Talking Points

  • A surprising number of homeowners are bucking the notion that good fences make good neighbors and taking down the fences in favor of bigger gardens and more space to entertain.
  • While some homeowners are turning previously neglected corners into shared garden and dining spaces, togetherness does have its down sides.  Gardening expenses can be split evenly, but who pulls the weeds and who gets to pick the fruit? What happens when one neighbor wants to sell? Some people draw up legal contracts to help prevent acrimony and spell out how they will disband.
  • Additionally, yard-sharing is rare in new developments of single-family homes with privacy fences often required under community covenants and building codes.
  • A shared yard also could dampen an individual home’s value and prolong the time spent on the market, as potential buyers likely will want to put up a fence instantly, adding costs to the home.
  • Because of these issues, some real estate agents are advising that neighbors restore fencing when either home is offered for sale.  It is best to install the fence before the listing the home, as some buyers will not want to be the bad new neighbor who required a fence.