When Is a House Not a Home?

We have a neighbor who fairly regularly uses his home for photo shoots of all sorts (from cars to clothing to interiors) and on occasion he’s used the home for a film shoot. He doesn’t live in the house, rather uses it for income. His right, I suppose, but it begs the question of when a house in a 100% residential neighborhood becomes used solely for commercial enterprises, is it no longer a residence?

There are websites galore advertising homes for film shoots – it’s quite the lucrative field for the homeowner. I remember years ago the interior of my sister’s house in Princeton was being considered for a film but it would have meant they had to move out and with little children then, they passed.


This morning, from about 6:30am on, trucks and vans and then black SUVs came up the long driveway to the home (which, by the way, it not within ear or eye shot of me, but the driveway to the home is, hence the issue). Around 7:30, a white van that was lost came into my driveway looking for directions. Dawg snarled and barked her head off, scaring the van driver away, but furthering the annoyance factor to me.

Here’s the question. If the homeowner has the right to do whatever he or she wants with the home, should I not be bothered? Would my neighbors be annoyed if let’s say I wanted to rent out my house for film shoots and to movie studios (hey, great idea, maybe I don’t need to work after-all!!)

Then there’s the aspect of a town permit. Film shoots are required to get a permit and there are restrictions on what hours they can film and what time the crew can start arriving etc. But not so for photo shoots – like modeling agencies, advertisements etc.

If you were me, would you say something to the town? Would you write an email to the owner who is never ever here and who lives in the city and really cares not a hoot about being in Bedford? And if I do write the homeowner, what would I say? Knock it off? He DOES have the right to use his home as he wants.

In the scope of life the intrusion isn’t a big deal. The house is so far up and away from me once all the vehicles get onto the property they could have a hootenanny and not bother me. It’s a matter of principle for me, not law. Should I leave it alone and get a life?



6 thoughts on “When Is a House Not a Home?

  1. Ha. This is so interesting. I don’t know if I told you this but a house across from us, empty and for sale for years now, is constantly used for film shoots. The huge tractor trailers come up our narrow road at all hours as do the food trucks and then the stars. The turn into the driveway is sharp and some of the trucks cant make it in one turn so we get the back-up beeping. That’s just one of the reasons we are moving to Jackson Hole. Bedford has a pretty strict permit regulation for film shoots but where you and I probably agree is okay, so they can get a permit, but how many times a year can one house on one street get a permit? Is there a limit? If not, should there be?

    1. Really? That stone house is used for filming? The house takes up all the property I thought – very little land left in the back.

      Good questions, all of which I’d like answered. If I want to have a film shoot at my home once a week for 52 weeks, what’s stopping me? I don’t know if the town has a max number of shoots allowed per address.

  2. Sounds like the surprise factor is the problem. Any permit requiring ‘work’ is public info. It would be nice if all adjacent property owners within XXfeet had to be notified via certified mail as part of the permit process……in a perfect world.

    1. Here’s my conundrum. In a perfect world people get to do what they want with their homes and properties. Less permits. Less paperwork informing neighbors. The other side of me wants permits and notices and limits. Go figure.

      Why Sunday? Was this the only day the crew was available. A Monday-Friday would be far less intrusive given most families are up and out early.

  3. The libertarian in me usually comes down on the side of freedom and doing what you like with things you own. AS LONG as it doesn’t hurt other people. In this instance I think occasional rental of one’s own home for a movie shoot or whatever seems OK. However when the home’s sole purpose is as a film location that says commercial property to me. I would be very bothered by this – I like peace and quiet…..

    1. And that’s exactly what I said to Flash. I agree with you on wanting to come down on the side of freedom.

      If this owner lived here in Bedford he might actually have some sensitivity of the sheer volume of traffic his film shoots produces but he’s a city dweller, this house is for who knows what – he never steps foot in it, so I’d say it’s an income producing property and I might draw the line. Of course, it’s better that he films high end commercials than rent out the place on Air B’n’B.

Comments are closed.