being a good neighbor: breaking down a wall

I wrote back in April that we were worried about the house next door when a sale sign was posted.  A wonderful family has rented there for over a year, and we didn’t want to lose them.   I called the realtor, requesting the price of the house as my husband and I considered buying it in order to keep our neighbors.  The owner was asking twice the worth of the house, and I was frank with the realtor about comparative home prices in the neighborhood.  After the conversation with the realtor; however, the “for sale” sign was pulled out the next day. 

This single call made a difference in the relationship we have with our neighbors.  While we’ve always been on friendly terms, this small gesture made them realize that we want them to stay there.  The mom of the family has lived in the neighborhood for much of her life, and her mom lives only a few blocks away.  We are a new, white couple to the neighborhood, and were being kept at a safe distance.  Until that call, we had the occasional conversation, and invite for a hot dog on the grill.  The night that the owner pulled out the sign, our neighbors brought out a couple beers and celebrated not having to find a new house with us.  We have had a much more trusting and inclusive relationship since reaching out with a small gesture.

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