Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How to Be a Good Neighbor

Neighbors aren't who they used to be.  Back in the day, neighbors knew each other, they helped each other, and they looked out for each other.  Nowadays, being a neighbor has boiled down to living within proximity to another human.  The human element is gone.  Neighbors rarely talk to each other, living in their own little bubble, and usually when they do interact, it's more likely that they'll be complaining about too much noise, those rowdy kids, or that annoying dog.  I'm here to bring back what a neighborhood should be and tell you how to be a great neighbor.

1.  Introduce Yourself
This may be a tough one at first but being familiar with your neighbors will go a long way.  Get to know them and their situation.  Let them know that they can count on you and they will most likely return the favor.  If you're just moving into a neighborhood, go meet a few neighbors early on...The longer you wait to introduce yourself, the more awkward and uncomfortable it'll be once you do finally meet them.  If you've got new neighbors moving in, do introduce yourself.  Bringing baked goods can't hurt.

2.  Be Respectful
One part of getting to know your neighbors is understanding their unique situation.  Do they have young children?  Do they work late hours and sleep during the day?  Put yourself in their shoes and imagine which ways you could be disrespecting them.  You don't always have to agree, but respect goes a long way.

3.  Mind Your Yard
You have that one neighbor in mind right?  That one who lets the grass go to seed, the one who hasn't trimmed the bushes in years, the one who never shovels snow or rakes leaves...Your goal is to not be THAT neighbor.  If enough people manage their own yard, it creates a strong sense of pride in the neighborhood which will not only boost property values, but it'll also attract those who value that pride.  Keep in mind your yard doesn't have to be perfect, just pay attention to it.

4. Control Your Pets
If you have pets, you know their demeanor.  If you put your dog out because you're tired of him barking inside, chances are your neighbors already hate you and your pets.  Take the time to either train your animals or control them in a way that doesn't upset your neighbors.  Who knows, maybe instead of that expensive pet boarding, you could have a neighbor watch your animals while you're on vacation if you've made it known you've got well behaved pets. 

5.  Communicate Often

It's probably a good idea to have your neighbors phone number or email address.  Whether it's an emergency or maybe just a quick question being able to get a hold of your neighbor is important.  Don't abuse the privilege!  If your neighbor is working on their home, drop by and lend a hand.  Invite them over for back yard parties and get togethers.  Do what it takes to communicate on a regular basis.

Having a good neighbor-to-neighbor relationship can pay off in ways you never thought possible.  More than anything, the security of knowing your surroundings can give you confidence that you've found a great place for your family.  Don't just live in your bubble, get out and be a great neighbor today!

Jared Reimer is a real estate broker with Prudential Rocky Mountain Realtors in Northern Colorado.  Real estate is his passion and he always wants to connect with like-minded and savvy real estate fans.  For more information or to get in touch with Jared, please visit his website at www.ReimerRE.com or email him at JaredReimer@ReimerRE.com

2 comments:

  1. Another great tip for "getting in good" with your neighbors is to organize events that can get the children of the neighborhood involved. You can have an easter-egg hunt, trick-or-treat or 4th of July BBQ. This enables you to meet almost all your neighbors at once.

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