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5 Tips for Being a Good Neighbor

Do you miss the days of neighborly love? Be the change you want to see in your own neighborhood. Here are 5 tips for being the best neighbor you can possibly be.


This should be one of the first things you do after moving in, or even during the move. Nothing is worse than living next to someone for months and still feeling awkward trying to start up a conversation with them because you never made that initial contact. By breaking the ice quickly you’ll avoid all that, and if the time comes where you need a favor it’ll be that much easier.


And we’re not talking about the pile of clothes in your walk in closet. One way to show you’re a thoughtful neighbor is to keep the outside of your home looking great. No one wants to live next to a run-down place. Mow your lawn. Take care of your paint and siding. Don’t leave tools or toys scattered about. Shovel your walks. All of this adds up, and your neighbors will notice and appreciate it.


Whether it’s a summer barbecue around the pool or a movie marathon that got a little rowdy, your neighbors will be A LOT more understanding of noise if you give them even just an ounce of notice (Caveat: this still doesn’t give you carte blanche to blast Bon Jovi until dawn). Letting your neighbors know you’re hosting a party, or even inviting them, is a sign of respect, and respect is a big part of healthy neighborly relationships.


It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen James Stewart in Rear Window (or Shia LaBeouf in Disturbia for you younger readers), your neighbors deserve their privacy. Don’t pry into their personal lives. Allow time for a natural rapport to develop before asking invasive questions. Just because they live next to you doesn’t give you unfettered access to their business. We understand the temptation of seeking out the juiciest gossip, but nobody likes a snoopy neighbor.


Borrowing a cup of sugar once is great, most people will gladly help you out in a pinch. Borrowing a cup of sugar every weekend is a bit much. Understanding boundaries is a delicate business and suburban diplomacy can be tricky, but just being aware that they exist is the first step. Don’t invite yourself over, don’t constantly ask favors and give nothing in return, and always remember that something that seems okay to you might seem annoying to someone else.

It might seem like a lot of work, but don’t get too stressed. Everybody’s human and a couple missteps are never the worst thing in the world. All in all, it just comes down to being respectful.

Be a part of something great in a Bielinski Neighborhood.
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    Janet Agnello
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    James & Peggy Osbourne