Just How Crazy Is Your “Crazy Neighbour?”

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2 minute read

January 25, 2016

I can’t believe I never posted this video before!

I suppose the green grass and sunshine would have been a dead give-away that I did NOT film this video last week.  I actually took this last summer while looking at houses in the east end, and it never made its way into a blog post…..until now!

I’ve done a few blogs on “crazy neighbours” before (that house on Bertmount in Leslieville comes to mind), but this made me laugh.

Take a look…

I almost found this to be cute, in a way.

Because I can imagine the owner of that house going out of his or her way to make all this happen.

I can imagine the owner on a plastic-covered couch in the “sun room,” reading a newspaper from two months ago, watching a rotary-dial television, and then actually planning to go out to the “corner store” to get white spray-paint to mark his or her territory.

I know there’s a LOT worse that you could find on any given street in Toronto.

But this was crazy in an innocent sort of way, if that makes sense.

It’s not like “giving out razor-apples on Halloween” kind of crazy, but just like “get off my porch” kind of crazy.

Nevertheless, do you think a potential buyer would be deterred?

That driveway screams “play hockey on me,” but would a buyer see that white spray-painted line, the “NO TRESPASSING,” and decide maybe it’s not worth the gamble?

I mean, “trespassing” is a stretch.  If a tennis ball was bouncing around on that driveway, being shot into a hockey net, and found its way past that white line, would the owner next door really have a fit?

Do you want to take that chance?

We’ve talked about “the house” on Bertmount before several times.  Remember this one:


Of course you do.

Who could forget that?

But what kind of “crazy” is worse?

I don’t think the neighbours next door to the “doll house” on Bertmount are affected, aside from having to see that mess every day.

But do you want your kids playing ball-hockey in a driveway where 2 1/2 feet of the next-door neighbour’s property line is spray painted with “NO TRESPASSING?”

I feel as though issues like these are amplified in our red-hot 2016 market, and they’re scrutinized more than perhaps would be otherwise warranted.

But there’s just so much at stake when it comes to buying a house in this market, and when I showed that house from the above video last year, my client said, “I would never invite that into my world and daily life, no matter how much I liked this house.  It’s just not worth the risk.”

To each, their own.

But with inventory levels as low as they are right now, in just about every neighbourhood in the city, I wonder if, when, how, and which concessions buyers will start to make…

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

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  1. Paully

    at 7:20 am

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The absolute best feature that your new home will EVER have, bar none, is a GOOD NEIGHBOUR! Everything else in your house can be fixed, changed, painted, replaced, expanded, or whatever, but you can’t do anything about a horrible neighbour.

  2. Boris

    at 8:30 am

    Alternatively, high fences and firearms can also solve a bad neighbour problem.

    1. Paully

      at 8:52 am

      Yes, using firearms could solve a bad neighbour problem, but it will earn you a trip to a federal penitentiary, where you are very likely to find a much, much worse neighbour. The upside is that your new cell-mate neighbours may actually make you reconsider your contempt of the previous neighbour! 🙂

      1. Boris

        at 10:51 am

        Subtle reminders to your neighbours about your arsenal can go a long way!

  3. Ed

    at 9:06 am

    Seems to me that the person that spray painted the “no trespassing” was actually trespassing in order to paint it.

    1. David Fleming

      at 8:44 pm

      @ Ed

      I can’t believe I never realized that.

      What incredible irony!!!!

  4. Ed

    at 9:08 am

    David re your question ‘do you think a potential buyer would be deterred?’


  5. Marina

    at 9:26 am

    I agree with your client, David. Why would you invite this into your daily life?
    For me, I’d be worried about my kids. I don’t want some unbalanced Hoarders case study yelling at them because their ball bounced too far, or because they laugh too loudly.

    There is a woman on our street (not a neighbor, thankfully, but close enough that I’ve seen her in action). She yells at any kid who sets a toe on her property to go after a ball or whatever. And shakes a broom. Literally. You could not pay me to move next door to that nightmare.

    But maybe someone with no kids and an overabundance of anger would live next door quite happily…

  6. moonbeam!

    at 10:13 am

    Haha, I have that exact same wood border and neighbour’s driveway on the side of my house! The neighbour’s kids sit on that border, and also throw balls and walk on my lawn all the time. It never occurred to me to spray paint a ‘keep-off’ warning! And David, I’m sure you recall our crazy old neighbours Joe and Elsie back in the day who protected their driveway and scared kids away al the time! 🙂

    1. David Fleming

      at 10:38 am

      @ moonbeam!

      Joe chased me with a pitchfork.

      I was six-years-old.

      It made me the man I am today…

    1. Frances

      at 11:25 pm

      The Fixer reported just today that the garbage guy is back to his old tricks.

  7. Joe Q.

    at 10:41 am

    There are people on my street who raise small animals in their garage, for food. My kids are growing up thinking it’s perfectly normal to hear “cocka-doodle-doo” in a dense urban neighbourhood on warm summer mornings.

    1. Boris

      at 10:57 am

      That’s when you happen to ‘drop off’ your dogs for a playdate in their garage for a few hours.

      Problem solved.

      1. Maggie

        at 12:15 pm

        @Boris Ugh. Someone’s neighbours dogs were loose and attacked my father’s rabbits that he raised for show and kept in the garage. It was horrible what they did to the poor rabbits. Not a funny comment.

  8. GinaTO

    at 11:57 am

    This comment thread is everything. Pitchforks? Roosters? Wow. All that’s missing is a sighting of Chrolsch’s (sp?) bear.

    1. Chroscklh

      at 2:21 pm

      Haha – you make Chroscklh LuL! No, in fact, bear not allow as pet in urban area. Not even service bear (thanks Trudeau!!!!). I present, I hope, opposite version of terrible neighbor – over holiday, I make big party with neghbors. Much vodka consume. Couple from next door get the very drunk and tell me they use be scare of Chroscklh cuz of rotweiler, military-spec H1 Hummer, and many tatoo on face – (is cultural misunderstanding) but no scare once they get know me. However, neighbors think crazy Chroscklh keep street safe because I have many camera, guard dog, bars on inside of windows, and I sit on porch with angry resting face make most stranger cross street at very least, if not run backward. I say happy to help neighbour. By way, I security conscious and live very private, but am not bother when kid come on lawn, climb my tree – who cares? If u lawn hurt by kid feet – u lawn weak like you. If you scare of kid walking up driveway, you maybe rethink home security objective. Where I from, we have saying – hear intruder – is it bear? go back to sleep. is it army? if so, same flag as u? No? Get rocket launcher. (Sound more poetic in my language)

      1. Geoff

        at 8:44 pm

        yay Chroscklh is back.

    2. moonbeam!

      at 3:50 pm

      Pitchfork: absolutely true!

      1. GinaTO

        at 4:09 pm

        I don’t doubt it! A pitchfork in Leaside, though? WTH?!?

  9. m

    at 1:06 pm

    Amazing how much a little bit of spray paint can affect property value. I would certainly be very wary of buying that house. If the price was really good, I might go to the trouble of knocking on the neighbor’s door. I’d probably be up front, and say I was considering buying, but wanted to know better who my neighbor might be.

    But if there were plenty of houses to choose from, I’d just skip over this house entirely.

  10. Kyle

    at 1:22 pm

    You can always build a fence on your side of the property line (assuming the driveway is still wide enough to use), but the price would have to be REALLY good to ever consider living beside that, because you know they’re not planning on ever moving. One thing all the crazy homeowners in this city have in common, is they’ve all been in their homes forever and have no intention of going anywhere.

    1. moonbeam!

      at 3:51 pm

      … until they die, and their house is torn down by a builder!

      1. Kyle

        at 4:12 pm

        Yes this is true they never “move”, but sometimes they do get “removed”

  11. Jeremy

    at 4:52 pm

    I guess you’d want to list that house in the winter, preferably right after a major snowfall.

  12. lui

    at 8:53 pm

    I’m sure the paint was sprayed there because of Mr Fleming shadow crossing onto the property line.I would think that during the construction of the new home there were issues with noise,workers,dust,etc,etc so the neighbour was decided to make it clear where his property started.

    1. Frances

      at 11:24 pm

      That’s no joke! We lived through the construction of a monster house next door and the builder was not particularly punctilious about staying off our property. They twice drove heavy trucks across our front lawn and the pedestrian walk to the road, cracking it in the process and leaving deep ruts in the grass. They shoveled snow onto the walk beside out house and trashed the dividing strip of grass. They also came into my yard and walked on my garden. I must admit, though, that others house builders in our area were much more careful and polite.

      1. Anna

        at 2:17 pm

        I once lived next door to a place that was under extensive renovation and came home to discover a long extension cord plugged into my outdoor outlet and running over to the construction site. The workers claimed they had permission – I was a renter and they said they’d talked to the landlord – but I was the one paying the electric bill! We ended up having to flip the fuse off for that outlet because they’d wait for everyone to leave and plug their stuff in again.

  13. AndrewB

    at 4:10 am

    The owners of that featured house should charge for home tours. I’d imagine it’s just as zany on the inside.

  14. Natrx

    at 10:55 am

    My neighbour covers her front lawn with old carpets because she doesn’t want grass. So kill it that way.. no sun.

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