A New Perspective: Won’t you be my neighbor? | Real Estate Insights – Piedmont Exedra

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“Let’s make the most of this beautiful day.” Or, to paraphrase the late, great Mr. Rogers: be nice, be decent, and let’s all try to get along.

The personal stories of one Realtor’s battles and triumphs in the highly-competitive Bay Area Real Estate Market, seeking to illuminate and humanize the very real ups-and-downs of homeownership.

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you
I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you
So, let’s make the most of this beautiful day
Since we’re together, we might as well say
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor?

Fred Rogers

Neighbors make a difference

Last week, we finally closed on a much-delayed escrow wherein the Sellers had agreed to clear their negative stucco test results before turning over the property to the Buyers. While an unexpected finding late in the game is NEVER a welcome discovery, the Sellers were more than fair, the Buyers were reasonable, the stucco contractor made himself immediately available, and the Agents stayed in solution throughout the three-week period it took to resolve the matter to everyone’s satisfaction. In short, nearly anything IS surmountable when cooler heads prevail, and when our better angels lead the way . . . (This is also an argument for experienced representation.) Not to mention (but I will) that the Homeowners next door were fantastic; bending over backwards to be thoughtful, helpful, and accommodating, allowing our crews to park in their driveway while scaffolding was erected, and the demolition began – even after the work extended well beyond the original, much-shorter, projected timeframe. Honestly, they could not have been nicer. (If we could only clone them.)

The cherry on the sundae? As I was dropping off keys and collecting our mop, broom, and garden hose during my final walk-through, the next-door neighbor came outside and assured me that he’d be only too happy to pull down the garbage cans on Monday morning so they didn’t sit on the street throughout the weekend. (Really?)
“Are you sure?” I asked. “I can come back.”

“Yes,” he replied, “that’s what neighbors do for one another.” (They don’t always, but they should.)

This sits in stark contrast to the poison-pen letter nasty neighbors often write as soon as the “pending” sign goes up, voicing their displeasure over X, Y, or Z and asserting their authority over any future plans the new Homeowners might have. (Say what?) While neighbors don’t usually have the authority or heft to enforce such threats, such actions certainly set up a scenario that makes one wonder about the inherent tension they bring to bear . . . .

Shouldn’t neighbors seek to be “neighborly?” (Yes, they should.)

Years ago, a previous Piedmont neighbor of mine did his best to halt a batting cage in our backyard that met every single setback and “temporary structure” requirement, per the Piedmont City Planning Department. Shielded from view by a tall hedge, the cage had no impact on his property whatsoever. Nor did it matter that we sought to resolve his concerns amicably by promising to limit the hours of use . . . He wouldn’t budge on his ridiculous position, which boiled down to this: he didn’t like to hear kids play . . . . AND then he hired an attorney who threatened to sue us. (Respectfully, go #&^% yourself!)

While we won (of course we did; our neighbor’s position had NO legal merit), it was a senseless battle that set up a decade of ill-will and resentment, which was never repaired much to our dismay.

Remember the Golden Rule? It’s time to dust it off.

As our mothers’ taught us (or should have) –– be nice, be decent, be kind, be generous, and let’s try to get along. As we live in a dense urban environment where we often interact with one another, wouldn’t it be better to give each other the benefit of the doubt instead of making incorrect assumptions that may never come to pass?

Could you be mine? Would you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbor? (Maybe, maybe not.)

How can we help you?

Speaking of neighbors, we’ve got several fantastic listings in the neighborhood!

Julie Gardner & Sarah Abel | Compass Realty

Not just Realtors, but consultants in all things house and home, we’re here to educate, explore, examine and refer . . . In short, you may count on us to take care of your home as if it were our own and anyone who knows us, knows we take pretty darn good care of our homes.

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