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Tag Archives: neighborhood envy

The “New Roof” Game

As a resident expert on neighborhood envy and the lengths people will go to just to “keep up,” we can’t forget about the “new roof” phenomenon. In addition to Christmas lights and landscaping, new roofs are one of the biggest ways the neighbors try to keep up with one another, and even show one another up, at times.

replacing-roofs-keeping-up-with-neighbors

Keep up with the Joneses through a new roof

Getting New Roofs Around the Neighborhood

If you’re in or near the Midwest, you probably know what we’re talking about. Especially for our fellow neighbors who are also in tornado valley, or so it seems. Last spring we had a massive hail storm. Skylights were broken, gutters dented, and some people even had to replace car windshields. And with a massive hail storm came roof replacement. The funny thing to me is that there is a process that takes place in order for the whole neighborhood to get a new roof. It goes something like this:

1. All neighbors come outside after the hail has passed to evaluate the size of the hail. They gasp.

2. One or two wise neighbors realize that they probably just had storm damage to their property.

3. One of those neighbors gets on the ball, and calls their insurance agent ASAP to get a claims team out to the house to evaluate.

4. Claims team comes to the house, determines that the home indeed got storm damage. Cuts check.

5. On-the-ball home owner gets quotes and settles on a roofing company.Roofing materials begin being delivered.

6. Surrounding neighbors begin to wonder what’s going on with the new roof down the street.

7. Roofing company pulls up, spends the whole day atop the roof and sticks a sign in the yard.

8. Other neighbors wise up and realize they too could most likely get a new roof because of the storm.

9. Neighbors call their insurance companies, soon the number of roofing signs down the street double.

10. A few months later, the last straggling neighbors also call their agents. By the time it’s over, nearly everyone on the street has a new roof.

Insurance Companies Don’t Like Neighborhood Envy

I imagine that insurance companies don’t like neighborhood envy. It’s a domino effect – you see one neighbor gets a new roof and then realize you could probably get a new roof, too. But at least everyone doesn’t hate that game; I’m sure roofing companies have a heyday.

 

Christmas Light Competition: Ditto

I know it’s still summer but I had to share this photo. Now this is a funny way of getting around neighborhood envy. And it goes to show that some like to compete light-for-light, while others take a creative approach and play along:

christmas-lights-competition

One house has obviously gone all out with their Christmas lights. They not only have icicle lights hanging from the entire perimeter of the house, but they have pre-lit deer, Christmas trees and other iconic Christmas lights in their yard. Their neighbor must have known it was coming, as they carefully constructed a “Ditto” sign with an arrow pointing toward the bright house. I have a feeling this wasn’t the first year that the house on the left has gone all out. At least they spread the Christmas cheer so that their neighbors eventually did play along. Happy Holidays!

Hello, Neighbors.

Hello, Neighbors!

I can’t wait to dive into my blog where we talk about the latest and greatest about living in America. No, I’m not talking about democracy,  beautiful sights and sounds, nor the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest (although those are great, too.) I’m talking about the little green-eyed competition that occurs behind the little white picket fences lining our “American Dream Home” estates – neighborhood envy.

Christmas Light Show

Get the Neighbors Green Eyed

Also known as “Keeping up with the Joneses,” neighborhood envy runs fast through our shrub-lined streets and knocks on every neighbor’s front door. At first we try to shrug it off and be individualistic, soaking in the advice of our pop-cultured American influences that tell us different is good. But as we settle in, transform the homes into “our own” and gauge our “place” in the neighborhood – the green-eyed envy monster begins to invade our minds. We notice the neighbor’s new basketball court, or their gorgeous display of Christmas lights. We drive by slowly to read who put the new roof on the house, or admire the beautiful landscaping in full bloom. The competition begins. And then we realize we need it, too.

There are all kinds of neighborhoods out there, but whether you live in a luxury neighborhood or a standard suburban area, neighbors are always out to observe what’s happening with one another, and try to keep up. And while we can all agree that there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed (keeping up so much so that you foreclose on your house, for one) neighborhood envy can actually be a lot of fun. It can help you keep your house in great shape, ensuring that your property values go up. It also creates a great discussion for you as you adorn your homes with the best lights you can and throw the greatest parties, while attracting attention to your home and sparking relationships with your neighbors. It can be difficult to just have fun these days, and playing up neighborhood envy is one way to bring a little lightheartedness to the world around us.

As a girl next door and fan of a wonderful neighborhood competition, welcome to my blog. We’re here to point out how fun it is to be extreme when adorning the house and have a friendly competition with the neighbors.

Game on!

-nextdoorwinnie