Whether you live on an idyllic countryside or the heart of an urban jungle, we all have one thing in common: neighbors. Some live closer than others; and whether your encounters are daily or far and few between, they make an impression.

Neighbors: The Strangers Next Door

Since we’ve been married, my husband and I have had our fair share of run-ins with the neighbors. The busybody, the homebody, the non-poopy-picker-upper body. We’ve also had the pleasure of living next to what we call “State Farmers” (you know “like a good neighbor, da da da dah”). But variety is the spice of life, right?

Everyone has had an encounter with a bad neighbor and love it or hate it, you’re a neighbor too. So the question arises; how do you avoid becoming “that” person?

Just remember C.R.I.B.

Be Considerate

Depending on your living situation, there are a number of ways this can be done. For instance, if you live in an apartment complex with assigned parking, avoid taking their spot, even temporarily. Maybe you live on a cul-de-sac. Keep the shared road free of things like bikes and trash cans. These things are not only unsightly but can present a serious safety hazard. Also on the topic of safety, drive the posted speed limit. This is one of, if not the most considerate thing you can do in any residential area.

Be Respectful 

Bordering on consideration is respect. If you’re like me, you enjoy taking your dog for a walk through the neighborhood. Inevitably your four legged friend will find a spot to do their business; most likely on someone else’s lawn. Picking up after our pets shows respect for other people’s property and the hard work they put into maintaining it. Respect should be shown not only for the property of others, but to them as individuals. Just because you’re awake at 3 AM doesn’t mean they are. So swap the stereo system for headphones and mow your lawn after the rooster crows. If you respect your neighbors, they’re more likely to respect you.

Be Industrious

We all lead busy lives. Work, family and everything in between leave little time for anything else. But being industrious in our community benefits your neighbors, as well as yourself. For instance, the winter months provide many areas with a substantial snowfall. Shoveling your walkways and salting icy areas keep your family safe as well as visitors. Some may even take it a step further by shoveling the walks of others, especially the elderly. Little things like this can go a long way. Being industrious shows a sense of pride; both in your own home and the neighborhood in which you live.

Have Boundaries 

This is something that applies whether you share a wall or live acres away. Boundaries can be both physical and personal. For instance, if your neighbor gives you a key for emergencies, don’t use it without permission. Better yet, don’t use it at all. They probably gave it to you in case they lose theirs or lock themselves out. There is also a fine line between being a concerned neighbor and a nosey neighbor. When your neighbor says they’re going out of town, no need to pry. Simply ask if there’s anything you can do and offer to keep an eye on their place, exchange telephone numbers and leave it at that.

So be the neighbor you would want to live next to. Implementing these basic rules will not only make you a better neighbor, but leave the door open to more meaningful relationships down the road. Communities are made up of individuals, banding together for a common interest. Show your neighbors you have something to offer, and believe that they do too.

If you’r ready to find new neighbors, contact us. We’ll help you sell your home  and find a new one.