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How to Be a Perfect Neighbor

The secret to having good neighbors is to be a good neighbor
BY Bill Lindsey TIMEMarch 25, 2022 PRINT

Whether we live in a house or an apartment, it has become normal not to know the people living around us, which is a shame. Good neighbors don’t just happen, but the results are well worth the effort.

Be Friendly

Without being a stalker, make an effort to meet your neighbors. Walking your dog is often a great way to meet those who live nearby. Assuming your dog—and theirs—are well-behaved, you’ve got a natural ice-breaker to start a conversation. If you see them in the yard, a friendly wave and “Hi” may lead to more regular chats. You may even discover that you have a lot in common and become friends.

Be Helpful

If you see a neighbor struggling with a trash can or a large box dropped off by UPS, offer to help. Most times they’ll say they’re OK, but it shows a friendliness on your part. The same goes if you see them having problems with a lawnmower or cleaning rain gutters; taking care to not startle them, ask if you can help. The best neighbors are those ready to lend a helping hand.

Be Courteous

Being a good neighbor is easy when you treat your neighbors as you would want to be treated. If you receive their mail by mistake, deliver it to them. If you see them, you can explain, but if not, simply leave it in their mailbox. Clean up after your pets and kids, and take care to not let parties run too late or to get too loud (unless you invite the entire neighborhood).

Maintain Your Property

The condition and appearance of your home affect the overall community and especially those homes near yours. Keeping your lawn mowed, trees trimmed, and home in good shape certainly benefits your quality of life and real estate value, but it also shows respect for your neighbors. Provide a good example; while home maintenance tasks become routine after a while, be aware when those new to homeownership may need a hand.

Be Aware

By making a point of meeting your neighbors and knowing their kids, pets, and even their vehicles, it becomes easy to notice when something is amiss. Without being that guy who watches his neighbors through binoculars and writes down license plate numbers, be aware of cars parked at vacant homes or strangers repeatedly driving through the neighborhood. If you see a neighbor, their child, or their pet in distress, offer assistance—just as you hope they would do for you.

Bill Lindsey
Bill Lindsey is an award-winning writer based in South Florida. He covers real estate, automobiles, timepieces, boats, and travel topics.
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