and for her to be forced to drop her price. We’d like our new neighbors to get a really good deal, rather than be fleeced. We’d like her to perhaps even take a bit of a hit, price-wise, to make up for the harassment and nastiness she has aimed our way the past few years.
She’s already done something that still puzzles us, considering how much stock she puts in appearances…she has left up (and even restrung) a series of wooden stakes connected by string, adorned with fabric ties, down the property line running down the four-foot wide strip of grass than runs between our driveways. She wanted to erect a fence a few years back, and when my mother mentioned to her that the stakes were on our property, not hers, and she’d better make sure the fence didn’t get built on our property, she had a hissy and called out the city…who apparently told her she couldn’t put up a fence there anyhow. But out of spite, she has left up this ugly series of stakes for three years, repairing it whenever deer trip over it and drag parts off, or when the wind blows it down (she has an amusing little nasty song she sings to herself while repairing it, that blames my son for pulling it down…charming and so creative!) We thought for sure her realtor would advise her to take the eyesore down, but apparently not.
So what could we do, legally, on our property, that would devalue her house, while not affecting our propety values? The neighbor across the street has the market cornered on having too many vehicles in their driveway at any time of the day or night. The house ten doors away is abandoned and starting to seriously decay. We already have the slightly shabby cold frame of tomatoes and peppers facing her property, and the overgrown grape arbor. I currently park my rather dented car in the driveway rather than in tha garage because of a project that’s taking up half the garage. So what other passive-aggresive things can we do? Oh, and we haven’t raked the leaves quite yet, because it keeps raining when we get the chance to go out there. Loud parties aren’t our style…but I could bring my daughter’s loud, boisterous dog over to visit on open house days…