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OFF-TOPIC Difficult neighbors

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yveskleinsky

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I have had a stressful and weird day today. I have neighbor issues at one cabin (the dude is building some crazy fence that I guess (haven't seen it yet) makes it a tight fit to get to my cabin. Awesome. Should be even more awesome when it snows and people slide into it. I am trying to not get frazzled by it, as he is well within his property lines. WildAmbitions suggessted moving my driveway- which I could do by tearing up the front yard. ...This would be less than $1k. ...But still. This butthole is living in his RV in his front yard, and has the nerve to put a fence up. Maybe I could offer to buy an easement from him? Or maybe I should just suck it up and move the drive. What I really need to do is just go talk to him. ...and I don't want to. Blah. I keep thinking about the story of the Indian guy whose son get shot. Everyone in town says "oh that's terrible!" The guy says, "that remains to be seen". Then the army comes and takes all the able-bodied guys to war. Everyone in town remarks at how lucky the guy's son is, he responds "that remains to be seen". This dialogue goes on and on throughout the story,and the moral of it is, we don't know the effects of what happens to us. What appears to be good is sometimes bad and vice versa. It all remains to be seen, so don't get all amped up over stuff when you have no idea if it is really good or bad. ...I know I need to get comfortable (or at least not rattled) by these kinds of issues, because this is the down side to real estate.

I am trying to frame this fence issue in a positive light. ...This is a good opportunity for me to be assertive as well as landscape the front yard which needs it anyhow. I need to approach this with more honey and less vinegar. Maybe I should go over there with a 6 pack and just talk to him.

What would you do?

...Thanks for listening to my stream of consciousness!
 

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JesseO

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Jul 25, 2007
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I'd recommend just moving the driveway. Best to let the neighbors be if they're within their own rights. Don't talk to them, just do it is my suggestion.
 

andviv

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I suggest you stop by and talk to him. Do not mention anything about the fence, just get to know him. He will probably mention about it and will let you know his reasons to do it and you can then find an alternative. Or maybe not, but then now you know him and do not forget to leave your business card and tell him to please do not hesitate to call you if something weird happens in your cabin. And who knows, maybe a potential partner, customer, referral, or seller could come out of this. I did something similar in one of my properties (I live in the DC area, the house was in Tampa, FL) so she always called me when the renter was misbehaving or when something happened to the property.
 

yveskleinsky

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Great ideas. I will stop by soon and talk to him as well as just move the driveway.

...I just got off the phone with a co-worker who read me an email from Rick Warren (Purpose Driven Life). His wife has terminal cancer, and he wrote this beautiful letter about how her sickness had changed his perspective on life. Before her onset of cancer, Rick believed that life was full of pits and valleys. Good, then bad, then good things happen- you just ride the wave. Now he believes that life is like a railroad track- on one side is the bad and the other is the good. ...There is always something to be thankful for, depending on where you keep your focus. He's right.

Frankly, I have an awesome husband, amazing friends, great health, money in the bank and dogs I love more than I should. I have no problems. I will get through this just fine. ...Sometimes, I just have to convince myself that I can handle things.
 

AroundTheWorld

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I will get through this just fine. ...Sometimes, I just have to convince myself that I can handle things.

I as stressing about some silly little thing the other day. That night we watched a documentary on the genoside in Rwanda. How silly I felt.

It is so easy to let our own little worlds shrink in around us to the point that we don't even look out anymore.

We are all very fortunate indeed.
 

AroundTheWorld

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Oh... and... uh....

If the guy is living in his RV in the front yard - perhaps the fence isn't so bad (?)
 

Russ H

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yveskliensky said:
Go over there with a 6 pack and just talk to him.
Lots of wars could be averted if more people tried this first.

Since you're a girl, and he's a guy, make sure he doesn't get the wrong idea.

But getting to know a neighbor is a good thing-- even if you feel like you have nothing in common.

Because you do: You both have property in the same spot. You see the same sun and stars. And you have the same weather.

That counts for something.

Approach it as a negotiation. Don't show your cards-- just get to know him.

See if he volunteers any info. And tell him what you're going to do to improve your place.

Just shoot the sh*t.

-Russ H.
 

yveskleinsky

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The awkardness (and keep in mind this could all just be in my head and the guy may be totaly obvilious that I have a beef with him) is due to the fact that they were the sellers of the cabin we bought. They moved next door to fix up the place that was his mom's. ...So, we know each other. He is also a hot head. He would like nothing more than to get in a fight over something. He's just that kinda guy. I am going to stick to the whole bring him a six pack and just shoot the shat. I'm going to tell him that I hope he didn't put up the fence due to people staying at our cabin, and that we will move the drive way if that is the issue. I am also calling the city first thing tomorrow and maybe they can help move the road- because as it stands, a snow plow can't get through. Good times.
 

yveskleinsky

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I went up to talk with the neighbor tonight. I brought him a warm apple pie and we had a really good talk. I just said, "I hope this fence isn't due to people we've had staying at the cabin." He said it really wasn't, mainly more for his dogs. He said he's going to take it down come winter- but regardless, I am going to move some stuff around so the plow can get through. All went really, really well. This was a great experience in being assertive for me. I'm thrilled that we're cool now.
 

AroundTheWorld

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nice to hear it went well for you. Good job for having the courage to do it... sounds like it really paid off for you.
 

nomadjanet

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I'm going to tell him that I hope he didn't put up the fence due to people staying at our cabin, and that we will move the drive way if that is the issue. .

This is a great way to handle any issue. I always tell my team, take the issue and own it as your issue even if you believe it is not this disarms the other person and they usualy are much more cooperative. :) Good Job!!
Janet
 

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Bilgefisher

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I'm a really hot blooded guy. Maybe its the Sicilian in me. I am still amazed at how a little honey works so much better then piss and vinegar. Glad it worked out for you.
 

yveskleinsky

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...I'm Sicilian too. I tend to get really amped up over little stuff, but I'm not a fighter. I have learned to think before I speak and that generally takes about 72 hours for me to chill out when I'm upset! I've found that fighting rarely brings a solution closer- only father away. If there is a problem, I really want to work towards a solution, and if that means me eating dirt over something that isn't my responsibility (ex. neighbor's fence) then I'll do it. ...When I was younger I really had a hot temper. Since then, I have become more passive- now I am trying to focus on finding middle ground and just being assertive. It's hard, as I either want to scream and yell or avoid the issue. This experience really was a big deal for me, and I learned so much. ...Thank you WildAmbitions for coming with me and for always offering a positive and balanced perspective. You're awesome. :notworthy:
 

Diane Kennedy

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I went up to talk with the neighbor tonight. I brought him a warm apple pie and we had a really good talk. I just said, "I hope this fence isn't due to people we've had staying at the cabin." He said it really wasn't, mainly more for his dogs. He said he's going to take it down come winter- but regardless, I am going to move some stuff around so the plow can get through. All went really, really well. This was a great experience in being assertive for me. I'm thrilled that we're cool now.

I wish you were my neighbor. Apple pie sounds pretty darn good!

OKAY: My difficult neighbor story.... We've always been friendly with neighbors and some times even became really good friends. That was until we moved into Paradise Valley (houses $1 mill+) - it's like everyone has their own little feifdom going.

We had some renovation to do before we could really live there. So, we moved into part of the house and worked on the other part. In doing a swimming pool remodel we found a buried oil tank. We wanted to get the tank out of there but first had to get rid of the oil. So, we hired a company to do that. Well, the tank was right on the property line with the neighbor (remember all lots here are 1+ acre, so it's not like we're right on top of each other) and apparently the crew stepped on her property when getting the oil out.

Meanwhile, my assistant is at the house doing some filing in my home office and my husband and I are off at a local seminar. We got a frantic call from the assistant. The police were at our house in full force. Apparently, the neighbor had seen the guys pumping the oil into big 50 gallon cans and told them to get off her property. They said they weren't on her property (and I'm not sure they were really nice when they did it). So, she called the police and said we were terrorists and were building bombs in the driveway. The police showed up and saw the 50 gallon cans and everybody freaked out. Meanwhile the pumper and guys had left for lunch or something, so it was just my 20 year old assistant, terrified, and the police in full force, investigating the oil cans. Of course, it all went away. I was doing a seminar so I just stayed on stage and my husband left to handle it.

My husband went over to talk to the neighbor and she just screamed through the door to leave her alone. (Richard is very easy going and non-threatening) She called the police again - who by this time thought it was funny. And then she called the building dept. Happened our contractor was sitting right on the front porch looking at the plans when they drove up. He's a real easy going guy and just pointed to the permit that was hanging by the front door. The guys from the building dept looked at it and then went over to cite her for every thing they could find (she had some peeling paint on the west side - which gets all the sun). She ended up getting in a screaming match in the middle of the street with her husband, who said he was leaving her and the house was up for sale the next day.

Some really nice real estate investors bought the house as their personal residence. Their real estate specialty is to buy larger houses, rehab them for multi-bedrooms and rent to ASU students in Tempe. So, we're all happy now. :hurray:
 

yveskleinsky

Silver Contributor
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ISo, she called the police and said we were terrorists and were building bombs in the driveway. The police showed up and saw the 50 gallon cans and everybody freaked out.

You can't argue with crazy! lol. Wow- what a story. ...I also like the idea of rehabbing giant homes for college students.
 

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