A Change in the Hood

I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that my modest (read ramshackle) neighborhood is racially and age diverse which means we enjoy (using the term loosely) the sounds, smells, and sights of other cultures up close and personal. The most noticeable cultural difference between my neighbors and me is their appreciation of noise. Fireworks, loud automobiles, barking dogs, and raucous parties, blaring music at concert level only elicit sighs of resignation among the older contingent who can barely remember those pleasures and now crave the sounds of silence. There’s nothing like tinnitus to hone one’s appreciation of silence.

When I moved into this neighborhood, I was the youngster (twenty). There was a middle-aged family in the house on one side and grandparents on the other side. I’m sure they cringed when they saw us move in with a horse, dogs, cats, and friends who partied until all hours. So, frankly, I deserve whatever I get in my old age.

Over the years, the grandparents to the north died, leaving the house to kids and grandkids who didn’t bear any resemblance to their tidy fore bearers but eventually their deferred maintenance of the property overwhelmed them and they sold the derelict property to me.

Restoration in progress
The gentrification completed

The house to the south was sold a couple of times during my tenure, the last time to a family with two pre-teens who grew into typically obnoxious teens, became adults, moved out, had kids, moved back in with mom and dad along with their dogs and chickens and finally moved out again. Just when it looked like we were going to have a nice quiet, adult neighborhood, they sold their house to live in an RV.

So, we have new neighbors and everyone is watching with bated breath to see what kind of neighbors they will be. Of utmost interest is what kind of person pays $535,000 for a house in this neighborhood?


Is it the beginning of gentrification? Despite the glowing description on Redfin, the new owners are busily working evenings tearing out tile and peaking our curiosity about what improvements they have in mind for the recently renovated interior. I’m excited because I can hear them speaking Spanish and have high hopes of having opportunities to practice my limited speaking skills. The vanity plates on the truck in the driveway say, “El Jefe8” (the boss) so I wonder if he’s driving his wife’s truck.

7 thoughts on “A Change in the Hood

  1. Haha!! Maybe he’s a Springsteen fan? The housing market is downright crazy… good that you were able to buy out the neighbor and renovate the structure… Even with the makeover I’d never pay a half a million for a house that size.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Or it’s a company car and he’s down the totem pole. California has been crazy forever. Knew a guy with a house in Los Gatos back in the 80s. Even then, it was $400k. I’d moved from Houston where another friend had sold a house in Bell Aire just like the LG digs for $24k. I said to the LG guy “Nice house. Where’s the other 380 grand?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My partner is talented and provides the labor while I just write the checks. The trouble is, the house is now too nice to imagine renting it out to tenants who will not appreciate the effort it took to restore it. So, it sits empty, the cheery yellow paint fading, as it gradually fills up with things too good to throw out and “earthquake supplies”. I’ve heard it could rent for about $2,000/month so I consider that’s the price we are paying to have the perfect neighbors.


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