The Game Changer: Over the Fence

In our latest column The Game Changer by Durban’s own Oscar Anderson he delivers his weekly editions of love, life and everything in between. Check out this week’s feature entitled Over the Fence…

It is nearing that time of the year again, not any celebratory holiday or gift swapping procession but the time of year where I need to start looking for a new place to stay in case my lease does not get renewed. And the possibilities are endless which is why you need to start early. If you do not give yourself enough time to actually look for a decent spot to stay then be prepared for the rest of the city to be looking at the same time as you are, turning your lovely weekend plans into one of the aisles at Checkers during Christmas season.

House hunting sounds really exciting, like a father and son weekend away, dressed in camouflage in the bush somewhere, when in fact I am actually sitting in my camouflage underpants in front of the laptop. Not so exciting, especially if you happen to be one of my unsuspecting flatmates. The internet has taken out the element of surprise when it comes to the hunting side. It used to be fun going to an “open house”, only to find that the soon to be ex-residents had not prepared the place beforehand. No one wants to have to step over dirty laundry when viewing a potential future place of residence, although it almost felt as if I was already living there.

The collective “they” say that when looking for property that it is all about location, location, location. I disagree. Yes, location does play a part; is it close to work, shops, schools, does it have a view and so forth, but I prefer to think that neighbours, neighbours, neighbours is what really counts. I understand that everyone obviously has their own factors which they take into consideration concerning both location and neighbours. For instance, a young family may look at school and work routes which could benefit their daily routine, but do the neighbours have brats of their own? That way when the weekend finally comes and you get to relax you can rest easy knowing that you can offload your kids to them, preferably they have a bigger pool than yours so that the kids will always be by their side, no mess to clean up and you don’t have to provide constant food for their one overweight child.

For me personally, I would like to know whether or not my neighbours have daughters, or are someone’s’ daughters. I’m not even fussy with regard to their looks because even if they aren’t anything to look at, everyone knows that ugly girls have at least one hot girl in their group. Things like that are important to know. Neighbours are a key factor to the extent of enjoyability that your new residence will provide. These factors include the possibility of them baby-sitting for you, lending you appliances that you will only return months later, and how accommodating they are to the noise levels of your weekly boy’s night, but most importantly that they will keep their large and intrusive noses out of your business.

House hunting is tough, but I suggest that while you are looking at all the new features of your residence-to-be that you stick your head over the fence and give your neighbours a thorough examine. Remember that neighbours are there for your benefit, it is one of the reasons why you moved out of your parents place, clearly their benefits became redundant and you started becoming one of their benefits. It is also advisable, for security reasons, to know who your neighbours are. No one wants to be asking Michael Jackson if he could baby sit for a few hours or live next to people who have ranting and raving mad children. Your child will not influence them to become angels; peer pressure is a downhill race only.

Now you may argue that neighbours are included as part of the location theory, I disagree, some of the nicest neighbourhoods have the worst neighbours. Instead look for an area with neighbours you could benefit the most from and then find the best place closest to them. A few friendly store bought cakes will win them over, you can always tell them that they are homemade, just be sure to remove the price…

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