Whether you’re moving to an apartment building or a stand-alone house, you’ll likely have quite a few new neighbors to meet. For many, neighbors can make or break a living situation. If you happen to have kind and respectful neighbors, you’ll likely enjoy your experience in the neighborhood. However, the same cannot be said for those who are cursed with bad (read: disrespectful and rude) neighbors. Fortunately, there are things you can do (and not do) to make the most of your situation – whatever that may be. Winning over your neighbors may not be easy, but it can be done. For advice on the dos and don’t of winning over your neighbors, keep reading.
Do mow your lawn and improve the landscaping
It should come as no surprise that neighborhood residents are often concerned about their home’s resale value. For better or worse, a home’s value is often influenced by the neighborhood’s aesthetics, which means lawn and yard maintenance is extremely important for each resident. A run-down home that isn’t well taken care of can unfortunately hurt a surrounding home’s resale potential. Even if your home is in tip-top shape with ample curb appeal, living near this home will likely make it more difficult to attract potential buyers. Of course, when moving to a new neighborhood, you do not want to be that home that’s run-down. To win your neighbors over, make sure to take good care of the home’s outside aesthetics. From landscaping to touching up exterior paint, a little improvement can go a long way in the hearts of your neighbors.
Don’t blare loud music or throw frequent parties
Being disrespectful and disruptive of your neighbors is a surefire way to ostracize yourself in a new neighborhood. Trust us when we say, you won’t make any friends or do yourself any favors by blasting loud music outdoors or hosting large, obnoxious gatherings. If you do decide to throw a party, be sure to let your next door neighbors know, so they can plan accordingly. If you know that the party-goers plan to drive their cars, you’ll need to find a legal place for them to park their vehicles. The last thing any neighbor wants is having their driveway blocked by a stranger’s car.
Do say hello and introduce yourself
A simple “hello” can do wonders for building relationships with new neighbors. So make sure to introduce yourself whenever you see residents wandering around the hallways or walking down the street. Introduce yourself and let the neighbor know that you’re new to the area. Most people love welcoming newcomers in some way or another. The more neighbors you meet during the first few weeks, the more connected to the community you’ll feel.
Don’t spend all your time indoors
Unless it’s the dead of winter, try to spend time outside the home. Staying inside all day every day won’t allow you to meet neighbors. Try walking your dog through the neighborhood, hanging on your porch or gardening in your yard. If you live in an apartment building or condo complex, spend time at the building’s gym, lobby and other communal areas. This is where you’re sure to meet neighbors, local families and (possibly) new friends. Spending time outside the home will also make you a familiar face in the neighborhood in no time.
Do exchange numbers and help out when needed
You never know when you’ll need a neighbor to pick up your mail, feed your cat or water your plants while you’re out of town. Of course, to have a good neighbor, you have to be a good neighbor. So make sure to exchange numbers and contact information with a few neighbors that you trust. Offering to do favors for others is a great way to win over your neighbors. In turn, many of them will most likely be willing to help you out when the time comes. Tip: don’t ask neighbors for help too often. If your neighbor Harry never asks you to do anything, then avoid asking him to water your plants everyday while you’re out of town. Instead, ask a few different people to water them on different days.
Don’t leave your dog outside to bark all day
We all have that neighbor who thinks it’s okay to let their dog bark day and night. For whatever reason, this incessant barking doesn’t seem to bother the dog owner – just everyone else in the neighborhood. To stay in good standing with your neighbors, make sure you avoid becoming that neighbor by limiting the amount of time your barky dog spends outdoors. If the dog tends to bark through the night, be sure to bring them indoors. It’s also a good idea to supervise them during the day when the dog is outside. Controlling your dog will go a long way in winning over your neighbors.
Do join your neighborhood association and/or attend HOA meetings
Don’t become a neighbor who doesn’t care about the community. Get involved in block parties, attend HOA meetings and take an active role in changing your neighborhood for the better. Not only is this a great way to get to know your neighbors, but it’s also a surefire way to make the neighborhood a better place to live. After you move, ask a neighbor about community events and/or HOA meetings. There will likely be someone in the neighborhood who can fill you in on how to get involved.
Don’t be passive aggressive about problems
Perhaps a neighbor lets their dog bark all night long or perhaps they’re not following HOA rules. Whatever the concern, avoid talking about them behind their backs or slipping them an anonymous note under their door. Instead, go to the neighbor directly and discuss your problem with them in a calm and constructive way. Rather than bad-mouthing them to others or getting them in trouble with the HOA, this more direct approach will help win the respect of your neighbors. If the neighbor who is causing the problem is a rational person, they will likely appreciate that you approached them directly rather than passive aggressively throwing them under the bus.
Do compliment your neighbors’ yards and homes
Admiring your neighbors’ lawns and exteriors? Looking for a good conversation starter? Don’t be afraid to compliment their home. Everyone loves a good compliment – especially when it’s sincere. In addition, people like to know that the hard work they put into their home is appreciated by the community. Not only will a sincere compliment help you win over the neighbors, but it will also (hopefully) lead to more conversations in the future.
Don’t gossip about neighbors
Whatever you do, don’t join the gossip train after moving to a new home. There’s almost always a neighborhood gossip jumping at the chance to give you the scoop on everyone’s business. As soon as you identify this gossiper, we recommend politely excusing yourself from the conversation. The last thing you want to do is gossip about a bunch of neighbors you have yet to meet.
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