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Reidsville woman’s house ‘next to impossible to sell’ because of house next door

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REIDSVILLE, N.C. -- Your home is the largest investment you'll probably ever make and you work hard to keep it looking its best.

But what happens when your neighbor doesn't do the same?

It has become a major problem for a woman in Reidsville and she is trying to fight back.

Mary Lee lives on Irvin Street in historic downtown Reidsville. Her neighbor's home has boarded up windows, the porch is falling apart and debris in the yard.

Lee said she has been living with it for more than a decade and she's tired of it.

"It's preventing me from selling my home and moving on with my life," Lee said.

Lee said the owner also raises bees in his back yard.

"The city says we have no ordinance against him having the bees. Hundreds of bees, hundreds of bees that we have to deal with," Lee said.

And this is also a problem for the Penn House mansion across the street.

"We have weddings and family reunions. She has to explain to them what's going on there," Lee said.

Realtor Theresa McCollum said it will be "next to impossible" to sell Mary's house if the property next door stays the way it is.

"It's not only affecting the value of this house but the whole street," McCollum said.

Mary has done everything she can think of.

"I've gotten an attorney. I've gone to the historical society because we are in a historic district. I've gone to city council meetings," Lee said.

But Lee said no one will help. That's when she called FOX8 On Your Side.

We attempted to speak to Norton, the owner of the home. He was at the house but didn't answer the door and didn't return our phone call or email.

FOX8 spoke with the mayor of Reidsville to find out why nothing has been done.

"We don't have an ordinance against being ugly," Jay Donecker said.

Mayor Donecker said he feels sorry for the neighbors on Irvin Street but his hands are tired. The owner of the home is meeting basic requirements and the house is structurally sound.

"He's been able to use the system to do just enough improvements that we cannot do any actions against him," Donecker said.


  • Claire Mojave

    Thank God that there are still small pockets of freedom in this land, it shouldn’t be punishment-worthy to be neither house proud nor friendly to meddlers.

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