Neighborly Know-How: Building Awesome Alliances
Whether it’s curb appeal or a custom kitchen, no two people have the same exact idea about what makes a home ideal. But most everyone can agree that having great neighbors is a good thing. With holiday spirit in the air, it’s the perfect time to connect with those around you…especially the people who live close by.
The best way to gain great neighbors is to be one yourself – today and all year long.
Here are some excellent ways to reach out and build lasting bonds:
Keep it Clean
Want instant brownie points on your neighborly score card? Keep your property tidy. Hide your trash receptacles in the side yard or garage. Rake the leaves and clean up grass clippings. Give your house a periodic pressure wash and fresh coat of paint.
“Good fences make good neighbors” is a popular sentiment for a reason: boundaries must be respected. But there are times when frank communication is equally important. In spite of any initial awkwardness, inviting honest dialogue creates trust in the long run. Address shared interests like worn out fences and overgrown trees on the property line before they get out of control and work out a plan that keeps both parties happy.
In our tech-savvy, online-obsessed world, it’s easy to forget that nothing replaces the old-fashioned personal touch. Whether they’ve just moved in, or you’ve simply fallen out of touch, a delivery of baked goods or a homemade dish is a great way to break the ice with your neighbors. Or invite them to a casual dinner or backyard barbeque at your place. Your kindness will be remembered and likely reciprocated!
Sharing contact info with your neighbors is one of the best ways to foster a sense of community and camaraderie. Whether it’s picking up a package from your doorstep or watching your home while you’re on vacation, it’s comforting to know your next-door compadre has your back. Offer your phone number and email first and ask if they’re comfortable sharing the same.
Instead of waiting until they ask for help, make an effort to anticipate the needs of your neighbors. If they’ve got children and you like to babysit, tell them up front that you’re willing to watch the little ones. Offer to help with lawn care or a gardening project (which beautifies the neighborhood as a whole – win-win!).