Like many of us, Elizabeth didn’t want her whole life to be about work. She wanted to be a part of a community and invest in it. She bought a home in Nashville, Tennessee, and took on the responsibility of owning a home and making her neighborhood a better place.
Whether you’ve just purchased your first home, like Elizabeth, or you’re the new kids on the block in a different city, we all know how important it is to have a good relationship with the neighbor next door. In fact, did you know having good neighbors may even reduce your heart attack risk? It’s true. Here are 5 ways to be a good neighbor.
It was all eyes on the “newbies” when my fiancé and I moved into our new house. We made it a point to introduce ourselves and exchange small talk with our neighbors on each side, across the street and behind us. It gave us a chance to get a feel of the neighborhood and it gave our neighbors peace of mind that we were friendly and approachable. Not to mention, we found out garbage day, history on our home and the best place to go for a burger.
Tip: “No one says you have to be besties with the person next door but exchange phone numbers just in case something happens and you, or your neighbor, need to be notified,” says Mary Palumbo of The Shockley Team at Keller Williams Realty. She adds these instances, “They leave their car lights on, there is smoke coming from the house, and someone suspicious is creeping around the yard.”
Keep Your Yard Looking Nice
Don’t be the neighborhood eyesore. Clean up clutter, mow the lawn and keep your trees and shrubs trimmed. Also, if you neighbor’s lawn is not up to par with how you think it should be, don’t mow it for them. People are very particular about their lawn and doing them a “favor” by cutting it could make things worse. If you’re really feeling the need, be sure to ask first. If you get leaves in the fall or snow in the winter, rake them up and make sure your sidewalks are clear. The same goes for your back yard. It’s not a graveyard for old cars, junk and whatever else you can’t find storage for.
Take Responsibility for Your Pets
Don’t let your dog or cat use your neighbor’s lawn as a toilet. If they do, clean it up, and be sure to clean up your yard too. There’s nothing worse than a beautiful day, open windows, and the nauseating smell of pet droppings.
If you have a noisy dog, be sure to be mindful of their barking. Another thing to keep in mind is leash requirements. Check with your city before heading out for a walk.
Don’t Be Too Noisy
No one can expect you to be quiet as a mouse, but if you’re sitting in your driveway blasting music at midnight or 6:30 a.m., there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to make someone upset. Also, be courteous when you mow your lawn or do yardwork. No one wants to hear a lawnmower at 7 a.m. on Saturday. If you’re having a party and you’re expecting a crowd, be sure to let your neighbors know there may be some extra noise, or better yet, invite them over.
Have Parking Etiquette
Don’t block your neighbor’s driveway and park in front of your home if you can. If you drive a loud car or ride a motorcycle don’t rev the engine and try to avoid shining your headlights in your neighbor’s window.
In the end, treat others the way you want to be treated. “Most people are reasonable and just want to be treated with kindness and respect,” says Ariana Doakes of Daisi Media Corp. “A little of that goes a very long way with neighbors.”
Buying a home can be scary, but if you’re willing to #BeBrave, it can change your life. Have you recently moved? Tell us your story of homeownership.
If so, subscribe now for tips on home, money, and life delivered straight to your inbox.