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11 Ways to Be a Good Neighbor

Real Estate Agent with NoVa House and Home - Frankly Realty

What kind of neighborhood do you want to live in? A neighborly place may seem rare these days, but we’re seeing a sense of community becoming more and more important to home buyers. 

Here are some tips on HOW TO BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR

1. Be open and welcome new comers
It can be awkward starting a conversation with a random stranger, especially if you’ve been neighbors for months, or possibly years. Would you be upset if someone showed up to introduce themselves with a bottle of wine or a plate of brownies? Probably not, so go for it! It doesn’t mean you’ll be best friends for life, but at least you’ll know who you’re waving good morning or good evening to.

2. Strike up a conversation
When you see a neighbor doing yard work or walking their dog, strike up a conversation. Keep it light and avoid touchy subjects, until you get to know them better at least!


3. Don’t be nosey
Too many personal questions or snooping around someone’s house is simply not cool. Be respectful of their privacy and don’t pry. Allow them to open up as they’re ready to share.

Sometimes a little nosey isn't bad, it's great to keep an eye out for your neighbors house when they're out of town, or check in if something seems amiss. Keep your neighbors phone numbers handy so you can check with them if this happens. If it's seems severe, don't be afraid to call your local police non-emergency number and ask them to have a look.

4. Be a good pet owner
Wanna make an enemy real quick? Then leave a barking dog outside all day/night or let your dog poop on the neighbor’s yard and don’t pick it up. Don’t let your pet be your neighbor’s problem.


5. Invite your neighbors to the party
Not every event you throw will be appropriate to invite neighbors. If you’re going to have a big bash, invite them. They may or may not come, but it’s less likely they’ll call the cops if you go a little late or a little loud. Host a block party or open house. Ask everyone to bring a specialty appetizer or beverage. Low cost way to get to know people and let them get to know you a bit.

6. Take care of your yard
Keep your yard mowed and tidy. It doesn’t have to be a professional English Garden, just take basic care of your space. I’m a gardener, so whenever we make an improvement in the front yard my neighbor says “your yard looks so great, now my wife is gonna make me do something in our yard – thanks a lot!” He’s joking of course, I know that they appreciate the garden and enjoy it as much as we do.

7. Help out if your neighbor is sick or out of town
If you know your neighbor is going through a hard time, why not help out by mowing their lawn for them? This kindness will do wonders for a great relationship. Imagine your lawn is getting long and you just can’t deal with it – what an amazing gift to come home and see that it’s taken care of.

8. Don’t ask for too much
It’s OK to ask for a hand every now and then, we all need help from time to time. But don’t take advantage!

9. Give some space
No one wants to be “that guy” everyone avoids because they overstep boundaries. If your neighbor seems busy, don’t interrupt and keep talking when it’s clear they have things to do. If there’s something specific you need to discuss, ask “is this a good time?”

10. If you borrow something, don’t forget to give it back

One great thing about neighbors is that there’s usually someone with that tool you only need once in a blue moon. Instead of buying it, friendly neighbors are usually glad to let you borrow it. If you break it, replace it. Don’t forget to return it in as good or better working order than when you borrowed it.

11. Golden rule – start with being a good neighbor 
You can’t control how other people behave, but you can always control your own actions. Don’t be a jerk, keep communications friendly. You’ll usually get the same in return.

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Brought to you by NoVa House and Home at Frankly Realty, Inc. 

Falls Church, VA



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Comments (6)

Rosemarie Heindel
Harry Norman Realtors - Big Canoe, GA
Rosemarie Heindel

Amelia...all great suggestions for being a good neighbor.  There is a wonderful bakery down the road who makes the mouth watering homemade bread. I put it in a beautiful bag with a welcome card and everyone loves it.  Not your usual gift.  I have done the wine and plant route, but find a loaf of homemade bread more inviting.

Jan 14, 2016 10:24 PM
Amelia Robinette

that's a wonderful gift! i'm going to steal that idea

Jan 14, 2016 10:28 PM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski
Coldwell Banker Realty - Woodbridge, VA
Helping agents live an exceptional life!

These are all so common sense, and yet I meet people all the time who detest their neighbors for breaking these rules!

In my old neighborhood, I used to bake brownies and enclose a card with my address and phone number and an offer to help in any way and hand deliver them.

My neighbors now brought a nice card and a bottle of wine when I moved in here. It's such a small and simple gesture!



Jan 14, 2016 10:32 PM
Amelia Robinette

it seems so easy! i'm really lucky to have amazing neighbors.

Jan 14, 2016 10:35 PM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I love this....I have seen a lot of positive posts here today...happy Friday!

Jan 14, 2016 10:36 PM
Amelia Robinette

thanks! this is real estate - what's a Friday?

Jan 14, 2016 10:36 PM
Tamara Elliott-Deering
Central Metro Realty - Austin, TX

Great post, I can especially relate to the be a good pet owner. I am a real estate investor and I didn't pursue an opportunity because the neighbor's dog barked from the moment I parked the car until I drove away. It was still barking when I came back to visit the house a second time. I didn't mind the dog for myself, I wasn't going to live there but I was really worried I would be able to sell the house. For the record - I am a dog lover, no hate mail please.

Jan 14, 2016 10:52 PM
Amelia Robinette

i totally understand - we had a next door dog that barked and barked. talked to the neighbor and he said he put the dog outside BECAUSE it barked all the time - so thanks, dude, annoy everyone instead of being annoyed yourself.

or better yet, training or doing something about the poor thing, it's not normal for a dog to bark for 8 hrs/day.

Jan 14, 2016 10:57 PM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Hi Amelia Robinette ,  I think you covered all the most important points.  Nice blog.

Jan 15, 2016 01:25 PM
Amelia Robinette

Thanks Larry!

Jan 18, 2016 10:18 AM
Winston Heverly
Coldwell Banker Access Realty - South Macon, GA

Super post, I'm glad I came across it in the archives, Looking forward to others from you.

Feb 13, 2016 11:34 PM