It doesn’t matter if you own your home or are renting; we all have neighbors. It’s easy when you’re renting to think that connecting with your neighbors is not important, but while you might not make lifelong friendships with them, there are still a million ways to be a good neighbor. Here at Community Lending of America, we’re introducing four ways to be a good neighbor.
Depending on where you live, the standard for noise restraint can change. If you live in an apartment complex, you have to be aware of your neighbors, next to you and sometimes above and below you. Some basic noise etiquette includes the following: if you live in an apartment, don’t yell for people down the hallway. Be wise about the times you choose to hang pictures or do little projects. If it’s after 8, it can wait until the next day to be done. Don’t mow your lawn at 7:00 am on a Saturday. Most people are resting or sleeping in. If it’s not too hot, it’s best to wait until after 10 am on the weekend to do loud yard work. Summer is the time for outdoor parties, but after 10 pm, try to be more conscious of the noise level, especially if you have a condo or duplex where your neighbors can hear things much easier. Lastly, a general rule of thumb, in any living situation is to avoid unnecessary noises from 9 pm- 9 am.
If you remain respectful of your neighbors, in any situation, you will be a great neighbor. Being respectful can be anything from, respecting personal space, saying hi when you see them outside, or returning things you’ve borrowed as soon as you’re done using them. A significant way you can respect your neighbor is by not gossiping. It’s easy to get tangled up in a rumor web, and before you know it, you could become the neighborhood gossip. Think about how you would feel if you found out that people were talking about you when you weren’t around and try to treat others with the same decency. Along those lines, if you have an issue, go directly to the neighbor. You’ll find that a lot of negative feelings are based on misunderstandings and if you create an environment that is comfortable to talk things through, you’ll find you’re not only closer with the person, but you will gain a lot of respect. Lastly, you probably won’t be best friends with all your neighbors. In fact, there might be some that you don’t like but, you can still go out of your way to say hi, shake hands and not say bad things about them. This goes a long way and creates a safe, hospital neighborhood environment.
Keep it Clean
Take care of your lawn and the exterior of your house in the same way that the rest of your neighborhood does. Curb appeals seriously changes the value of homes, and you don’t want to be the one decreasing that value. We know that life is busy and if you find yourself not having enough time to mow your lawn, hire a lawn-care company or, even better, hire a kid in your neighborhood trying to make some extra cash. Basic home exterior care includes:
- Removing chips from the exterior walls and painting when necessary.
- Mow the lawn
- Make sure that trees or shrubs don’t make their way into your neighbor’s yard. This includes tree limbs, spreading shrubs, and weeds.
- Remove all bicycles, skateboards, and toys from the front yard at the end of the day.
- Keep garbage cans away from the front yard, if possible (Some city ordinances require this.)
Welcome New Neighbors
Go out of your way to make a new family feel welcome. It makes a difference and sets the precedent of a hospitable community. You never know how long you’ll be neighbors with someone so it’s always a good idea to start off on the right track. Some simple things you can do to welcome your new neighbors include:
- Introduce yourself as soon as you can and give the new neighbors your phone number.
- Deliver a meal or treats.
- Hand-deliver a bouquet of flowers.
- If you both have children, make sure you introduce your kids to them.
- If the family is new to the area, offer them a list of services and phone numbers that you use. Include emergency services, doctors’ offices, dentists, schools, places that provide carryout, dry cleaners- whatever comes to mind for you.
When people make an effort to be a good neighbor, everyone will have a sense of security because they know they are all surrounded by friends. Furthermore, the neighborhood will be more appealing, and you’ll be more content in your home. An added benefit is that you and your neighbors will look out for each other.
We hope this post was helpful and would love to hear ways you’re a good neighbor in your community!