Your Advice: Getting Used to Your Neighbors

Ok… I feel like a mean, petty and immature neighbor.

Here’s the deal. I guess since nobody had lived in my current house for a few months, people got used to parking on the street in front of it.

When I moved in, people still parked there, and I just assumed it was because they thought the house was still empty.

Two months later… they KNOW we live there. The people who usually park there have actually seen us walk into and out of our house. There’s someone parked there about 30% of the time.

This is the front of my house. It's fairly narrow, so one car parked in front of it pretty much blocks everything.

For some reason, this really bothers me.

The worst part is that I actually LIKE it when they park there. I have no car, and I rarely if ever need that space. It gives me more privacy, the dogs no longer have a view of the street (so they don’t bark as much) and having a car there scares away potential robbers (even though I doubt they exist in my neighborhood, but you never know).

I guess I just feel kinda annoyed that nobody thought it necessary to ask me if it was ok.

But I can’t say anything, because the conversation would go like this:

Me: Good morning! So I see your friends have been parking in front of my house…

Neighbor: Sorry! Since there wasn’t a “No Parking” sign, I didn’t think it would bother you. I’ll tell my friends not to park there anymore.

Me: Oh, it’s ok! I don’t mind if they park here.

Neighbor: So what’s the problem?

Me: Uh… just came over here to tell you that you’re a jerk for not asking me first.

Anyway, this morning as I was walking out the door to go to work, a lady parked her SUV in front of my gate. As I locked the gate, I gave her a look. Kind of a cross between a casual glance and a death stare, thus making her believe I wasn’t necessarily angry, but that I was confused as to why she was there. As I walked down the street, she moved her car. I felt like kind of a jerk, but hey, at least I felt acknowledged.

Jorge doesn’t seem bothered by the parking issue.

Am I being petty, since I really don’t mind anyway? Is it acceptable to park in front of someone’s house without asking?

21 thoughts on “Your Advice: Getting Used to Your Neighbors

  1. No No No No No! You are totally in the right here, it’s just a bit rude not to ask! Its common courtesy just to ask if you’re going to park in front of someones house, whether or not you need it! I see your situation though with saying something… catch 22 situation! x

  2. I have similar neighborly situations like this all time. If it is going to make you slowly hate them, you should say something. Maybe like, “Hi, I don’t mind that you guys are parking out front since I don’t have a car, but I am having a little trouble getting out of my gate. Could you try to park a little further away?”

    Wait, are you having trouble leaving the gate?? I guess in Seattle the street is public property unless there is a driveway.

  3. Personally, I would want to be asked. And the resulting conversation would probably be something like what you just described. But if you really don’t mind them parking there, I’d probably let it go.

    Either that or I’d make them pay.

  4. Put up a sign. You can usually find them in places that sell posters.
    “Absolutely NO PARKING. Cars will be towed!!”
    or “NO PARKING, TIRES FLATTENED FREE!”
    It is seriously frowned upon in Puebla & Tlaxcala to block someones driveway.
    You could diplomatically tell the person,” I’m expecting my Parents, the President or Chapo Guzman, please don’t block my driveway”

  5. We talked about this a little the other night, but after ready this and looking at the pic; people shouldn’t be parking infront of anyones gate. Essentially that space inside the gate is meant for a car, and just because nobody was there for a few months, at some point someone would be moving in and possibly need to utilize THEIR property. I think it is beyond rude for them to park there. No one at my old apt ever parked infront of our gate and no one in the three apts had a car.

  6. Rhiella: I agree… nothing illegal about it, but still a common courtesy, right?

    Salt: Hmmm… When you say “make them pay”, do you mean charge a fee, or do you mean make them suffer? Either one would be fun 🙂

    Bob: “I’m expecting Calderon ANY MINUTE! Please move!” HAHAHAHAHA

    Tori: Yeah, I think the picture helps. It’s not just like they’re parking in front of my house… it’s more like they’re blocking my entire house AND driveway.

  7. You could say something like “I just wanted to let you know I don’t mind if your friends park in front of our house…..since I don’t have a car right now.” That way you kind of claiming the space, and “allowing” them to save it for you until you do get a car, or if your friends come visit, or when you need it, etc.

  8. I agree with Brooke… let them know you are okay with it, but that if/when you guys have a car that things will be changing.
    Hard to judge this really… in MN, if there is a driveway, you don’t park in front of it… all else is free game.

  9. In our town here in Michigan, it is illegal to block a driveway or the sidewalk with a vehicle, however it’s perfectly fine to park in front of someone’s property (we/they don’t own the STREET!). Doesn’t bother me as long as they don’t block my driveway or mailbox. My guests sometimes must park in front of someone else’s house, esp if we are having a party.

  10. Please know that your neighbors aren’t parking in front of your house to annoy you or out of disrespect. As one commenter noted, it IS a cultural difference. In Mexico, “La calle es libre”, which means people can park anywhere they want.

    If you really do have a problem, or eventually get a car, I would do as Bob in Exile suggested, go to your nearest papeleria to buy a “No Estacionarse” sign. With that sign, if ANYONE parks their car in front of your gate and leaves it there for three days or longer, just go to the police station, ask for transito, then file your complaint. The car should be towed that same day or early the next morning.

  11. Bob & Leslie have excellent input. Mexicans in general are free to do what they want until told otherwise. Before we put a gate on our patio, the renters could frequently be found hanging out in our garage. They didn’t think they were being rude or intrusive, but it bothered me. Once the gate was there, they knew we didn’t want them there and respected the space. As Mexicans detest confrontation, this was the best way to handle it.

    If you don’t want them parking there, either put up a sign or put a physical barrier in place of the space. Some people here use sand bags or concrete-filled buckets with a steel rod in the middle. Then they will know not to park there and you will have saved them the uncomfortable confrontation.

  12. OK so it doesn’t bother you .. BUT .. I would put up a sign NO PARKING .. what if you get a car? Besides if you are sitting in front, you don’t want to stare at a car. And when I come to visit, I’ll need a place to park!

  13. Don’t worry- we’re all petty like that. And yet, small acts such as that can create big craters in us. For girls, asking for permission equates someone respecting your property and you. No one wants to feel taken for granted and when ppl don’t ask you, you might feel a loss of respect.

    And then it’s territorial claim. For me, I occasionally respond unconsciously like a dog peeing on a firehydrant. In that case, I’d probably pee on it first and then say, oh sure I grant you permission to use it.

  14. Thanks to everyone for the awesome comments!

    I think the conclusion I’ve come to (after talking to some Cancun friends and reading comments) is this:

    Local culture: People here in Cancun are ok with blocking houses with their cars so long as it never happens to them. 🙂

    I’m just going to let it go until I get a car. Then… it’s on.

  15. Im sorry to said this but here in the states is the same history even we pay for our parking lot , people doesnt care at all, but in mexico you can tell them what it is and they eventually, will understand the mesage, i think you taking so personal! :/

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