Congratulations! Buying your first house is a major achievement. Just remember—with that house comes neighbors, and with neighbors come responsibilities. Now that you're all moved in, it's time to get neighborly. While it may sound like a tall order at first, it really only requires a few considerations on your end. We've listed some here to help give you the inside scoop before the family next door comes asking to borrow a cup of sugar.
Read up to learn how you can be a good neighbor.
1. Introduce Yourself
Some neighbors go years without learning each other's names, but wouldn't you prefer to live in a neighborhood where everyone knew and supported one another? Where someone will shovel your sidewalk while you're on vacation? Start off on the right foot by bringing a batch of brownies to the neighbors next door or inviting them over for dinner once you're settled. A little effort goes a long way when it comes to making a good introduction, and your neighbors will remember the first time they met you.
2. Keep Them in the Loop
Are you anticipating a significant number of guests who may take up your neighborhood's limited street parking? Planning a New Year's Eve party where the music might get loud? Give your neighbors a call to keep them in the loop. If you are thoughtful about how your actions may impact your neighbors, then they will likely call you before they file a noise complaint or attempt to have your guests' cars towed.
3. Keep it Down
While it may be fun to have your whole family over for a barbecue on a nice summer night, it's important to always be considerate of your noise levels when you're living in a neighborhood with other houses close by. Turn down the music, and remind your louder house guests to consider your neighbors. Though they may not realize you went through the effort to limit your noise, they will notice the result.
4. Keep it Clean
As homeowners, we tend to take pride in our neighborhoods, but that's tough to do when your neighbors' front porches are littered with trash and their yards are poorly maintained. Take the time to take care of your house's physical appearance. Mow the lawn, patch up paint chips and keep your trash contained. Your neighbors will appreciate your efforts—and you'll appreciate the impact it has on your home's value.
5. Keep in Touch
Simply introducing yourself to your neighbors isn't enough to earn the "good neighbor" accolade. Don't be afraid to chat with them when the opportunity arrives, because these casual, friendly interactions are what build your neighborhood's sense of community. Who knows? Maybe, with a little effort, you'll go from being simply good neighbors to great friends.
Being the new kid on the block can be a bit intimidating, but by taking the time to get to know your neighbors—and by being considerate of how your actions impact their everyday lives—you can be the type of neighbor of which Mr. Rogers himself would be proud.