Not My Idea of a Dream HomeIf you believe the news, now is the time to buy a new home. Prices are at all-time lows and mortgage rates remain respectable. Sound good? It sounded great to California resident Jack Hagerty. After going through a divorce, he took the bait.
He lucked out and found a condo perfect for him and his young son, in San Francisco, one of the most expensive places to live in the United States. Unfortunately, that's where his luck ran out.
No sooner had the ink dried on the closing papers and Hagerty made plans to rip out carpets due to allergies, than his new neighbors emailed him to prevent the carpet removal.
Why? The neighbor is into rough leather sex. "I am a sexual enthusiast and enjoy leather sex," the neighbor wrote.
I have to admit that I haven't had the pleasure -- or displeasure really -- to live in an apartment/condo in over 10 years. I am a private person and it was excruciating to live with strangers.
Whenever we shared walls or floors with neighbors, I was always stressed out and fretting that my children and two dogs were being too loud. My husband and I were constantly reminding the kids not to stomp. Hushing them. Training the dogs not to run or bark. Vacuuming when we thought the downstairs neighbors were not home.
Yes, we might have resented their cigarette smoking wafting through the floors and the sky-high thermostat levels that turned our apartment into a sauna, but we tried to maintain peace. It appears the Hagerty's new neighbor had a different take:
At times, it is possible and even likely that the sounds of leather sex will be coming from my bedrooms to your bedrooms without an effective sound barrier. While it is not my issue, you may find you need to explain things to your son as it could be confusing to him since it frequently doesn't sound as pleasurable as it is.
Let me repeat that: "Not my issue." What a @#$% fantastic way to be neighborly, eh?
My problem as a mom? It's not his lifestyle preference. Please, do whatever you want. You are an adult, but as an adult, be responsible for your actions.
I think it would be the source of said loud, confusing, steamy and maybe even scary sounds who is responsible for providing a noise barrier, don't you? How is this not the neighbor's issue? As an adult, how can you not take responsibility in ensuring your condo contains the sounds emanating from within? Don't you think Mr. Hagerty's child should have every right to live in a safe, allergen free home -- without the questionable sex education that his downstairs neighbor warns he might impart?
Sadly, Hagerty is stuck. He said, "I'm screwed...I put every penny I had into this place, and I'm still paying $2,000 a month in mortgage and homeowner fees. I can't even afford to pay rent somewhere." At the same time, he cannot in all good conscience put his son in such an environment. I wonder if any responsibility lies with the previous owner or real estate agent to disclose a ... erm ... pre-existing condition?
As a parent, his situation sounds like my worst nightmare -- being stuck between my children's welfare and the lack of funds to do anything about it.
So tell me your worse neighbor stories? Tell me your tales of woe of thin walls, rude neighbors, and lacking sound barriers? Better yet, do you have any helpful advice for Mr. Hagerty?
Image via by Steve Snodgrass/Flickr