It is so important what neighborhood you live in, whether it be for distinctiveness or convenience of locale, people should spend a good amount of time getting a feel for where they are buying and what they are buying into. When I purchased my first home in Sacramento, I knew that I was not just buying a house, but a neighborhood too. I just had a gut feeling that my little East Sac. home and neighborhood was a winner, even though I did not know much about it. However, I found out, over time, the people no my street kept to themselves and were a bit cold. At the first meeting of my direct neighbor I said, “Hey, we’re thinking about having a BBQ to get to know everyone on the street. I’ll let you know when we plan it.” She quickly replied, “Oh, we won’t be coming to that.” I was speechless. “Uhhh, okay. I guess I’ll see you around.” I couldn’t believe it!
While you can do research on the potential home and neighborhood, it is very difficult to do in depth research on the people that will be your neighbors.
Before we moved our current home in Curtis Park we drove around the neighborhood extensively, walked up and down the street where our potential home was located, and attempted to talk with as many neighbors as possible. I’ll never forget the first woman I spoke with… “Are you looking to buy that house?” the neighbor asked. “Yes, we are in contract,” I replied. She went on to introduce herself and tell me all about the neighborhood. The former owners told us that they were saddened to leave because they’d grown so close to their neighbors. The evening we finally got everything moved in, our neighbor across the street brought us freshly baked cookies and apologized for only bringing a particle ½ gallon of milk! The next day a man from down the street dropped off brownies he made for us. A few weeks later our other neighbor gave us a bundle of kindling for fire wood. After only several weeks I knew we had move onto a unique and special street.
This is the “Front Porch” ethos – an attitude of community that I find deeply rooted and perpetuated on my street. I applaud and say a big thank you from my family to our neighbors. Who cares about home values, when you’ve got neighbors like ours!