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Good Data Makes Good Neighbors
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Made me laugh
  • 4/21/2014 1:10:49 PM
NO RATINGS

Hi Andrea, I came across this little visual today, and I couldn't help but to think of Curberry and the discussion our community members have been having about neighbors here, so I thought I'd share:

Re: Neighbor from heck
  • 4/9/2014 2:04:10 PM
NO RATINGS

My pleasure! This has been a great forum to discuss the site! :)

Re: Neighbor from heck
  • 4/9/2014 12:32:33 PM

Very interesting. Thanks for the additional insight, Andrea.

Re: Neighbor from heck
  • 4/9/2014 12:01:12 PM

@SaneIT You brought up another great website, Nextdoor.com. They've grown a LOT since their launch less than 4 years ago, as I believe Curberry will too. They're building strong communities among existing residents and their influence is limitless. On a side note, Curberry is on the front end of this process. We're helping to bring the right buyers/renters into these neighborhoods. Those looking to relocate now have an extra research tool to help them make the right decision.

@kq4ym Curberry wasn't designed for neighborhood snooping. We're an opinion-based database designed to give buyers and renters a deeper understanding of their future neighborhood. The short survey consists of questions like:

  • Family-Friendly Atmosphere - Do neighbors wave hello?
  • Well-Lit/Evenings - Feeling safe at night is important!
  • Quiet/Peaceful Nighttime - Crickets? Or Party Animals?
  • Excessive Dog Barking
  • Social Gatherings - Block Parties, Community Yard Sales, New Years etc.
  • Neighborhood Conflicts - Are resolutions quickly met when conflicts arise?
  • Community Spirt/Involvement - Volunteer, Nieghbors Helping Neighbors
  • Vehicle Speeds

The questions are answered on a 1-5 star rating. For example, if your street has consistent speeders (my neighbor thinks he's qualifying for Formula 1), your response may be a 1 or 2. If your neighborhood is passionate about the holidays - Christmas caroling, lights, and cookie exchanges - you'd answer 5. You can always choose to leave them blank if the topic isn't applicable to where you live and/or you wish to not answer.

The additional comments box at the bottom is also optional. Instructions read, "Do you have any additional comments to add about your neighborhood? Examples: Special events? Summer festivities? Neighborhood traditions?" We review and approve comments to ensure nobody is using our forum to discriminate. 

We also have a Resources tab with links to the National Database of Crime Reports, Megan's Law, National Sex Offender's Database, and School District rankings. These sites are all publically available, but we've added them for your convenience.

Our official launch was 2 weeks ago, we have a long journey ahead of us. The feedback has been awesome. Thanks again for the great comments! I hope these answers encourage you to visit the site and see for yourself. :) 

~Andrea

Re: Neighbor from heck
  • 4/9/2014 11:33:48 AM
NO RATINGS

An interesting idea, snooping on prospective neighbors before a decision to buy or rent. But, until lots and lots of people choose to make entries and comments, it's going to be an idea that has yet to bear fruit. I've gone to too many new websites hoping for some cool new info promised, only to find there's yet little there. Now, if the site could gather and collate info from lots of places; crime reports, social media comments, etc. maybe there's a change to get lots of stuff on that late night dog barking, or party throwing teens.

Re: Neighbor from heck
  • 4/9/2014 8:35:54 AM
NO RATINGS

@SaneIT, do you ever wonder whether all this virtual socializing, neighborly as it seems, is really replacing the good old-fashioned way -- i.e, getting out and meeting people in person. Will we see an end to community meetings and townhalls, for example, and gather on a social site instead?

Re: Neighbor from heck
  • 4/9/2014 8:21:05 AM
NO RATINGS

This is why I think this neighborhood profiling site sounds like a good idea.  There is another site that has popped up called Nextdoor.com.  My neighborhood has quite a few residents on the site and it is useful for many things like community yard sales, getting to know people who live on the other side of the neighborhood but recently it was used to rant at a neighbor who insulted another neighbor.  People will be people and communities develop their own character so doing something like refusing help moving furniture might actually come off as an insult to someone in a neighborhood known for lending a hand to other residents. 

Re: Neighbor from heck
  • 4/8/2014 8:50:48 PM
NO RATINGS

The two neighbors I have are from two different countries. But we have still lived in perfect harmony for the past four years. We cook different food and there are times I get funny cooking aromas from next door, but it's just for a short time, until they have the food. One of my neighbors play the piano. I love to listen and relax when she does that. But if the person living here didn't like classical music I can understand how difficult it can be. The only problem I have is that the neighbors trees lean into our garden and all the leaves fall on our side.

Re: Neighbor from heck
  • 4/8/2014 6:44:21 PM
NO RATINGS

You're right on both accounts, Beth. 

Yes, the free form option in the survey is available for prospective shoppers to view. I pulled up one example just now and the notes say, "There is a really great park down the street, a walking trail nearby that leads to the city library and near by shopping center." This form is recommended for additional information, not to call out specific neighbors for their obnoxious behaviors (although tempting.) Special events, block parties, parks, local nightlife, fire department - unique characteristics that'd you want someone to know who may, or may not, have ever visited before. My team and I do review the notes to make sure users are following the "be nice" rules. 

We want the database to focus on helping communities. Should it be used as an all-inclusive way to shop for your new home or apartment? Absolutely not. Your realtor can help you find a great home, we simply provide additional insight into your neighborhood before you make any longterm committments.

My sister is a prime example of the other point you made. She and her husband have been house-shopping for nearly a year. Competition is ridiculous in California, and week after week, they're disappointed when their offers aren't accepted. Are they taking the time to research the areas? No. Are they going door-to-door? No. Have they looked into crime rates, school districts, or community events? Sadly, no. 

Similar to Yelp, in a way. You can read the reviews, but ultimatley you decide where you have dinner. 

Thank you for all your questions/concerns. This forum is a great opportunity to talk about the website and clear up any misconceptions. I'd love for you to visit the website, too. There's a brief bio about our family, resource links, FAQ, and of course registration where you can see for yourself the nature of the questions and how we hope they can create a "looking glass" into neighborhoods across the U.S. 

I'll be blogging soon about fun topics like DIY, how to plan a neighborhood event, resolving conflicts, recipes for pot lucks, and other light reading. I love interacting with people on Facebook and Twitter, too. :)

Re: Neighbor from heck
  • 4/8/2014 6:17:07 PM
NO RATINGS

Thinking aloud here, but I do wonder if first-time homeowners would give enough credence to neighbor assessments. It's kind of one of those experiences you have to live through first to really understand. A first-time home buyer might think, well, who cares if my neighbor on the left isn't friendly -- everybody else on this block sounds great. You can really only know how troublesome a bad neighbor is when you're in the throes of petty arguments over parking spots, and snow piles, and firepits, and backyard parties, and a ball landing in bushes, etc., etc.

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