Good neighbors are a bit different these days than they were forty to fifty years ago. Expectations of neighbors, what makes a good neighbor, and what people look for in a neighborhood have certainly changed a bit. The development of technology can be largely to blame for the decrease in face to face relationships.
Good Neighbor Quality #1
Interestingly enough, according to a survey completed by realtor.com, a majority of people don’t really mind how neighborhoods have evolved. The number one quality in a good neighbor, is to be trustworthy. Trustworthiness and honesty go a long way with neighbors. While trust takes time to build with others, start by offering to do something nice for a neighbor like check their mail while they are on vacation. Once you’ve established relationships with others, don’t forget to provide a spare key and alarm passcodes to at least one trusted neighbor.
Good Neighbor Quality #2
The second most desired trait in a neighbor is someone that is quiet. While trustworthy people are important to have as neighbors, it’s almost as important to be quiet and not disruptive. Being disrespectful is a big no no for a neighbor. This doesn’t just include a party with loud music though. Be mindful about the time of day you’re running power equipment, like your lawn mower. A general etiquette rule is to wait until 8am to mow the lawn during the week, and 9am during the weekends. The evening is similar, with turning off all lawn equipment and other noise makers before 8pm-9pm.
Good Neighbor Quality #3
The third characteristic of a good neighbor is someone that is friendly, with respectful right below it. In general, a simple hello and a wave mean a lot to others, so try to give a little nod in passing, even if you’re not best friends. Be a friendly neighbor, and reach out to those around you once in a while.
When new neighbors move in, take over a meal, bottle of wine, or plate of desserts. About a week after we moved into our now home, one of the sweetest women on my street brought over a loaf of delicious sandwich bread from a local bakery. Not only was it nice to meet a new face, the bread was perfect for this carb lover and she introduced us to a new bakery nearby that we didn’t know about.
Housewarming gifts, particularly locally made or locally themed, are not only a nice gesture, but give new homeowners something to look back on as years pass by. Don’t forget to point out other nearby neighbors that are trustworthy, and leave your phone number with an offer to help out if they need it.
Need a cup of sugar? While it used to be acceptable to just go to a neighbor’s house and knock on the door, don’t do it. Most people appreciate a heads up prior to having someone show up at their door. Shoot over a text before you ring the doorbell.
In most neighborhoods, the text before playdate is also an unsaid rule. Know where your children are in the neighborhood and know the neighbors they play with. Text a friend’s parents to arrange a playdate, prior to letting your child barge in their front door.
Honey, are you going to mow the lawn?
Keep your lawn mowed and your yard neat and trimmed. No one likes a messy yard. Do your neighbors a favor and keep up with your yard so they don’t have to complain.
Turn it down!
As mentioned above, be cognizant of the noise you’re making. Whether it be music or mowing the lawn before day break, no one appreciates the unwanted noise.
Thinking of selling your home? Start building relationships with those that are surrounding you. Your neighbors impact how marketable your home is in more ways than one. It only takes a buyer one distasteful or unacceptable observation of a neighborhood to be turn away from a home, even if the marketed property is perfect. Start talking to neighbors now if you’re looking at moving within the next year. Hopefully you’ve formed relationships enough with those around you that you are pleasant with them and can reach out when needed. If you aren’t, consider whipping up some cookies and walking over to begin a conversation.
Do you have a friendly neighborhood? What are some of your top priorities in a good neighbor?
Check out our area stats for information about neighborhoods in the metro Atlanta area.