To answer my own question: you bet they do! The impact can be positive or negative. I've asked readers to relate their bad neighbor stories so that they can communicate their insights into the possible negative aspects of the relationship.
For those of you who are on the younger side, this material may be rather eye-opening. That's good. When you are in the market to buy a house someday, it's best to do so with your eyes fully open. That includes being aware of the people who may be your future neighbors. Today I thought I'd share some of the complaints readers have shared over the years.
Contentiousness between neighbors over pet issues is very common. In fact, I don't know how you can come away from reading these bad neighbor stories without developing at least a mild curiosity regarding the best cat repellents and dog repellents. Note, however, that the complaints do cut both ways: while most people complain about neighbors who fail to control their pets, a few complain about how the folks next door are abusive to other people's pets (even to the point of poisoning them!).
Along the same lines, unruly children next door constitute another widely-reported problem. Issues sometimes associated with such kids (but sometimes associated with adults, too) include vandalism, excessive noise, trespassing, theft and bullying. Privacy fences (picture) can help, but some readers even report vandalism against their fences!
Then there are issues that are more strictly adult-oriented, such as ill-mannered neighbors who insist on parking in your driveway rather than their own. Nosiness, too ranks high as a frequent complaint. Then there's the ultimate adult-oriented issue: the neighbor who tries to steal your spouse from you when you're not around! You can easily imagine how this could lead to much more serious spouse issues than my readers typically report.
Oh, and since I'm posting about this subject during the winter, I can't help but observe that some neighbors, reportedly, have developed a curious habit regarding how to shovel snow: namely, they've taken to moving it into someone else's driveway. Yikes!
Photo ©2009 David Beaulieu, Landscaping Guide (licensed to About, Inc.)