You’re not just buying a home. You’re becoming part of a neighborhood. One of the perks of homeownership is feeling invested in your community. Having good relationships with your neighbors can be a great benefit. It can help you feel safer, make you feel less lonely, provide a lifeline when you need help, and add to your sense of well-being. So how do you be a good neighbor and build lasting relationships? Let’s find out.
When you move into your new neighborhood, introduce yourself to your nearest neighbors. If you feel uncomfortable knocking on doors, then just take the opportunity to say hi to those you meet when you’re out for a walk.
Be aware of noise
Noise can be a big problem for some neighbors, so be aware of how much noise you are making. Also, pay attention to the general level of noise in your new neighborhood. Communities with young families may have more tolerance for noise than a street of empty-nesters. Be mindful of when you’re doing certain noisy activities like mowing the lawn. Try to wait until at least 10 am. Avoid loud conversations outside late into the night if your driveway or porch faces a neighbor’s bedroom window.
Maintain your yard
We all know how important curb appeal is when it comes to the value of your home. When your yard looks nice, it elevates the whole neighborhood. Mow your lawn regularly, and remove mold from the exterior with a power washer. Keep trees and shrubs neat and don’t let them grow into your neighbors’ yards. Remove toys and other objects from the front yard every day.
Be nice online
If you’re not already on Nextdoor, then you should know it’s a great way to connect with your neighbors and learn about things going on in your community. But be aware that it’s not anonymous — don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say to someone in face-to-face conversation. Keep it polite, limit complaints, and keep in mind how difficult it can be to convey tone with text.
There always seems to be a neighborhood gossip — don’t let it be you. It can be easy to get caught up in community gossip, but it can definitely sour your relationships with your neighbors. If someone is trying to put you in the middle of a conflict, then politely suggest they talk with the person directly.
Be a good pet parent
If you have a pet, then they’re going to be part of the neighborhood, too. Make sure your pet stays in your yard, and be mindful of a dog that won’t stop barking. It can become a real nuisance to your neighbors. When you take your dog out for a walk, always bring baggies so you can clean up their messes. Don’t leave it in a neighbor’s yard for them to clean up.
Lending a hand when a neighbor needs it is a great way to build trust and community. If you have an elderly neighbor, considering clearing snow from their sidewalk after a storm. If a neighbor is going out of town, offer to pick up their newspaper or water their plants while they’re away.