Our Neighbors Are Freaking Cool

Back in October Mr PoP and I (okay, mostly me) turned borderline-creeper when the house next door to ours was listed for sale and dozens of cars started showing up immediately to check the place out*. I found myself peeking out the front window every time we heard a car door slam in the driveway next door and as much as I tried to convince myself I wasn’t nosy, I knew I was dying to have a preview of who might move in!

Current State of Our Trusses:  The plywood part will stay and form the new ceiling line, the 2x4s below it will be cut away soon.

Current State of Our Trusses: The plywood part will stay and form the new ceiling line, the 2x4s below it will be cut away soon.  The neighbors were impressed!

The thing is, the properties right around us are totally open. Without fences, we can see into each other’s pool areas and if we really cared, eavesdrop on any loud conversations on each others’ back patios. It’s not like the houses are on top of one another or anything since we live on quarter-acre lots, but if the person next door wanted to make our lives unpleasant, or make our lanai feel less like one of our sanctuaries, they probably could.

The other part of the issue is that our original neighbor in that house was just beyond fabulous. She was 88 when we moved in, and so friendly, but not in a pushy way. She brought us fresh baked banana bread the day of our move-in, filled us in on most of the gossip we know about the folks that owned our house before we bought it out of foreclosure, was too hard of hearing to care when we made noise by DIY replacing all the siding on our house or when Mr PoP and his brother re-did a whole section of the roof, and always had a smile and some aged wisdom.  “My mom told me your body starts to go downhill when you turn 70. She just didn’t tell me how much speed you pick up at 90!”

What more could we want in a neighbor?

Needless to say, the bar for new neighbors was pretty high.

But We May Have Hit The Jackpot

Our new neighbors (two women probably in their mid to late 40s) moved in right at the end of the year and looked promising from the start. The first items we saw them move in were a couple of bicycles and a well-loved kayak.  And the kayak made regular journeys in and out of the garage (obviously used quite often!), transported to open water in their older minivan. (Their other car is an older sedan.) Then we stopped over to bring them some fresh baked banana bread (as our old neighbor had taught us was so nice on our move-in day!) and while Mr PoP offered our tools for borrowing anytime they needed it, he took note that most of the tools that he could see already moved into their garage were better than ours.

Then a couple of weeks ago we were finishing up our work on the trusses in the kitchen for the night, so I was cleaning up the sawhorses and the driveway when they were walking back from taking their dog for a walk.

“What on earth are you guys doing in there with all that plywood?” asked neighbor1 (N1).

“Building cabinets?” asked N2.

“Come on in and we’ll show you!” I said.

So they stopped in and we told them our plans for the grand kitchen remodel and they were so excited. They said we’re not bothering them with the noise of nail guns and air compressors and that it’ll be their turn to make a little noise with tools in a year. “We want to do something similar with the low ceiling in our kitchen in 2016, so we’re going to have to pick your brains later.” We talked about DIY-ing and explained to them that permitting everything in our town is actually really easy to do and doesn’t cost much unlike some other nearby municipalities which they were really pleased with, being new to our town. (Mr PoP always likes to slip the fact that our work is fully permitted into conversations with the neighbors. I think he gets nervous!)

Then we got to ask them about one of the rumors we had heard from the family that sold the place. “Is it true that you guys lived on a sailboat? That’s one of our dreams!” And it is totally true! They lived on a boat for seven years, splitting their years in half, working on land for six months and sailing the other six before moving back to land a few years ago. Now they’re focused on building up more retirement savings (“We’re living on one salary and putting the other totally toward retirement for the next few years”), but they want to get back on a boat after that for a while.

Mr PoP and I feel like we hit the neighbor jackpot.

  • They’re nice – to others and to each other. I’ve never heard an angry word float our way from their place!
  • They’re young (it’s relative – our zipcode’s average age is in the 60’s).
  • They’re frugal (inexpensive older cars!), but not cheap (high quality not inexpensive tools!).
  • Enjoying the outdoors by bike and on the water is a priority for them.
  • They DIY and have an impressive selection of tools.
  • They have lived out one of our dreams – living on a sailboat – and want to teach us the ins and outs!
  • They have their financial plan in place to make sure their retirement accounts are nice and healthy.
  • And their little dog is kindof cute, doesn’t bark excessively, and doesn’t seem to stress out Kitty PoP.

Don’t get me wrong, we loved our old neighbor and were sad to see her have to move into a long term care facility after her stroke, but it’s also really nice to have a new set of great neighbors who are making the neighborhood feel more lively, too!


What are your neighbors like? What kind of neighbors would you consider winning the neighbor jackpot?


* The house sold for above-asking the Monday following a Friday afternoon listing. It was definitely in demand!

40 comments to Our Neighbors Are Freaking Cool

  • Oh well, I love your neighbors. We are lucky with our neighbors too!

  • They sound like great neighbors. I’ve always said boaties are the best people, but I might be a little biased. Congrats on the neighbors and the remodel!
    Income Surfer recently posted..My Valuation of Fastenal (FAST)My Profile

  • It seems that you have a great neighbors! It’s really important that you have a great neighbors especially that you are currently renovating your home.
    Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way recently posted..The Difference Between Refurbished and Second HandMy Profile

  • Yay! Glad you found some great neighbors.

    Our neighbors are nice, mostly our age (mid twenties). We get together and have parties and play board games sometimes.

  • Jackpot! Our old place was pretty darn good, with us being much younger than the average age. It was a complex that was built in the 70’s and had a lot of the original owners, so there were many 75+ year olds in there. They’ve started to sell and it’s getting a bit younger, but I was scared being 25 (then) when we moved in :) A little nosey, but no banana bread sadly. Our current neighbourhood, not so much…
    Alicia recently posted..Saving is only half the battleMy Profile

  • Awesome neighbors dramatically improve a neighborhood. I was sad when our last one left, since he was my car guy. I’m not very automotively inclined and he helped me fix one of our junkers more than once.
    Adam @ AdamChudy.com recently posted..TurbotaxMy Profile

  • That’s great!
    nicoleandmaggie recently posted..RBOC. Ra-bock-a-bok.My Profile

  • We are in an old mixed-use neighborhood, so it’s divided between single-family homes, apartments, and businesses in the old brownstones. For me, the neighbor jackpot would be young people with money, all fired-up to renovate an old building and make something nice that will last. Either by upgrading the old apartments or house, or creating a new cool business. We have mostly renters for neighbors, and they come in all stripes. Slobs, professionals, people who volunteer at the church across the street, sex offenders… like, an above average number of sex offenders… Th renters are always changing, and you never know what you’re going to get. One couple moved into the basement next door, fixed up their tiny yard really nice for summer and the holidays, and then they got arrested, probably for something drug-related.

    Yeah, at this point, I think I’ll just settle for someone who’s not a criminal and has an actual job. We’ve been waiting six years for the urban renaissance that’s hit other cities. But it’ll happen.
    Norm recently posted..What I Talk About When I Talk About All The Snow In ExistenceMy Profile

    • Fingers crossed that it happens soon! And hopefully you guys see some nice appreciation on your property values as the neighborhood improves. =)

  • Since we live where we work, we know all our neighbors. They’re all good people, and it’s nice that someone can easily bop over and watch our cat when we’re out of town. Someday, we hope to own a house. I’d love to have neighbors that play board games, are friendly, and enjoy an evening with an adult beverage without getting hammered. But, honestly, I’d settle for neighbors that don’t make me call the cops. I’ve lived next to partiers, and I once called about domestic violence. I have more times where I should have called. Pretty sure I rented an apartment in a crack house once . . .

    • “Pretty sure I rented an apartment in a crack house once . . .”

      Oh my gosh, I so want more to that story!

      • In short . . . I rented a room in a college town in a bit of a hurry. The landlady was so old she couldn’t show the place, so she left it unlocked and just gave me the address. The room I rented (really more like a studio) was in the attic. Awful bathroom; I just showered at the gym.

        All sorts of atrocious stories I have about that place. I should blog about it sometime . . . Mostly, tho, I got woken up more than once in the middle of the night by screaming neighbors, banging doors, and loud music. I heard the other apartment in the attic was rented by two people who had lost their kids to the state. The only neighbors I ever saw always looked strung out, and they’d never answer their doors when I knocked.

        Then again, I did have my bike there (I biked to school mostly), and that never got stolen. I did lock it up well and take it home on the weekends. This was recently, and I only rented the place to stay for half the week because I had super long days and didn’t want the hour plus commute on a 13 hour day.

        Who knows what sort of place it was. The rent was all month-to-month with no security deposit required. I bailed out after 2.5 months — managed to get someone to pick up my last half of the month and take over. The landlady actually GAVE prospective tenants my number (without asking me!) because she was ticked I was leaving so soon. I wanted out before the end of my third month because I was so done or else I would have steered everyone away from the place.

        Still sad I ever rented it in the first place, but I had the pressure of being “kicked out” of living with my boyfriend (now husband) at his work-provided housing (where we both now officially live).

        • Wow, that’s funny, but not funny. Glad you were able to get out of there before too long – can’t imagine you were getting a lot of good sleep there with all the drama and racket!

          • I worked really long days, so I was rarely there. I also had no incentive to be there; I did my work at school. Most nights were quiet enough, but the loud was unpredictable and not always on weekends.

            I spent more time in my apartment when I moved to a new place. I was too cheap to get internet, so I got a lot of book studying done in the new place.

            Anyway, cautionary tale, and now I’m much more picky about where I live. All’s well that ends well!

  • Your new neighbors sound wonderful! We had good neighbors at our house in Missouri. We haven’t really met too many people here in Colorado in our neighborhood yet though.
    Michelle recently posted..Last Chance To Enter My $500 Cash Giveaway!My Profile

    • Well you guys just moved to Colorado, so it’ll take a little while yet to meet your neighbors. Hopefully they are every bit as good as your old ones. =)

  • Anne

    Wow they sound awesome! Ours mostly keep to themselves, everybody does the friendly wave but doesn’t seem to engage in more than occasional hellos. While it’d be nice to have such amazing neighbors as that I certainly can’t complain about ours!

  • 90% of the time we’ve got the wave and nod, but we’re slowly getting to know more of them and keep being pleasantly surprised! =)

  • Crazy, we must live in some bizarre parallel universe. Two ladies also moved into the home next to us. They have a small dog and kayaks too. I kid you not. Do yours have a camper as well?!?

    Having great people in your ‘hood makes such a huge difference in life…
    Mr. 1500 recently posted..Thursday Rant: My chunky assMy Profile

    • Haha, too funny! Our neighbors don’t seem to have a camper, but I feel like the boat counts as a camper on water (though they sold theirs when they moved onto land and will have to rebuy when they start sailing again).

  • Having nice, friendly neighbors is one thing. Having nice, friendly, financially savvy neighbors is another! I can only hope I have the same luck as you when I eventually move out in the burbs. Are you going to divulge your blog to them?
    Fervent Finance recently posted..Managing Your FloatMy Profile

    • I don’t see any reason why we’d tell the neighbors about the blog. We’re pretty private IRL. Most of our long time friends don’t know our blog exists, so I don’t know why we’d tell the neighbors. =/

  • Wow, they sound awesome! I would love to have neighbors who could each me some DIY-ing :-). We are moving this weekend, so cross your fingers for us! I know one of our neighbors has a kid about Big Brother’s age, so that’s promising–it would be nice to have neighbors we could cultivate a relationship with and even trade babysitting. Mr. FP said he is worried that the people across the street look like they would play their music too loud, but I reminded him that our old neighbors used to do that and it was actually kind of festive.
    Frugal Paragon recently posted..Sort-of Frugal February: ReportMy Profile

    • You guys are the ones moving in, so maybe you’ll be the pleasant surprise to your new neighbors! They’ll sit around their dinner table and say, “Boy those FP’s just seem like good people. Sure glad we ended up with them instead of another set of Joneses!” =)

  • You really do sound like you’ve hit the jackpot here. Bad neighbours are horrible, and can drive you out of the nicest house or the nicest area – I’ve learnt from experience.
    But also gaining the knowledge of how in-demand your area is too is fantastic.

  • That’s awesome! Sounds like you really did hit the jackpot! Good neighbors are so vital to a good, peaceful life. We have about a dozen “neighbors” since we’re all crammed in here in the city, but, our most immediate next door neighbors are amazing. We trade dog sitting all the time and hang out in their backyard during the summer (since we have no green space to our name).

    It’s a wonderful thing to have people you can borrow tools from too! Our tool-owning neighbor sadly moved last year and we’ve invoked his name a number of times since then when we’ve needed tools. So happy for you guys and your new neighbors!
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted..Weekly Woot & Grumble: A New York State Of FrugalMy Profile

  • They do seem really cool. We get along well with our neighbors, and feel we may be the ‘uncool’ ones on the block. :)
    Done by Forty recently posted..You Down with ESPP?My Profile

  • Wow that’s a quick sale! I think both parties got lucky, congrats on your new neighbor!
    The Money Spot recently posted..How To Improve Your Investing Experience And Returns!My Profile

  • Nice! Sounds like you guys got lucky. Our neighbors are all nice but quiet. I can like with that!
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..Here’s Why You’re Broke: A Sense of EntitlementMy Profile

  • Our neighborhood is really unneighborly. We only finally talked to one neighbor when we found out he was a contractor and wanted a quote for a project.

    My mother-in-law is out at the park, so she meets some of our neighbors that way. And there’s a neighborhood watch if we cared to join. But we’re insular, so it’s just fine.

    I do feel bad, though. The last time I owned a house, I knew several of my neighbors, and they were great. So we’re probably missing out, but oh well.
    Abigail @ipickuppennies recently posted..TaxAct to the rescueMy Profile

  • IT seems like you guys have much in common. I like the line when you said they have better tools than Mr. POP, haha. Now I want some banana bread. Good Luck with the new creepers next door.
    EL @ Moneywatch101 recently posted..Will you Achieve Financial IndependenceMy Profile

  • Sounds like some great neighbors! Hopefully the older folks in your community don’t make a stink about two ladies living together. It’s also cute they have better tools than you guys, haha!
    MasterNerd recently posted..Hypermiling: Save Gas by Driving like Zoolander’s GrandpaMy Profile

    • Luckily we haven’t heard anyone comment negatively in that regard and everyone in the neighborhood has been welcoming from what I’ve seen. Very happy with that. =)