While I could understand some of their issues with height — the mountains are indeed lovely to look at — I couldn’t help but get more and more uncomfortable every time someone got up and talked about the addition of apartment buildings in horrified tones.
I, my friends, am apartment people.
Really, we’re not so bad. I’ve lived in my current apartment building for the last four years, and moved only because my previous apartment building was converting into condos. A family with several small children lives next to us, and on the floor below is a lovely, sassy grandmother who will always say hello and considers herself the neighborhood watchwoman. All neighborhoods should have a woman like this, no matter what kind of place she lives in.
Several of the tenants had Halloween decorations up, and though Thanksgiving is a hard time to decorate for I’m expecting a variety of lights and Santas to start showing up in December. No one is particularly loud, since we all realize that the base you send up through your ceiling could just as easily be sent down through the floor by someone else, and we smile and nod equally at both our apartment neighbors and the ones in the houses on either side. As residents go, we’re about as quiet and community-focused as most of the people I’ve met in Centerville.
Sure, there are those people who skip out six months early on the lease, or pay with suspect checks, but a smart landlord doesn’t want those people in their apartment buildings any more than the other tenants or the larger community does. Rental costs are usually more than enough to keep out these people, and if one does slip through, complaints from the other tenants will likely take care of it.
Mostly, we’re just as brave, clean and reverent as house-dwellers tend to be. The only reason we’re in rental units is that we don’t have the money or desire to sink ourselves into a mortgage and all of the obligation (and complications) that entails. If nothing else, the recent recession and housing crash has made home ownership look so dangerous that I feel much safer in a rental unit with a nice landlord who will send over a repair guy when I need one.
True, there are some people who use apartments as a stepping stone to houses, which can cause a lot of changeover in a community. But if you’re going to rent an apartment in a place like Centerville, odds are that you’re involved enough in the community that you’ll buy a house there, too. A sharp increase in traffic will also likely be nominal — like those with houses, the car usually shows up on the home street only as we’re leaving for work in the morning and when we’re finally done with the day in the evening.
So if apartments do come to Main Street, and people eventually come to fill those apartments, they’ll probably look an awful lot like the rest of your neighbors. They just don’t like mowing lawns.