When I first met my husband, Michael, just over two leap years ago, it was my dog, Kate, who was head over heels for him. The moment Kate laid eyes on him, he was hers; they would remain inseparable until her death last Fall. That’s very much how I felt about the first house I purchased, until I didn’t. It took me a while to find it, months that felt like years, and I was crazy about it. When I entered, I felt it welcomed me with wide-open arms; I felt loved. Unfortunately, I failed to account for the things I could not change, the environment.

It was a townhome, situated on a cul-du-sac just above a shopping strip, which had a dance studio, used by Dancing with the Stars contestants, that made it impossible to have any peace and quiet during the day hours and a few restaurants that made night time slumber a waking nightmare. I swear, they turned into a nightclub at the turn of dusk. Add to that bit, the neighbors in my complex were distant and impersonal and hardly anyone said hello, they appeared and disappeared to and from their garages at the blink of an eye… as if they’re hoping to be invisible. Alas, the honeymoon was fading…


Whether you choose to admit it or not, the neighborhood you choose and your neighbors will always play a major role in the enjoyment and security of your home. Those are two things you cannot change. So it behooves you to take the time to investigate the neighborhood at various times and days to get a good feel; and if it’s possible to stay in the area overnight, even better. Keep in mind, even if you’re currently living nearby, things might still be different from one street to the next. And talk to people living there to get a feel for yourself and pay attention to what they’re not really saying. At the very least, make a conscious choice to be diligent about it. It’s your money and your life.

“He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe