Home Resources Study: The Top Complaints in Neighborhoods Across America

Study: The Top Complaints in Neighborhoods Across America

Deciding where to live can be both an exciting and overwhelming process. You carefully weigh the pros and cons of the area to decide if it’s something that will fit your lifestyle. You consider floor plans, commute times, and community amenities. But unfortunately, not everything can be anticipated.

One thing you can’t experience until after you sign on the dotted line are the problems you’ll encounter with the neighborhood. At Regional Foundation Repair, we know how home issues can dull the sparkle of your living situation and were curious to know what overall neighborhood challenges were most common for Americans. 

To find out, we analyzed 58,735 posts and 354,972 comments on the Nextdoor app in 50 of America’s biggest cities. In each city, we looked at the most popular neighborhood as the focal point for our research in that area. As diverse and unique as cities across the country are, we were able to find the most popular topics neighbors discuss, from dogs and cats to creepers and construction. 

Key Findings

  • Dogs, cats, and parking are the most popular topics neighbors discuss.
  • Raleigh, Oakland, and Virginia Beach are the cities with the most barking complaints.
  • Arizona has two of the smelliest cities: Mesa at #1 and Phoenix at #3.
  • Albuquerque, Omaha, and Tulsa have the most creepers. 
  • California seems to have the worst traffic of all, with Sacramento, San Jose, and Fresno being the top three cities where neighbors complain about traffic the most.  

The Popular Topics Neighbors Discuss

When you’re talking with your neighbors, you could be discussing lawn care tips one minute and sizing up the couple who just moved in the next. The same types of discussions happen online, just with a bigger audience. 

During our analysis, we found popular words that fill neighborhood threads, like street, police, and found. We also found the 13 most popular topics that are mentioned: dogs, cats, parking, cameras, traffic, noise, construction, kittens, smells, poop, barking, feral cats, and creepers.

To better analyze the topics of discussion, we looked at popular keywords and grouped them together into one category. For example, posts with the keywords “bark, barks, barking, and barked” were all put in the category “barking complaints.” Using these categories, we were able to find out how cities ranked for each one based on the mentions of the keywords in that area. 

Cities with the Most Barking and Dog Discussions

As cute as furry friends can be, no one likes when they’re forced to listen to what seems like never-ending barking throughout their day, especially during a time when people are working at home more than ever. Constant barking can not only make it difficult to focus on work, but it can disrupt sleep patterns, strain neighborly relationships, and result in an overall annoyance at your current situation. 

So it’s no surprise that barking complaints are one of the most discussed topics among neighbors. For those looking to steer clear of howling streets, you should avoid Raleigh, Oakland, and Virginia Beach, as these cities ranked highest for barking complaints. The cities with the least barking complaints are Fort Worth, Indianapolis, and Detroit. 

map of cities that discuss dogs the most

Along with barking complaints, we analyzed what cities talk more about dogs than cats, which could mean that these cities have a higher dog-to-cat ratio. The cities where dogs were more commonly discussed are Dallas, San Antonio, and Washington, D.C. Despite their discussion of dogs, none of these cities made it high on the list of cities with barking complaints. 

The Cities of Cats

If you’re a cat lover, these next cities are purrfect for you. With a natural sense of curiosity and independence, cats are commonly seen wandering around neighborhoods, strolling through gardens, running across the streets, and exploring every nook and cranny. With so much action to discuss, chatting about cats ranks as the second hot topic amongst neighbors, specifically discussions about kittens and feral cats.

Since female cats spend a lot of time outside, they can become mothers quite often, having kittens two to three times a year. With so many litters, neighbors frequently see the little ones roaming around, especially in Fresno, Oklahoma City, and Sacramento, the cities that talk about kittens the most.

Many times cats will deliver their babies in secret as a form of protection, leaving these kittens to become feral due to lack of early contact with people, which may be why two of the states on the top three list for most kittens also land in the top three for most feral cats. With Mesa leading, Oklahoma City and Fresno complete the list of cities with the most feral cats. Neighbors in these cities mention “feral” more than others in their neighborly discussions.

map of cities that discuss cats the most

The Cities with the Most Poop

Another unfavorable thing that comes with furry friends in the neighborhood is poop. While some neighbors may be great at picking up their pet’s droppings, others tend to look the other way, leaving stinky surprises across community areas. There are also dogs and cats who roam the neighborhood naturally and do their business on people’s lawns without a second thought. 

Common scenarios like these lead us to another hot topic amongst neighbors: poop. Talking about poop is most common in Washington, D.C., Arlington, and San Diego. So next time you’re in one of these cities, make sure to watch your step!

map of cities that talk most about poop

The Cities with the Stinkiest Streets

In a similar-smelling subject, walking outside and taking a whiff of the neighborhood also gets people talking. This topic is discussed a lot amongst residents of Arizona, as two of their major cities, Mesa and Phoenix, land in the top three for smelliest cities.

To complete the list, New York City also makes the top three. As a densely populated urban area, there are many factors that can contribute to the odor that residents of the concrete jungle frequently discuss. Things like garbage, the sewer system, food and restaurants, the subway system, and food carts can all impact the city’s smell.

map of cities where people talk about odors the most

Noisy Streets and Parking Predicaments 

There is nothing worse than having parking issues while you’re trying to get home. Whether you struggle to find a parking spot or constantly have people taking your assigned spot, there’s a lot to complain about when it comes to parking in a neighborhood. Our study revealed that the cities where residents struggle with parking the most are San Diego, Milwaukee, and San Francisco. 

California ranks high on another road obstacle residents face: traffic. The Golden State seems to have the worst traffic of all, being that Sacramento, San Jose, and Fresno are the top three cities where neighbors complain about traffic the most. Interestingly, Los Angeles, the second most populous U.S. city,  ranked as having the least traffic complaints out of all the cities we studied. Maybe people have accepted the constant congestion during their commute as normal, and so they don’t bother talking about it with their neighbors. 

Although construction typically means something is getting fixed or renovated to be better, no one likes to live near it. The loud noises, debris, and detours naturally cause residents to complain, especially in New Orleans, Portland, and Tucson, the cities where people complain about construction the most. 

map of cities that complain the most about traffic, parking, and construction

Cities With the Most Creepers and Cameras

Creepers and cameras — there’s something unsettling about those two words together. That’s probably why each is a common topic amongst neighbors. With doorbells and security cameras watching your every move nowadays, you never know when someone is watching you around your neighborhood. Based on neighbors’ discussions, the cities where people watch each other on camera most are Oakland, Louisville, and Sacramento. 

As far as creepers go, having people you don’t know suspiciously hanging around where you live can set off immediate alarms and send you straight to the neighborhood group chat for backup. The cities where neighbors talk about creepers most are Albuquerque, Omaha, and Tulsa. 

map of cities with the most cameras and creepers


Neighborhood discussions help build a community with their array of topics, both good and bad. At Regional Foundation Repair, we know how much a community’s happiness is impacted by the quality of the neighborhood since it’s the foundation of the community. The same can be said for your home. 

Making sure your foundation is secure can impact the happiness you have in your home by preventing future costly issues. If you have concerns about your foundation, our technicians are ready to help! Through a free quote, you can be on the road to establishing a firmer foundation for your home. 


We analyzed the content of 58,735 posts and 354,972 comments published over 8 years in 50 of America’s biggest cities. Each city’s data is represented, on average, by 1,175 posts and 7,100 comments. Specifically, we assessed the prevalence of more than 200 keywords that reflect community-wide interest in the various subjects reported.

Users on Nextdoor are anchored to a specific neighborhood of residence, but posts on their feed are sourced from adjacent neighborhoods as well, making the sample more representative than any single neighborhood. To conduct our search, we selected a very popular neighborhood in each of the cities, as the focal point for community posts we analyzed. Those neighborhoods are listed below.

Albuquerque (Nob Hill), Arlington, TX (Downtown), Atlanta (Midtown), Austin (South Congress), Baltimore (Fells Point), Boston (Beacon Hill), Charlotte (Myers Park), Chicago (Lincoln Park), Colorado Springs (Old Colorado City), Columbus, OH (German Village), Dallas (Uptown), Denver (Capitol Hill), Detroit (Midtown), El Paso (Kern Place), Fort Worth, TX (Sundance Square), Fresno (The Tower District), Houston (The Heights), Indianapolis (Broad Ripple Village), Jacksonville (Riverside), Kansas City, MO (Country Club Plaza), Las Vegas (Summerlin), Long Beach, CA (Belmont Shore), Los Angeles (Santa Monica), Louisville (Highlands), Memphis (Midtown), Mesa (Downtown Mesa), Miami (South Beach), Milwaukee (Third Ward), Minneapolis (Uptown), Nashville (12 South), New Orleans (Garden District), New York City (Park Slope), Oakland (Rockridge), Oklahoma City (Bricktown), Omaha (Old Market), Philadelphia (Rittenhouse Square), Phoenix (Arcadia), Portland (Pearl District), Raleigh (North Hills), Sacramento (East Sacramento), San Antonio (King William), San Diego (North Park), San Francisco (Pacific Heights), San Jose, CA (Willow Glen), Seattle (Capitol Hill), Tucson (Sam Hughes), Tulsa (Brookside), Virginia Beach (Oceanfront), Washington D.C. (Georgetown), Wichita (Old Town).

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