Signing closing papers and leaving with a set of keys to your new home is a feeling like no other. All the hard work of searching, making an offer, inspecting and waiting is over – it’s official! The home is yours.
After the moving truck is unloaded and the boxes are emptied, you may ask yourself, now what?
Well, how about taking some time to decide what kind of neighbor you’re going to be. After all, neighbors can make or break your homeownership experience, and you want to invite the best neighborly behavior by being a great neighbor yourself.
We have a few tips on how to neighborhood like the king of neighborliness himself, Mr. Rogers.
- Of your pets: pick up their waste, and if they’re prone to barking at every passerby, bring them inside the house.
- Of your noise: there are commonly accepted active hours and quiet hours. The neighbor trimming their lawn at 6 a.m. Saturday? Don’t be that guy.
- Of your vehicle: avoid parking on the street so your neighbors don’t have to weave around your car like an obstacle course. And we know you have a great taste in music, but keep the car jams at a low volume whenever you’re within residential space.
- Do nod and wave if you’re outside, and if you run into a neighbor, go a step further and introduce yourself.
- Don’t take friendliness too far by making a habit of stopping by your neighbors’ homes unexpectedly, or watching everyone a little too closely, blurring the line between “friendly” and “nosy.”
- Help prevent problems before they start by learning the habits and schedules of your next door neighbors. For example, if they are parents with small children, ask if there are certain times of day you need to be extra quiet (hint: you haven’t seen mad until you’ve seen a mom whose baby is awoken by a poorly-timed ring of the doorbell).
- If you have guests, make sure they don’t park on your neighbors’ grass, or you could end up replacing their sod.
- If your new neighborhood has a homeowners’ association, attend meetings and pay dues on time.
- Join the neighborhood watch, or unofficially keep your eyes open for unusual activity.
- Look for opportunities to help a neighbor in need. For example, don’t avert your eyes if you drive by a neighbor struggling to carry their new treadmill into the garage – hop out of the car and offer a hand!