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  Close neighbors overlooking back yard! Help!
Close neighbors overlooking back yard! Help! Sign In/Join 
We desperately need some help with ideas! Our house has been on the market for about 2 months. We live in the city but have a double lot on a dead end street. One of our neighbors live incredibly close to us on one side. We have a privacy fence up, but it only blocks their first floor. Their second story overlooks our back yard and is a huge turn off to potential buyers! Any reasonably priced ideas on how to increase privacy and make this space more appealing to buyers? It's an awesome back yard and deck area.

Posts: 5 | Registered: Jul 07, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of indycatCarol
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I really like the house. If I were to buy the house and being "exposed" in the back bothered me I'd see about extending the pergola. How expensive would it be for you to do that? Then maybe hang a "curtain" on the neighbor side.

I don't mind coming to work. But that 8 hr. wait to go home is a drag.
Posts: 3481 | Location: Indiana | Registered: Nov 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm thinking you're looking at the wrong neighbor's house...? The pic with the arrow above shows which house we are dealing with...opposite side of the yard from the deck/pergola. Frown
Posts: 5 | Registered: Jul 07, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think what was meant is to extend the pergola across the entire back of the house.

But don't you think that anyone buying in such a populated area would expect close neighbors. You have already had 2 price drops in 60 days? And you still appear to be higher priced than most.

Have you been getting showings? Any offers? What is the average days on market for your area?
Posts: 7317 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of indycatCarol
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Yes, that is why I said extend the pergola (over the rest of the deck)and then add the "curtain" on the left hand side.

I don't mind coming to work. But that 8 hr. wait to go home is a drag.
Posts: 3481 | Location: Indiana | Registered: Nov 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Their house extends over much of the back yard...much more than pictured, of course. Basically the entire yard would need to be covered to prevent them seeing it. I'm thinking of something that can be done against the fence or on top of it?
Our home is on a double city lot, with a 3 car garage...there is only one other 3 car garage home for sale in the area and the home is in need of a lot of work. We are hoping to sell more quickly...hence the price drops. Those who have seen it and attended open houses frequently comment on the neighbor's proximity being the only negative...most of the surveys say the price is right on. It's a unique property for the city, both size and location, so we are just waiting for someone like us thats going to need and appreciate the 3 car garage and dead end location.
Posts: 5 | Registered: Jul 07, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh we have had about 8 showings and 2 very busy open houses. And LOTS of drivebys! No offers yet though. One showing came, saw how close the neighbors were, and left...never even got out of their car to look inside Frown
We definitely are surprised it's an issue for people, as most homes are pretty packed in around this area, as mentioned by a user above. Whether they're a foot off our yard or 20 feet away, it's still the same amount of privacy, right?
Posts: 5 | Registered: Jul 07, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Charming
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I always wonder about that when they constantly bring it up on HGTV shows. Does any think their neighbors actually stand at the upstairs windows and watch their yard?

How do you know the people who did not go in were put off by the closeness? They might not have liked your front porch, the neighbors dog, the cars on the street, etc. Unless they told you, you don't really know.

If it is really a problem to you - do like was suggested and extend the pergola. That will give a private area, how much of the back yard do most people use anyway?

Fun and Info
Posts: 3613 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Jewel
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Since you have yard space on that side, consider planting tall, columnar trees like Eastern Red Cedar or American Arborvitae to screen the view. Your local independent nursery should be able to advise you based on your planting zone.
Posts: 8201 | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Shaunna, if I were you, this is about the last thing I'd worry about. What's that saying, accept what you can not change? Yes, the solutions to change this suggested by my fellow mb posters all work but can be very expensive.

It's a city lot. In the city, yes, buyers can expect proximity to neighbors. WRT the hgtv bs, sorry but it's just that - one of their standard, overused, ridiculous plotlines.

I wasn't sure which 2nd floor rooms were on that side so I don't know about your window coverings. (I viewed your listing before you removed it, BTW.) I would simply use the creamy, white, filmy sheers that allow light to enter and homeowners to enjoy their view but provide privacy from the neighbors. IIRC, they're about $7-9 per panel.

I definitely encourage all realtors to request feedback after showings. It is rare, unfortunately, to receive honest feedback, IMHO. People are generally nice and don't want to criticize your home. To get it over and done with, they pick on the most obvious feature of your home to end the conversation.

For example, if your home were located on a hill, anyone who liked it would comment on the lovely view. Others, instead of calling it an ugly eyesore with awful colors and outdated everything (lol), they'd complain that the driveway was too steep!

If I were you, I would try to lighten up the den/TV/front room, if possible. Don't know if you could remove the heavy brown drapes and simply go with sheers. You might consider a light throw and light, colorful pillows on the sectional.

It appears to be freshly painted. If it needs paint, I'd go lighter. At minimum, I would remove the taste-specific, large print. If possible, I'd bring in lighter artwork. You could go with just one large, basic print over the sectional and leave the other wall open, IMHO.

Also, to make it feel larger, have you ever considered breaking up the sectional? That appears to be your front room so it sets the tone for the entire home, IMHO. You have some open rooms so the extra sectional pieces could be staged there.

It's always wise to consider your most likely purchasers and stage for them. The front room has quite a mod style. No, buyers shouldn't consider the decorating but sorry, they do! So, if possible, I'd make that room more traditional to (probably) appeal to more buyers.

Is that a pet cage in one of the bedrooms? I also noticed some pet bowls. I love pets and they're definitely part of the family. When selling, however, IMHO, it's best to minimize the evidence of animals' presence in the home. If that's a cage, it definitely needs to go, IMHO.

The kitchen needs a tad more color and life, IMHO. I would remove the green towel and stow the dark items, if possible. You might try just one colorful piece of pottery in one of the corners and either a colorful plant or place fresh flowers on the end of the counter for showings.

Same suggestion for the eating area - more life and color, like the kitchen. I'd think about a colorful rug under the table. Is that the pellet stove or a sideboard? If a sideboard, I'd probably stage it elsewhere.

Another thing about the paint and colors. The kitchen and eating area are adjacent to the front room? I don't feel a sense of flow between the areas. To me, it feels disjointed.

If you end up painting the front room, I'd extend the color into those rooms. Or, at minimum, paint them with a lighter color from the same paint chip/family as the front room. I believe buyers would feel more comfortable in the space and at home, if you improved the flow.

Does the kitchen have a backsplash? It appears light brown and monochromatic. Is it tile? If you need a backsplash, that'd be a good opportunity to add more life and color.

I tend to disagree with the selling strategy of waiting for that one buyer who'll appreciate your home. I don't believe buyers make a decision based on one particular attribute of a home. Yes, guys typically love 3-car garages. Most buyers consider them a bonus, IMHO.

Does your most likely buyer have a family? Who'll make the buying decision - wife or husband? I'd guess the wife. You want the wife to feel comfortable as soon as she walks in the home b/c she'll probably make her decision in only a minute or two.

So, I'd try to make your home appeal to as many people as possible, i.e. the largest buying pool possible - instead of that 1 guy who simply must have a workshop in the garage.

I don't know your area or the comps you're using so I can't comment on the price. You reduced it by 4% after about a month. That's fine. I would have stopped there - for awhile, anyway.

Yes, I know the common strategy of updating the listing with a minor price reduction but to me, it screams desperation and leads to even lower offers. I don't know what "surveys" you're using to justify the price but when you keep reducing it, you inform the market, IMHO, that it's overpriced. The market responds, IME, by offering you much less.

You mentioned that the home needs work. What work's needed? To me, that's more likely one of the reasons it's been passed over. And, IME, buyers take a reasonable repair cost and then multiply that at least a few times to calculate a reduction to their opening offer.

Don't know if you wanted more feedback than just suggestions for the privacy issue so hope you don't mind my frank comments. You have a nice home. With just a little, inexpensive tweaking, I believe you can put your home's best foot forward to the market to sell within a reasonable amount of time at the true market value.

Best of luck to you -

This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
Posts: 537 | Registered: Aug 29, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of rker321
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anyone that is looking for a house in the city, and complains about the nearness of other houses is probably lying to the Realtor or themselves.
And if they don't like near neighbors they should move to the suburbs. Don't worry, is just like another poster said HGTV BS.
Posts: 5016 | Location: 0 | Registered: May 31, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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