The Older I Get, the More We Need Private Acreage

Me in the not-too-distant future. Perhaps as early as tomorrow.

The house next door is for sale. We shall refer to that property as “1500” for the rest of this post.

1500 has been listed for a few months now via the “Open Door” system, and is also listed on Zillow. The Zillow listing means I can get a gander at how the inside of the house looks right now. I already know that the exterior looks a little tired and neglected. Since I’ve lived in our house, 1500 has been through 3 different sets of owners. Most of the few improvements to the interior were made back in the early aughts, which was the last time I was friends with the residents of the home and regularly invited inside. The bones of the house are not bad at all, and with some investment and love, I think it could be a very nice place. Alas, the Open Door folks didn’t put any love at all into it that I can see, nor did they get the place properly cleaned prior to its photo op. 1500 is not moving that I can tell, not a bit.

Why is this really any business of mine as long as the property doesn’t look badly unkempt, and why am I whining?

Well. The Open Door approach means that people can download the app to their phone, get a code for the lockbox, and self-tour the property between 7AM – 9PM, seven days a week. This means that I regularly get random people wandering through the shared side-yard on the East side of our place, just yakking away. Did I mention that the one big window in our home office is on that wall, and is the original single-paned window, so I hear everything out there? Including things that make it quite clear the speakers do not realize anybody is (involuntarily) listening. It’s…interesting, and informative in a way that makes me feel a bit like an accidental voyeur.

On the flip side, speaking of voyeurs, we experience the occasional viewer of 1500 that seems overly interested in our house. I’ve noticed some of them walk straight over into our front yard and check out our property, not even using the sidewalk. WTF, that is just rude. Maybe they’re just comparing the iffy curb appeal of 1500 to our place, which definitely looks a bit nicer because we’ve invested time and money over here. Maybe they are legit trying to ensure they are not considering a home purchase next door to a meth lab or a whorehouse. Maybe they’re casing our joint. Maybe they’re just nosy. I don’t like it at all, though, as I am very sensitive to strangers on our property these days. When I see random looky-loos wandering our lawn like they think it’s a public park, I’ve gotten in the habit of flinging the front door open and calling out with a big, fake smile, “HI! Can we help you with anything?” That usually sends them skittering back across the property line tout suite.

Yesterday, though, I had a new level of nosy (or possibly casing our joint) occur. I was sitting here in the home office working, when I heard yet another person speaking loudly out in the side yard. I cracked open one of the shutter panels just enough to peek out, and saw a lone female talking into her cell phone. What got my attention is that she was right up on the side of our house. I realized that she was walking towards the window for our master bedroom and attempting to peer in. She got no satisfaction as we have 4-inch plantation shutters on all our windows, and that room in particular always has them tightly closed. I figured she was just wandering aimlessly while she was talking, but no. She then walked over towards the office window, and I got to feeling just a tad territorial.

Just as she was standing about 2 feet in front of the window, which is chest height for me inside and just below head height for her outside, I decided to rattle her cage. She couldn’t see me standing there peering out through a very narrow opening. So, as she went to step closer to the window (it was quite invasive, really), I flipped the vanes for the panel of shutters I was standing in front of wide open and just stood there staring into her eyes. I imagine from her perspective it was quite the surprise, since she shrieked and dropped her phone in the grass. As she was scrabbling around on the ground for her phone, I opened the entire half of the shutters and yelled through the window, “Are you okay? Do you need help? Should I call the police for you?

She ran like hell back to her car, which was parked in front of 1500, and drove away soon afterwards. *SIGH* This roaming random stranger crap is getting mightily on my nerves, so I really hope they sell 1500 to a reasonable-quality buyer soon. Perhaps the listing should be updated to include:

It’s a decent house for the price, probably not too costly to update, and it comes with a highly-observant, fairly paranoid Guard Lady next door for free!

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