Letter: So you're thinking about buying a townhouse...

This letter was motivated by two complaints we recently got regarding the use of our backyard in our townhouse complex. Complaint number one — that a particular flower (even though I don't know the name) "makes me allergic, please move it."

Complaint number two — "Your daughter is outside too much and sings too much (during the day I might add)."

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Now I'm not going to say where I live or out the person who made these ridiculous comments, but perhaps for everyone else out there, before you buy a townhouse here are a few tips:

1. You are most likely going to see and hear your neighbours throughout the day. This could be both inside and outside your unit.

2. You may have less privacy. Windows, yards, doors are all closer than living in a single family home.

3. If your townhouses have yards, there is a good chance that your neighbours may use them for things like playing, singing, talking, cooking, enjoying themselves, enjoying others, enjoying nature. Quite possibly even in the evenings before 10 p.m.

4. Parking, visitor parking, etc. could be contentious, especially in an area where so many people fill their garages with their toys. It can be ever more difficult to navigate if there are multiple stratas in the same area.

Here's a few "solutions":

1. Never leave your house. Never leave your car. Never say hi. Never wave. Beware of people.

2. Close your windows. Close your doors. Beware of the onlookers, singers and killer flowers.

3. Stay inside. Lock your windows and doors. Play your Beethoven on your noise-canceling headphones.

4. Work with your strata. Complaining on a daily, weekly, monthly basis doesn't solve the problem.

5. And this covers all four of the tips above — don't buy a townhouse.

Sarcasm aside, the best thing to do is to actually be neighbourly. Try to understand your neighbours and why they do what they do. Try to understand that we all live in a community and we all have different expectations. Sometimes instead of anger, we should all just sing a little more and maybe stop to smell the roses.

Sean Verret, Squamish

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