No matter how much you love your home, being on bad terms with neighbors can ruin the entire experience. Owning your home should be exciting, fun, and rewarding, not stressful and aggravating.
Although it may seem simple, being a good neighbor isn’t always a no-brainer. There truly is an art to living next door, and I’d like to share my advice on how to be a good neighbor.
If you’re part of a Homeowners Association (HOA), then you already have a set of rules to live by. These rules are set to keep the neighborhood in good shape and to ensure everyone living there is happy with the community. Common HOA rules include:
- Keep noise levels down.
- Remove clutter from your yard.
- Be considerate of common areas.
- Keep pets in order and pick up after them.
- Maintain your home.
- Keep trash cans out of eyesight.
- Ensure that your posts lights have working light bulbs.
- Fencing and mailbox must match the rest of the neighborhood.
If you’re not part of an HOA, there are still rules to live by. You must follow city ordinances and most neighborhoods have unspoken rules that everyone tries to follow. Stick to these rules and you’ll always be on the good side of your neighbors!
Always introduce yourself
You don’t need to introduce yourself to everyone who moves into the neighborhood, especially if you live in a large community. But I recommend stopping in to say “hello” to everyone within 3 homes of yours and waving to the rest of your neighbors when you pass them. If you really want to get in on your neighbors’ good sides, bring a basket of treats when you stop in!
Keep your pets to yourself
If you’re like me, then you love dogs! However, your new neighbors may not. Be mindful of your neighbor’s yards and make sure your animals stay within your own yard. Also, don’t let your pups bark outside for too long. You may be used to the noise, but it’s probably unbearable to the neighbors.
It’s not required that you become best friends with your neighbors. In fact, you may not have much in common with them at all. However, I recommend you invite them over for the occasional party or social event so you can stay in touch and keep on good terms. These get togethers will be a great opportunity to learn about what’s going on throughout the neighborhood. The connections you make by being social with neighbors will help you out when you need to borrow that cup of sugar or when you leave town for a weekend and need a watchful eye over your home.
Keep your yard tidy
When you live in a neighborhood, everyone’s yard is part of the scenery. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your yard is tidy and well-maintained. If everyone takes care of their space, the entire community is better off for it. Here are a few ways to keep your yard tidy:
- Mulch your flower beds no later than May 31st.
- Keep your shrubs and trees pruned.
- Mow your yard weekly.
Lend a helping hand
Part of being a good neighbor includes getting involved when your neighbors need a hand. For example, helping out when you see an elderly neighbor struggling to clear the sidewalk in the snow. Or volunteering if your neighbor needs to borrow a tool. In times like these, it’s always good to remember the Golden Rule…do unto others as you would have them do unto you!
Share your expert advice
One of the best parts of being a neighbor is getting to share your knowledge with people who are new to the area. I recommend speaking with neighbors on a regular basis to inform them of service professionals, local restaurants, and nearby attractions. They’ll be very appreciative and you’ll feel good about it too!
These are just a few tips for being a good neighbor. What’s your best advice for staying in good terms with the folks next door?