If someone asked you to illustrate a typical metropolitan apartment complex, aggression would be one of the first features to spring to mind. Disheveled 5’2, balding landlord, double fisting a roll of toilet paper and a slice of pizza, yelling down the stairwell, at a 20-something-year-old mixologist who’s on his way to yell at the halal guy down the street that keeps getting his order wrong. Conversely, if someone asked you to depict a gated suburb community, you’d likely borrow some allusions from Leave it to Beaver or 7th Heaven or something like that.
In the face of conceived wisdom, Rent.com surveyed over 1,000 renters and homeowners finding that the higher the property value, the lower the cordiality.
Loath thy neighbor
“Buying a home or even searching for the perfect rental is no easy undertaking: It requires hours of research, recruiting a realtor, saving for a down payment and, sometimes, heading to the bank to negotiate a loan. In the midst of all the time, money and effort that goes into finding a dream home, how often do people stop and consider the folks who’ll be living next door? They could become lifelong friends – or an ever-present nuisance,” Rent.com reports.
The study was enacted by a survey of 1,013 participants. Eighteen percent of respondents lived in rural areas, 52.4% lived in suburban areas and 28.7% lived in urban areas. Three percent lived in towns of 1,000 people or less; 25.8% lived in towns of 1,001 to 20,000 people; 28.9% lived in large towns of 20,001 to 100,000 people; 19.7% lived in cities of around 300,000 people, and 13.5% lived in large cities of up to a million residents. The last crop of participants (9.3%) lived in metropolises of more than one million residents.
Surprisingly enough, people with the lowest rent payments were the happiest and most satisfied with their neighbors. For whatever reason, $700 was the line in the sand. People that paid this amount or less enjoyed their fellow tenants the most, and the reverse was found to be true for those that paid higher than this amount.
Although renters were more satisfied with their neighbors than homeowners, they were considerably less trusting across the board. This was particularly evident in millennial urbanites, who were generally less likely to trust their neighbors with a spare key or to petsit for them. Renters also expressed a great degree of reticence about talking finances than homeowners did.
Thirty-five percent of renters deemed it inappropriate to discuss rent payments with neighbors, while 65% of homeowners found it appropriate to discuss home values with the neighbors-though a greater portion of the latter couldn’t resist the temptation of looking up their neighbor’s home values online.
Despite the fact that homeowners were more willing to meet their neighbors, only a little over a quarter of them ended up forming lasting friendships with them. This likelihood was increased amongst pet owners and residents that had children. Similarly, the study revealed that both renters and homeowners were more likely to form connections with their neighbors after finding out they share similar views on crime and local recommendations.
“Baby boomers and those in rural areas were the most likely to meet and eventually welcome a neighbor into their social circle. The internet can be a helpful tool for younger generations and may encourage millennials to reach out when they otherwise would not. At the end of the day, knowing your neighbors can inspire a more friendly community for yourself and those around you,” the study said.