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  • Writer's pictureKim McLaughlin

Do fences make good neighbors?

After reading this, you decide. I recently went back to Michigan to spend time with my mom. In East Grand Rapids, I made a point to go for a run or walk my mom’s dog each day. I loved viewing the varied architecture, home designs, and beautiful gardens, as well as experiencing the lightly humid weather, the sound of crickets, and the dance of fireflies in the summer night air. The homes sit back from gentle tree-lined streets, and the well-coiffed lawns and gardens are a mainstay of this quiet, serene town. The many styles of architecture work together in unison, providing a seamless array of detail.


What you won’t see there are tall, overbearing privacy fences slapped together to keep neighbors out. What you see are open-railed fences of wrought iron, metal, or pickets that define the properties but don’t block out the neighbors or views into one another’s homes or gardens. There were VERY few — if any — unpainted wood fences over 5 feet tall to block any chance of seeing past or through them. You might say the fences in this community are a complementary element rather than a fortress to KEEP YOU OUT!



Let’s take a moment to think about how we define the parcel our homes sit upon. Should we create a pleasant way to define our property? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to set boundaries, and the word “boundary” itself has taken front-and-center in the past few years, a new buzzword describing limitations we impose on all kinds of human behavior. I think we need a reset of what our boundaries say about us: Are we keeping people out, outlining what’s ours, or exploring a way to define without eliminating? Ask yourself, “What kind of a neighbor am I?”


Cheers,







Bainbridge Island real estate over the past 30 days

  •  25 Active residential listings High $5,999,998, Median $998,000 Low $468,000, Average days on market 23

  •  3 Pending inspection listings High $2,825,000, Median $1,799,000 Low $819,900, Average days on market 8

  •  23 Pending listings High $7,800,000, Median $1,288,000 Low $2,600, Average days on market 22

  •  33 Sold residential listings High $2,950,000 Median $1,200,000 Low $350,000, Average days on market 39

  •  6 Vacant land listings High $925,000 Median $790,000 Low $465,000, Average days on market 91

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