Move-in condition, must hear to believe

Good morning! I’m so happy you’re considering a move to Ipswich, and I want you to know, I’m delighted that you chose me to help you find your new home. I’ve been a realtor in this community for decades, and I’m sure as we spend the day together, we can find the perfect place for you and your family.

Before we set out on our wonderful adventure today, let me just make a few suggestions. I’ve been studying the questionnaire you filled out online, indicating the neighborhoods you’re most interested in. I want to give you some insights into these locations, based on my extensive experience in the area, to perhaps help you refine your search for that perfect dream-come-true property.

First of all, I see you’re interested in Partridgeberry Place and Boxford Road, out in the western part of our beautiful town. Let me just give you a little heads-up about this neighborhood. If you’re annoyed by dogs barking very early in the morning, this is probably not the neighborhood for you. Are you familiar with the Service Dog Project? They train Great Danes and donate them to the mobility-impaired! Isn’t that beautiful? But 33 residents recently signed a petition claiming that “barking occurs frequently in the early mornings before 6 a.m. and for long periods.” I want to assure you that the Town of Ipswich does have a bylaw that prohibits “continuous and clearly audible barking” between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., but when our select board recently held a hearing about the complaints, one woman offered a really practical solution: “Anyone who is annoyed by dogs should not have moved near them,” she said. That is just so sensible, isn’t it? So we as realtors are just trying to do our part, as good neighbors, and warn people about the dogs.

Now I see, here on the map, another property you have your eye on. This is a very fine area, I assure you, as long as you’re okay with domestic violence. It’s totally illegal, of course, but you know how these things go. People disagree, and their disagreements get out of hand, and then it’s pots and pans flying through windows, and people stumbling out the front door, screaming and cursing, and then there are sirens, and handcuffs. Stuff happens, you know? So if you’re annoyed by this kind of thing, I’d suggest you just not go there.

Here’s another neighborhood I see you’ve circled — this is actually our major burglary and car theft area. We don’t technically allow burglary or car theft, but since people are so intent on doing it — if you’re annoyed by this sort of thing — we just recommend that people not go there.

Oh, I see you’ve drawn cute little stars in this part of town over here. I can sure see why you’d be attracted to this area, and honestly, if I were looking for a new home today, I’d be tempted by it too, except for the drag racers. I know it’s illegal, and dangerous, and foolish, but really, enforcing the rules can be so inconvenient, you know? So, if you’re annoyed by this kind of thing — well, we just basically wave people away from this area, and it’s way better for everyone.

Let me also recommend that you avoid this area where the neighbors dump their toxic waste. If this sort of activity annoys you.

And this is the part of town where Mr. Trenchcoat hangs out, eating from garbage cans and accosting schoolchildren on their way home in the afternoon. Verboten, yes! But here again, I think it’s just common sense: The best response to lawbreakers is just to avoid them. If that stuff annoys you.

I’m sure we can find you a superb home, however. Let’s climb in my SUV and head out. I’d like to start by showing you a lovely place upwind of the Transfer Station.

Doug Brendel lives on outer Linebrook Road in Ipswich, Massachusetts, where he has no dog-noise problem because he just turns off his hearing aids. Follow Doug at

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