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Wedding Woes

MYOB and avert your eyes

I’m lucky to live on a street with friendly, kind neighbors. The folks directly next door are the nicest people, but their house is in terrible condition: peeling paint, dry-rotted windows, and a roof that needs redoing. They are aware it looks terrible and have been claiming for years that a painter is coming to spruce the place up at any moment. Sometimes they start an improvement, but it never gets finished. For instance, they took down their shutters (in preparation for the phantom painters), so now everyone sees the dirty outline of missing shutters on their house. Then they needed to do some drainage work, so they ripped up the side yard that adjoins mine. (The drainage work was completed, but they never replanted, so we’ve got a weed patch between our homes.) They also did some window work, but that resulted in a large window being boarded up with plywood for the better part of a year. They did eventually take the plywood down, thank goodness, but they also stopped fixing the rest of the windows.

I thought maybe it was a financial issue that could be stopping them from fixing the house. Yet they go on vacation regularly, have newer vehicles than most of the people on our street, and buy extravagant gifts for their adult children. They also hire a gardener for their yard. (It looks wonderful … but is unfortunately behind a privacy fence, so not something that benefits the neighborhood.) Every other neighbor has privately expressed frustration at the way the house looks, but none of us really knows how to bring it up with them. They keep talking about their upcoming trip to Europe, and I find myself feeling really resentful! Is there some way to bring this up with them that won’t result in neighborhood strife? Or should I just count my blessings and avert my eyes?

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Re: MYOB and avert your eyes

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    Oh FFS. Does anyone really want to be right next door to "that" house in the neighborhood? No. Do you get to judge their finances and spending habits based on some weeds in their yard? Also no. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
  • If there are no blight or home association regulations you start to look at the cobwebs on your ceiling and move on.
    charlotte989875
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Unless there is an HOA that requires certain standards, tough luck.

    My parents have specifically kept their (100+ year old) house looking like crap for at least 25 of the nearly 40 years they've lived there because it keeps the value down. Meaning, it keeps their property taxes down.

    And yes, it pisses off their newish neighbors who would be more at home in an HOA neighborhood and not the middle of the countryside, hahahahaha. Those neighbors are assholes, yet I digress. 
    ________________________________


    eileenrobMesmrEwecharlotte989875
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I mean, I get the frustration. My grandparents live in a beautiful small town near LA. Most of the houses are beyond adorable and they are well maintained. There is one house on my grandparent's street that is hideous. It's literally a shack at this point. The whole house is leaning to the point that I'm seriously wondering when the city will condemn it. There's no more paint on the house, the yard is disgusting, and it really is an eyesore. And the people who live there can afford to change that, but they chose not too. I get there's nothing LW can do, but I really do get how annoying that must be to look at. 

    @thisismynickname2 I never thought about it like that. The area my grandparents live in has a median home value in the $1.1 million range. Obviously when they bought it in the 60's it was no where near that high. But I could see why the neighbors might want to keep their taxes down. The price of homes in the area has gone up exponentially and it's not even like most of the houses are that big. 


    image
    charlotte989875
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    While my own house isn’t in disarray or anything, I will admit my money goes to vacations and cosmetic procedures before I put it into my house.  So yeah, I’m not really on LW’s side here. 

    eileenrobMesmrEwethisismynickname2
  • I understand the LW's frustration also.  But that's just too darn bad.  They and their other neighbors don't get to dictate how this family spends their money or what they do (or don't do) with their house.  Outside of an HOA and/or city ordinances.

    I would also like to specifically talk about the "weed patch" that is technically on the neighbors side yard.  But adjoining the LW's.  If it actually bugged the LW and was that big of a deal, it's super easy and cheap to fix.

    Knock on the neighbor's door...after all, it's a friendly neighborhood...and ask, "Hey neighbor!  I noticed there are some weeds growing where you all did that drainage work.  Would you mind if I threw some weed killer down and then some grass seeds?"  True, it's the neighbor's responsibility.  And they might reply with don't worry about it, they'll have their landscaper take care of it.  But if it is that easy to enjoy my own side yard, that's what I'd offer.  

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    STARMOON44MesmrEwecharlotte989875OliveOilsMom
  • short+sassy said:

    I understand the LW's frustration also.  But that's just too darn bad.  They and their other neighbors don't get to dictate how this family spends their money or what they do (or don't do) with their house.  Outside of an HOA and/or city ordinances.

    I would also like to specifically talk about the "weed patch" that is technically on the neighbors side yard.  But adjoining the LW's.  If it actually bugged the LW and was that big of a deal, it's super easy and cheap to fix.

    Knock on the neighbor's door...after all, it's a friendly neighborhood...and ask, "Hey neighbor!  I noticed there are some weeds growing where you all did that drainage work.  Would you mind if I threw some weed killer down and then some grass seeds?"  True, it's the neighbor's responsibility.  And they might reply with don't worry about it, they'll have their landscaper take care of it.  But if it is that easy to enjoy my own side yard, that's what I'd offer.  

    This!  My neighbor actually has an applicator's license so can get the stuff that actually works to take care of things like the massive case of Creeping Charlie that is going on here.  Quite honestly, when he offered to spray for me I was like "Just tell me how much to write the check out for to take care of it PROPERLY!" (since it's something that will likely require multiple applications and reseeding and we've had horrible luck finding landscapers)...
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  • So our house isn't nearly this bad - at all!  But our neighbor is a married couple with one person retired and the other who works for fun, so their yard/house is immaculate and ours isn't.  We've been here for 4 years and poured so much time and money into in the first year, we took a break.  We did finally pay a landscaper to take care of our front flower bed two summers ago, and well this summer we both worked 60+ hour weeks.

    He complains everytime he sees MIL about something - first the flower bed, then the moles (which are a major  PITA), sometimes the weeds.  My answer to MIL everytime is "if it bothers him that bad, he can fix it."
    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • I sometimes feel like my house has been THAT house on the street because of my landscaping.  I tore up the grass in my front lawn, and it will take a while to kill all the crab grass that keeps coming back (one of the reasons I tore it up in the first place).  It takes a tonne of work but I grow vegetables in it now and don't want to use chemicals, so the past two years it has been looking less than stellar.  But I have hope for next year!  Now the rats that have migrated from a neighbours' house to my backyard ... that's another problem.   
    imageimage
  • Just a note but peeling paint and shoddy landscaping does not impact your home's value. Take care of it. 

    Assessed values are based on the bones of a home - how many bedrooms, square footage, acreage, outbuildings etc. And sales of similar homes in your area. They don't individually assess your home.
    ILoveBeachMusicMyNameIsNotMobKaz
  • Just a note but peeling paint and shoddy landscaping does not impact your home's value. Take care of it. 

    Assessed values are based on the bones of a home - how many bedrooms, square footage, acreage, outbuildings etc. And sales of similar homes in your area. They don't individually assess your home.
    Most people talk about it for property values because in a competitive market a home next to a property that can range from reduced curb appeal to borderline blight is less likely to sell than the one two streets over of similar comps that isn't next to an eyesore. 


    charlotte989875eileenrob
  • bubblylovebubblylove member
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper
    edited January 4
    So people keep their home purposely bad so their neighbors' will get less when they sell their home, which has a tangential impact on their taxes? That sucks. 
    CasadenalevioosaMyNameIsNotILoveBeachMusic
  • banana468 said:
    Just a note but peeling paint and shoddy landscaping does not impact your home's value. Take care of it. 

    Assessed values are based on the bones of a home - how many bedrooms, square footage, acreage, outbuildings etc. And sales of similar homes in your area. They don't individually assess your home.
    Most people talk about it for property values because in a competitive market a home next to a property that can range from reduced curb appeal to borderline blight is less likely to sell than the one two streets over of similar comps that isn't next to an eyesore. 

    Generally speaking, peeling paint and shoddy landscaping for one house on a block isn't going to affect the comps that much or at all for the rest of the neighborhood.  Maybe just for the houses in the closest proximity.  Which, in turn, means it's unlikely to affect the assessed value of that particular house at all.

    Though, that particular house's comps and the challenges it would face to sell could be pretty huge if it isn't priced a good bit under market.  The typical buyer doesn't want a fixer-upper.  And peeling paint is a particularly tough problem to have because it will typically disqualify a house from a buyer using an FHA loan.   

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  • So people keep their home purposely bad so their neighbors' will get less when they sell their home, which has a tangential impact on their taxes? That sucks. 
    My point is that it may  not be the value of the home - it's the ability to sell it.   That's not really a value that can be pointed at and it all depends on the right market.   If you're in a seller's market maybe it doesn't matter?  But in a buyer's market I wouldn't want to work my tail off on my house next to the neighbor with a toilet collecting moss on the front lawn.    

    But if there aren't town or HOA regulations there isn't much that you can do.  We had properties on our street that went without maintenance and it had to be a LONG time for the town to take action and declare a blight with action required.  


    charlotte989875
  • banana468 said:
    Just a note but peeling paint and shoddy landscaping does not impact your home's value. Take care of it. 

    Assessed values are based on the bones of a home - how many bedrooms, square footage, acreage, outbuildings etc. And sales of similar homes in your area. They don't individually assess your home.
    Most people talk about it for property values because in a competitive market a home next to a property that can range from reduced curb appeal to borderline blight is less likely to sell than the one two streets over of similar comps that isn't next to an eyesore. 

    Generally speaking, peeling paint and shoddy landscaping for one house on a block isn't going to affect the comps that much or at all for the rest of the neighborhood.  Maybe just for the houses in the closest proximity.  Which, in turn, means it's unlikely to affect the assessed value of that particular house at all.

    Though, that particular house's comps and the challenges it would face to sell could be pretty huge if it isn't priced a good bit under market.  The typical buyer doesn't want a fixer-upper.  And peeling paint is a particularly tough problem to have because it will typically disqualify a house from a buyer using an FHA loan.   

    Yeah - my overall point about it is more that if I'm looking in town and I find two capes with similar comps, property, etc and the only difference is that one is located next to a manicured home and the other looks unkempt I'm more likely to want to move into the house with neighbors who take care of their lawn.    
    charlotte989875
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Right, but I think @bubblylove is specifically responding to comments about not taking care of the property for the express purposes of reducing the tax bill. It doesn't matter if you are the nicest house or the crappiest house on the block. Your assessed value is going to be pretty much the same if you have the same "stats". The county does not come out and do individual appraisals house by house. 

    The only way ignoring your lawn and refusing to paint is going to impact your tax bill is if you drive your neighbor's sale price down when they're actively trying to sell. That's an asshole move, if it even works. 
    I beg to differ on assessments and property taxes. From Investopedia:

    "The assessor will review all relevant information surrounding your property to estimate its overall value. To give you the most accurate assessment, the assessor must look at what similar properties are selling for under the current market conditions, how much the replacement costs for the property would be, the maintenance costs for the property owner, any improvements that were completed, any income you are making from the property and how much interest would be charged to purchase or construct a property comparable to yours.

    3 Ways Your Property Will Be Valued

    The assessor can estimate the market value of the property by using three different methods and has the option of choosing a single one or any combination of the three.

    Performing a Sales Evaluation

    The assessor values the property using similar sales in the area. Criteria include location, the state of the property, any improvements and the overall market conditions. The assessor then makes adjustments in the figures to show specific changes to the property, such as new additions and renovations."

    ________________________________


    charlotte989875
  • If you hire an assessor to assess your home, yes, that is how it is done. But counties and states rely on mass appraisals.
    MyNameIsNot
  • If you hire an assessor to assess your home, yes, that is how it is done. But counties and states rely on mass appraisals.
    Yes.  I just went through a 3 year saga with my property taxes and making appeals because my house was overvalued due to the fact that the houses around me have a much higher value.  It took several appeals to get it adjusted correctly. 

    But yes, your neighbors can fuck over your ability to sell your house for the price you want or in a timely manner if they don't keep up their property.  
    charlotte989875
  • If you hire an assessor to assess your home, yes, that is how it is done. But counties and states rely on mass appraisals.

    Or live in a county where the assessors decide a property value is whatever they say it is, despite all other evidence.

    My own eye-rolling property tax story, lol.  I bought my own personal home in May of that year, which included an appraisal as required by my mortgager (of course).  I bought it for $81K and my appraisal came in at $135K.

    In July, I get notice that my home is being assessed at $220K and I can appeal this value during the first two weeks in Aug.  Which I did.  Any documents to support one's argument are only considered if they are less than 6 months old.  Fair enough.

    I went with all my ducks in a row.  The appraisal report and my closing documents.  All of them less than three months old.  Here is the paraphrased conversation:

    Me:  "I literally just bought the house for $81K three months ago. So, obviously, that's the market value.  That's what my assessment should be."

    The assessor pulls my house up on Google maps and asks me a few questions about it.  Then says:  "We look at comps for the area.  But not necessarily purchase prices, even recent ones.  I can do an assessed value of $160K."

    What I was thinking, "Oh, okay. So actual market value means nothing.  Wow.  Really.  Got it."

    What I actually said, "With all due respect, I find that surprising.  But I understand.  However, my appraisal report shows the home is worth $135K.  This is a licensed, unbiased third party who spent over 90 minutes at the property.  Including being inside every room, taking measurements, and looking at the condition.  The report is less than 3 months old.  As such, my assessment should not exceed his $135K valuation."

    The assessor thought about it for a moment and said, "I'm sorry.  I still think $160K is a fair assessment."  Whatever (sigh).  At least it was an improvement.

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    mrsconn23
  • If you hire an assessor to assess your home, yes, that is how it is done. But counties and states rely on mass appraisals.

    Or live in a county where the assessors decide a property value is whatever they say it is, despite all other evidence.

    My own eye-rolling property tax story, lol.  I bought my own personal home in May of that year, which included an appraisal as required by my mortgager (of course).  I bought it for $81K and my appraisal came in at $135K.

    In July, I get notice that my home is being assessed at $220K and I can appeal this value during the first two weeks in Aug.  Which I did.  Any documents to support one's argument are only considered if they are less than 6 months old.  Fair enough.

    I went with all my ducks in a row.  The appraisal report and my closing documents.  All of them less than three months old.  Here is the paraphrased conversation:

    Me:  "I literally just bought the house for $81K three months ago. So, obviously, that's the market value.  That's what my assessment should be."

    The assessor pulls my house up on Google maps and asks me a few questions about it.  Then says:  "We look at comps for the area.  But not necessarily purchase prices, even recent ones.  I can do an assessed value of $160K."

    What I was thinking, "Oh, okay. So actual market value means nothing.  Wow.  Really.  Got it."

    What I actually said, "With all due respect, I find that surprising.  But I understand.  However, my appraisal report shows the home is worth $135K.  This is a licensed, unbiased third party who spent over 90 minutes at the property.  Including being inside every room, taking measurements, and looking at the condition.  The report is less than 3 months old.  As such, my assessment should not exceed his $135K valuation."

    The assessor thought about it for a moment and said, "I'm sorry.  I still think $160K is a fair assessment."  Whatever (sigh).  At least it was an improvement.

    That's crazy.  We went through a lot of drama for our appeal, but it was more we were sending in stuff and not hearing shit.  When they did value our house, it was for the amount that it appraised for this fall when we refinanced. 
  • mrsconn23 said:
    That's crazy.  We went through a lot of drama for our appeal, but it was more we were sending in stuff and not hearing shit.  When they did value our house, it was for the amount that it appraised for this fall when we refinanced. 

    At least it was finally some good news!  Though I remember when you were talking about how insanely long it was taking and all the hoops you all had to jump through.

    Where I live, the assessment can only be appealed from Aug. 1-Aug. 15th.  It can be done via mail.  Or it can be done in-person, where the assessor makes an "on the spot" decision, just like I described.  But, either way, the decision is final until the next year.

    The rumor is that in-person usually has better results.  But since it is such a short timeframe, the line is hours long.  It's like Black Friday.  I think the assessor's office opens at 8:30AM and people will start lining up outside City Hall at 6AM. 

    It's definitely a PITA and has its problems, but I don't think they leave people hanging, even when the mail process is used.  So I'll begrudgingly give the NOLA Assessor's Office a point for that, lol.

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