How to deal with your neighbor's bad curb appeal
Hipsters at the marketing company Brainiacs From Mars are looking for a few homeowners willing to turn their homes into brightly painted billboards.
In exchange, the company will make your mortgage payments for as long as you keep the advertisement up.
This company's unconventional campaign has earned it dozens of mentions in places like The Huffington Post and The Boston Globe.
It's also resulted in more than 42,000 applications from homeowners nationwide willing to sacrifice good taste for some home loan help.
God help you if your neighbors become one of the 3,000 homes to win a new coat of gaudy paint.
While they’re getting the mortgage paid, every time you look out the window, you’ll be blinded by their neon orange and green monstrosity.
If your neighbors turn their home into a giant ad, paint it Barbie pink or permanently stop mowing the lawn, try these 7 tips for dealing with your neighbors’ bad curb appeal:
- Check the rules. Do an online search to see if they’re violating local or state outdoor advertising laws. Many jurisdictions outlaw outdoor ads in residential neighborhoods. To look for the law, try an Internet search using your city name and keywords like these: “outdoor advertising laws” or “sign code.” Warning: These rules sometimes don’t apply to political signs. If the issue is yard-related (high grass, overgrown shrubs) or involves home maintenance (peeling paint, holes in the roof) contact the local zoning board to ask about local laws about home appearance.
- Ask what’s up with that? Be curious about what’s going on with the neighbor’s house. Maybe that shade of blue paint is very popular in their prior neighborhood. Maybe once the paint was up they didn’t like it either, but they can't afford to try another color. Offer to help them repaint. Better yet, offer to treat them to a new color.
- Help correct the issue. Sometimes an offer to help solves the problem. In South Carolina, a Korean War veteran threatened with jail time over his yard full of junk was bailed out by neighbors who hosted a yard sale to help him pay a $500 fine, WCNC-TV reported. Meanwhile, the owner began cleaning up his property. Perhaps the neighbors would be happy to be rid of the rotting play set if you offer to take it to the dump. Can you help them patch the hole in the roof?
- Sue them. If the neighbors’ actions are aimed at harming you, say they put up a sign declaring your family is a bunch of jerks, see an attorney to find out what remedies you have.
- Block the view. Put up a high fence or plant fast-growing shrubs to hide the view. Pull the shades on the windows that face the neighbors. It won’t make the problem go away, but at least you won’t have to look at it so often.
- Beg them to go to mediation. A mediator can help negotiate a deal between you and your annoying neighbor. Check with your city or county government to see if they can recommend a local mediation center.
- Move to a community with lots of rules. When you live in a community association, homeowners association, co-op or condominium that tightly regulates home appearance, you won’t have to worry about living next door to a neon orange home.