Urbanites who’ve moved to seek pastures new in smaller, quieter towns during the pandemic are facing resistance from existing residence over their lifestyles.
Data from the U.S. Postal Service shows that around 5% of New York’s population, or around 300,000 people, have moved to the suburbs over the last year, but their arrival isn’t always welcomed by their new neighbors.
Olga Avdaev, who lives in the New York suburb or Rockaway, N.J., told the New York Post about her experiences since an influx of former city-dwellers came to the neighborhood.
“They seem to have a different life understanding: That living in New Jersey is just like living in the city—the constant noise, hosting friends until the wee hours of night,” she said. “I used to live in the city. I know the mentality. But after living so long in the suburbs, you become neighborly. They are not there yet.”
Complaints are growing in other suburbs too. The point is that many new arrivals in the suburbs aren’t in tune with the slower pace of life and the more neighborly vibe it offers. They’re taking on noisy remodeling projects that upset their neighbors, and there are nastier habits too, such as letting their dogs relieves themselves on neighbor’s lawns. Late night parties are another annoyance, and all the more so due to the health risk they pose in these pandemic times. Indeed, the New York Post said noise violations are becoming more commonplace in the suburbs, and that real estate agents find themselves caught up in this, having to set expectations to their urban clients that they may not be familiar with.
“Whether it be construction early in the morning or late-night music—it’s just unacceptable,” Alison Bernstein, founder and president of The Suburban Jungle, a real estate advisory and tech firm, told the Post. “Understanding your family’s personality and planning accordingly will give you a greater shot at having successful relations with your neighbors. If you’re a family of six who likes to stay up late with two barking dogs, you may want to think about living where there is space and separation.”
On the positive side though, suburban residents do have one reason to the thankful to their newer, noisier neighbors. They’re influx is driving home prices up, which is a good thing for any current homeowner who’s thinking about selling up and moving elsewhere. Suburban home prices in New York and New Jersey have increased by between 35% and 45% on average, depending on the area, as people fight to buy up a limited number of properties on the market.