I think one of the main things to consider when thinking about a summer home is whether you are the type of person who wants neighbours. Granted, depending on your budget and preferred location, you may not have much of a say in that. Or, rather, you may have less of a say in some places than in others. You might not be able to choose, for example, whether you have a neighbour at all, but rather, how close to you that neighbour will be. And remember, a neighbour hiring a tree removal company is real, so don’t think trees guarantee you any sort of privacy. I know one thing for certain, wherever I end up buying my hypothetical summer home, I absolutely refuse to have an apartment above me.  I have been there. I have lived that nightmare. In fact, as I sit here on the couch in my real home with furious winter winds blowing around outside, I am enjoying the elephant-like footfalls of my upstairs neighbour. May he forever step on Lego pieces. So, no, no one living above me. Would I be willing to share a wall with another apartment, townhouse-stylez? If that’s all my budget would allow, then perhaps, but if I could avoid it, obviously, I would.

In fact, if I’m being completely honest, I wouldn’t really want neighbours at all. I mean, sure, I like people well-enough, but only when I want to see them. I want to be able to make that call. Because chances are as good as not that you’ll end up with neighbours that you don’t want to see all the time. In fact, you may end up with neighbours you don’t want to see, like … ever. And I’d want to have the power to make that decision. I want to be able to sit in the comfort of my back porch in the dangerously hot Florida sun and not have anyone talking to me if I don’t want to hear them talking. Some might call me anti-social, but that’s certainly not the case. Imagine the most irritating human being you know. And now imagine that person living beside you. For all you know, it’s a real possibility that someone ever so similar to the most annoying person you know is going to be your new neighbour. Yeah. So … my point exactly.

“Well,” you might argue, “what if you really like your neighbours?” There is, of course, that possibility, that I will become fast friends with my neighbours. It’s possible that we’ll have everything in common and live beside each other into our old age and our children will grow up friends and it will be a regular made for tv movie situation. That’s great. That’s just a bonus. But I don’t retract anything I said. The thing is, I can have those neighbours over whenever I want. Every night, if I so choose. Those neighbours and I, well, we could never want to leave each other’s sides, and we’d never have to. But you best leave yourself some room to find out what kind of neighbour you’ve got. If you’ve got the second kind, great, no harm done living a ten-minute walk down the road. But if you’ve got the former … well, that ten-minute buffer might just save your sanity.