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snickerplum
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We're purchasing a home in a new subdivision and we looked at other new constructions as well. All of them are going to mail boxes like apartments - all together in one spot in the neighborhood. I think it's totally weird. I understand that it's easier for the mail carriers, but that doesn't make it less weird. Our agent told us that pretty much all new subdivisions are doing this now. Our current home is only like 3 years old and we have a mailbox in our yard, but we're one of the newest in our development. I don't know... it's not strange enough to make me not want the house but I think it will take some getting used to. I assume FedEx and UPS will still deliver to the door, right?

 

 

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I lived in a "new" neighborhood in Houston like that. UPS did deliver to the door. There was an oversized box in the bank of mailboxes for packages. If there was a package for us, the mail carrier would leave the key to the special box in our main bos.

Larger packages had to be picked up at the post office.

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I have that kind of mailbox. There are actually two sets of mailboxes in my neighborhood. It's not too bad. I pick up the mail after running errands or DH picks it up on his way home from work or I take a walk up there if the weather's nice. 

 

UPS/FedEx (some Amazon, but not all) come to the door. Packages too big for the package boxes come to the door; if the mail carrier is feeling nice, they'll deliver all the mail with the big package, but not always. If I get a small package, the mail carrier puts a key in my mailbox to open the package box; package boxes are the two big bins at the bottom of the mailbox unit. 

 

We did have to pay recently to have the box re-keyed after I sent one of my kids to get the mail and she lost the only remaining key (I had lost the other key several years ago). That was annoying, but overall, it's not a big deal. 

Edited by beckyjo
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I wish we had those in my area. We had to put in a locking mailbox as did most of our neighborhood due to daily mail theft and packages being taken from our porches. Postal service could do next to nothing about it and police did nothing. After having it happen repeatedly we got a box but I would love to have a postal grade tamper proof one.

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Here in Central Texas, the subdivisions which have those also have home owners' associations (HOAs). We purposely did not buy a house with an HOA, and so we have a mailbox on the street. Which is still weird to me, because I've always lived where we had mailboxes next to our front doors.

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They're extremely common unless an HOA has a specifal mailbox type. They converted my old street in Alaska that way, and very few people had single mailboxes in town. It's less work for the post office to maintain and they like it.

 

Now I'm back to a single box per house, and I don't honestly see a lot of advantages except for being able to customize the appearance of the mailbox.

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Some of our packages come to the door.

 

Our HOA decided we should have these cluster mailboxes. I once thought they were more secure, but our neighborhood has been having a problem with theft from the boxes. Apparently there is only one master key for the city and someone is using it to break into many mailboxes in many different areas. The post office is dragging its feet and says we need video or photo proof of the theft because it's too expensive to rekey all the clusters. The HOA is dragging its feet because, well, it's the developer's HOA and he doesn't really care. We've had 1 to 2 packages stolen a week from our neighborhood of about 450 houses. Most of the thefts are at the secluded cluster boxes.

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It'll take about a minute to get used to it. My town just celebrated it's 50th anniversary and it has always had cluster mailboxes, so it's not a new idea. I get big stuff at my door, but most mail in my mailbox. It's one of those things that doesn't really effect your life at all. It's just different.

 

ETA- We've never had a theft problem with these. But our little cul-de-sac has two mailbox clusters to serve about 20 houses; one about a third of the way from the beginning of the street and the other closer to the circle at the end. They're in plain sight along the sidewalk so the location doesn't seem very attractive for thrives.

Edited by KungFuPanda
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That's weird in my book.

 

We live in a new build, in a new subdivision. We all have our own mailboxes. 

 

There are even newer subdivisions going up around us, and I'm pretty darn sure they have their own mailboxes on their own property.

 

But I would assume it's going to be like apartments and mail in your situation. When my mom lived in an apartment, Fed Ex and UPS delivered to her door.

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Here in Central Texas, the subdivisions which have those also have home owners' associations (HOAs). We purposely did not buy a house with an HOA, and so we have a mailbox on the street. Which is still weird to me, because I've always lived where we had mailboxes next to our front doors.

 

Lol. We have a very strict HOA, but mailboxes in the street. 

 

In our old neighborhood, there were some homes with mailboxes next to the front doors, but only if they'd been "grandfathered in," as the PO started requiring mailboxes by the street -- I guess for easier delivery.

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I hated it.  In fact, that became one of the deciding factors when we started looking at new houses.  No mailbox?  Not even considering it.

 

The neighborhood we had the community boxes in was poorly laid out on a number of fronts.  No sidewalks, so unless I wanted to take children in the street with me we weren't walking.  No trees, so the 110 degree summer days were oppressive.  No, I won't go back to that. 

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We have had various neighbourhoods with these 'super mailboxes' for a long time. All of Canada was going to be switched to those but after the election that got changed. I am so glad that our neighbourhood wasn't one of the first ones switched!

 

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We had one when we lived in ruralish Canada. It was fine, no big deal to walk down the street. One winter we had so much snow the mail didn't come for several days, or maybe a week. They finally dug the front of the box out of the snow, but it was an adventure actually getting to it through the snow banks. I would take a shovel with me every day and try to chip away at the pathway. Lol

 

I can imagine they must be much efficient for mail carriers, especially where houses are far apart.

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I find it curious that this is seen as weird to you. In my entire married adult life, living in eleven different homes, covering over twenty years, only three times did we have mail delivered directly to our house. All the other times were community mailboxes. (Today I don't even have a community mailbox. Everyone around here has to actually go to the post office to fetch their mail.)

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I have community mailboxes, and I mostly hate them.  UPS, FedEx, etc. do door to door delivery.  HOWEVER, Amazon likes to ship a lot USPS these days, and that completely messes up my shopping.  There aren't always enough (or large enough) parcel boxes, especially around the holidays, so I wind up getting a slip to pick up my package, 8 miles away.  Between delivery times, post office hours, and finding the time to drive most of those 16 round trip miles at 25mph, 2 day delivery can turn into a week.

 

That said, it's better than when I first moved in and there weren't any boxes available for us, leaving ALL my mail at the post office in the middle of nowhere!

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I find it curious that this is seen as weird to you. In my entire married adult life, living in eleven different homes, covering over twenty years, only three times did we have mail delivered directly to our house. All the other times were community mailboxes. (Today I don't even have a community mailbox. Everyone around here has to actually go to the post office to fetch their mail.)

 

 

It's all what you're used to. I've never lived somewhere that had community mailboxes, except in a condo complex. I can't think of any neighborhoods with single family houses that have them, although I bet the newer planned communities further out west in NoVA do. The house that we lived in before our current house had the mailbox on the house itself and our current house has a mailslot in the door. My kids think a mailbox on the street is weird although they have seen them. They just are so used to having the mail come right through the front door. :) 

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We have community mailboxes. I like them, as I get to meet more neighbors.

There's a planned community here, built several decades ago, with mailboxes like this. I'm pretty sure this was the purpose- to encourage a sense of community and fellowship.

Edited by kap728
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I always found it weird that, in this country, the front yard mailboxes are unlocked and the mail is not secured and anybody could take mail from a mailbox.

I grew up with central or single home mailboxes the owners unlocked with a key; the mail carrier dropped the mail through a slit.

I would think locking mailboxes in a central location would be much safer. (I had this in the US whenever I lived in apartments)

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I would hate that! We work at home and homeschool, so we wouldn't even be out every day to get the mail on the way home from somewhere. Those of you who say it gives you a nice walk must not live in an area where walking in winter is dangerous because sidewalks are snow and ice covered. I would be annoyed if I had to make a special trip to the mailbox every day and found it empty or full of junk mail.

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We lived in a neighborhood that had boxes like that.

I thought I would not like it, but we did. 
When the kids were very little, we walked to the mailbox - stopped and chatted with neighbors, walked with others, or if the weather was bad, we just drove by on our way home jumped out and retrieved our mail.

It was always secure. No one stole your mail. You had a secure box to place your outgoing mail - there have been reports in that area of people stealing outgoing and incoming mail from standalone boxes.

There were a couple of larger boxes where the postman left larger packages. He would put the key to the larger box in your smaller box. The keys stayed in the larger boxes once you retrieved your package. If both larger boxes were filled, he did deliver the large packages to your front doorstep.

It must have been a huge timesaver for the postal delivery people - stopping at one box vs. 80 houses!

 

UPS and Fed Ex still delivered to the front door. 

 

We lived in the Houston area - so walking to the mailbox was only pleasant weather-wise in March, April, maybe May, late September, and October. 

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a few years ago,  a builder put seven new houses on our street - they have that type of mailbox.

one reason is it is cheaper to do locking mailboxes that way, and in some areas, mail theft can be "a thing".  the neighbors we share a mail box 'house' with all went to locking mailboxes after an episode of mail theft.

 

ups/fedex and even usps  packages - should still be delivered to your door.

I think my dd has that type of mail box in her subdivision --and packages are delivered to her house.

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That's the way mailboxes are here (except in some of the VERY, VERY, VERY expensive neighborhoods).  It's not even a new subdivision thing.  Our neighborhood was built 1999-2001.   Our cluster of boxes is across the street from our house.  I do feel sorry for the people on the other side of the neighborhood, but they don't seem to mind.  When they get home from work, they just drive around the circle, stop and get their mail, and drive on to their house.  Some grab it while walking their dogs.  I actually find it nice to have a locked box holding our mail.  We have a tendency to only get it once a week and I've noticed that our mail carrier, because our box would otherwise get completely full, doesn't give us the stupid circulars they have to put in every box so we get less junk than we would if we got our mail every day.

 

FedEx, UPS, and Amazon delivered in personal vehicles all come right to our door as do USPS packages too big to fit in one of the package boxes (or if the package boxes are all being used - and we only have three for our neighborhood because they leave the fourth open for the bird that nests in it every year).

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I would hate that enough that it would be a ding against buying that particular house.  In fact, one of the bonuses of the current house is that there is a mailbox on the side of the house near the front door.   Dreamy!   If I wanted to put a slit in the front door, the mail could be delivered INTO my house.  I had daydreams about that setup when I used to travel for work all the time.  

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I wish that our neighborhood had those!  Instead, we have the traditional individual mailboxes at the street arrangement, and mail theft followed by credit card theft and bank account theft are so common that we have to rent a PO Box and drive to pick up our mail.  I didn't know that it was possible to buy an individual locking box -  I'm going to check into it.  That sounds so much nicer.  I really hate having to make a special trip to pick up our mail.  The post office is not in the same direction as my most common errands, and it's not on my husband's route to/from work either.  So it's always a pain.

 

 

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We have that in our neighborhood and the houses were mostly built in the 1940's.   I think part of the reason is we have very narrow streets, lots of hills, and everything dead-ends, there is only one way in and out of the neighborhood.  Turning around means you take a chance getting bogged down in mud.

 

For a while we had a super lazy mailman who never would deliver packages.  He wouldn't even leave them in the larger boxes that are there for packages.  He would just leave slips saying you had to pick them up at the post office.  He also put mail in the wrong boxes ALL THE TIME.   Other than during his brief tenure, it's been fine.  UPS, FedEx, etc. and the mailman if the package is too big for the package boxes, all deliver to the house. 

 

Dh just picks it up on his way home from work.  In nice weather, the kids and I may walk down to pick it up.

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I would hate that! We work at home and homeschool, so we wouldn't even be out every day to get the mail on the way home from somewhere. Those of you who say it gives you a nice walk must not live in an area where walking in winter is dangerous because sidewalks are snow and ice covered. I would be annoyed if I had to make a special trip to the mailbox every day and found it empty or full of junk mail.

I don't even bother to get my mail every day, even when I do go out. It requires a weird turn I'd rather not make and sometimes forget to. It's almost a mile from my house, and not winter walkable.

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It's the norm here unless you live in a house built in the 1980s or earlier. It's never been a problem for us and we do most of our shopping online.  The packages come to the door or the parcel boxes at the bottom of the community mailbox.  Most people just drive to it on their way home from work because we have extreme weather here half the year.  It's a short walk on paved streets with sidewalks, so that's no big deal.

 

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We're purchasing a home in a new subdivision and we looked at other new constructions as well. All of them are going to mail boxes like apartments - all together in one spot in the neighborhood. I think it's totally weird. I understand that it's easier for the mail carriers, but that doesn't make it less weird. Our agent told us that pretty much all new subdivisions are doing this now. Our current home is only like 3 years old and we have a mailbox in our yard, but we're one of the newest in our development. I don't know... it's not strange enough to make me not want the house but I think it will take some getting used to. I assume FedEx and UPS will still deliver to the door, right?

 

 

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This is the type of box I grew up with. It was like a right of passage to be allowed to walk down to the mailbox by yourself. It was such a novelty when I moved away as an adult and had a mailbox in my front yard, lol.

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As you can see it's a "getting used to it" issue. I suppose I am possessive and want "my" mailbox. One of the the things to remember was to take the key with you every time you get the mail and, depending on where your house is in relation to the cluster boxes, you may not be comfortable jetting out there in your jammy bottoms... :)

 

We had them once way back when we lived in an apartment. The box was rather small and sometimes the carrier - for whatever reason - did not want to come upstairs and deliver larger packages and left a yellow slip in the box for me to pick up the item at the post office. This was a hassle for me because of work hours. My rural mailboxes that I had ever since are much larger.

Edited by Liz CA
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We lived in a neighborhood that had boxes like that.

I thought I would not like it, but we did. 

When the kids were very little, we walked to the mailbox - stopped and chatted with neighbors, walked with others, or if the weather was bad, we just drove by on our way home jumped out and retrieved our mail.

It was always secure. No one stole your mail. You had a secure box to place your outgoing mail - there have been reports in that area of people stealing outgoing and incoming mail from standalone boxes.

There were a couple of larger boxes where the postman left larger packages. He would put the key to the larger box in your smaller box. The keys stayed in the larger boxes once you retrieved your package. If both larger boxes were filled, he did deliver the large packages to your front doorstep.

It must have been a huge timesaver for the postal delivery people - stopping at one box vs. 80 houses!

 

UPS and Fed Ex still delivered to the front door. 

 

We lived in the Houston area - so walking to the mailbox was only pleasant weather-wise in March, April, maybe May, late September, and October. 

 

This is a nice arrangement!

 

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I wish that our neighborhood had those! Instead, we have the traditional individual mailboxes at the street arrangement, and mail theft followed by credit card theft and bank account theft are so common that we have to rent a PO Box and drive to pick up our mail. I didn't know that it was possible to buy an individual locking box - I'm going to check into it. That sounds so much nicer. I really hate having to make a special trip to pick up our mail. The post office is not in the same direction as my most common errands, and it's not on my husband's route to/from work either. So it's always a pain.

The people in our neighborhood are starting to rent P.O. boxes or asking that their mail and or packages be held at the post office. I loved the thought that the clusters were safer and I could pick up mail every few days, but with the master key that opens the entire front of the cluster stolen, we try to get our mail as soon as it's delivered.

 

My sister had a locking box in front of her house. You couldn't tell it was locking unless you opened it, but it stopped her thefts. She also now has her packages delivered to her office.

 

I'm not sure there's anything that would deter a determined thief except to make sure your mail is more difficult to steal than your neighbors. I would love to go back to individual boxes again!

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These are really common in Canada. Pretty much all neighbourhoods are switching over, even in the cities. They've been the norm in rural location for as long as I can remember. Canada is different though in that mail was traditionally delivered to a mail box right at your door or through a drop slot in the door. I guess the community boxes were started in the areas where the mail carriers would have had to walk much to far to complete their routes. Things are changing now though and Canada Post is feeling the pinch from the courier companies so they're trying to save money wherever they can.

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Huh..I like it. I hate getting the mail. Everything important is on auto-pay and paperless, so all I get in there is junk or ads. I only have to pick it up once a week just in case there is a jury summons or some other random important thing. It actually stressed me out when our tenant would mail their rent check because I would have to check the mail daily. Now she's on automatic withdrawl, so I don't have to worry about that anymore. We have had our master key stolen and they've had to replace it, but that's still better than our last place that had a regular mailbox that didn't lock. 

 

I wish they would replace the master key (!!), but so far USPS is refusing, citing cost. They would have to rekey ALL the cluster mailboxes in the city. In our local Big City in south central TX, over 80 neighborhood HOA's have gotten together to try to get USPS to act without success. My community isn't quite as large (and I don't know if the master key is the same as Big City), but based on NextDoor, we're not the only community in our smaller city who has this problem.

 

At this point, I would much rather have my own mailbox to be responsible for rather than one I have no control over from which items are missing. 

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Almost universal in newer developments in our area. There are also rules about having a box on dirt road, so you see clusters of individual boxes in some parts of our county and some community boxes.

 

I got used to cluster mailboxes in college and then afterwards until we bought this house. I can certainly see the advantage for the mail carrier not having to stop at each place.

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We are in a condo, and we have the cluster of boxes throughout the neighborhood. Some other condo complexes in our city have one huge cluster of boxes at the entrance to the complex. That would bother me, because we'd have to drive to it if we lived near the back of the complex. 

 

USPS leaves small enough packages in the individual box, or in the larger sized package box, with the key in our small box. 

Bigger packages get brought to the door. All other delivery services deliver to the door too

 

I remember once having to go to the post office to pick up a package - maybe it had instructions to not leave it at the door?

 

All of the new developments around here are like that too (keyed cluster boxes). 

 

Some of the very old neighborhoods in our town have the walk up mailboxes, but the vast majority have the individual boxes on the road in front of each house. 

 

We had a neighbor in this condo (where everyone has the key boxes) who had a regular mailbox at her door. I've never seen her leave the place, but she would have visitors. She was either very old or disabled or both. I wonder if she was able to get some sort of exemption to the cluster boxes because of a medical condition or if she may have lived here before the cluster boxes were installed and was able to keep her mailbox. 

 

When she left, and the place was sold, the mailbox was removed. 

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