Whether you rent a townhome in the city or own a family home in a residential community–you can do your part in making your community a better place simply by being a good neighbor!

You see, when one neighbor goes above and beyond to act neighborly, it typically starts a chain reaction. One kind act leads to another and before you know it your entire community will be a more friendly place to live! (And for those of you who are always thinking about your home’s value, know that most buyers will pay for a friendly neighborhood. See more of our resources for sellers).

To help you stir up your inner good neighbor, we’ve compiled a list of the qualities all good neighbors possess. We’ve even included a few ideas of ways you can become the “good neighbor” in your own community!

All Good Neighbors Are…

1. Friendly

Get off on the right foot. Whether you’ve just moved in, your neighbor just moved in, or you’ve been neighbors for a while, but are just getting around to introducing yourself–do your part to establish a friendly relationship. (Cookies always seem to help!)

You’re sure to rest easier knowing you’re living among friends, not enemies. Friendly relationships between neighbors, rather than hostile ones, will always equate to a great quality of life.

Tip: Earn bonus “good neighbor points” by being friendly even with neighbors who have a reputation for being not so nice themselves. (They do exist!)

2. Noise-conscious

While not all communities enforce “quiet hours”, a good neighbor will do his or her best to be noise-conscious. You might be thinking, that seems like good neighbor common sense, and while it is, common sense is not always common practice.  

Generally speaking, noise should be kept to a minimum between the hours of nine a.m. and nine p.m. With that said, mowing your lawn before the sun is up on a  Sunday morning is not the way to your neighbor’s heart. You should definitely avoid obnoxiously honking your car’s horn at your children when they’re running late for school, and blasting loud music in the backyard well into the night isn’t recommended either.

We could go on, and on but you get the gist. Really, this is an easy way to maintain good neighbor status.

Tip: If there is an instance where you plan to create some excess noise, like an upcoming renovation project or a family backyard BBQ, give your neighbors a heads up! They’re sure to appreciate the gesture.

3. Tidy

We’re just going to put it out there, no one likes a messy neighbor. Even if you don’t mind when your yard is a mess, it’s important to be courteous to your neighbors who do. Plus, you don’t want to be the one home on the block that brings the value of everyone else’s homes down–do you?

Not quite sure what this entails?

  • Maintain your yard’s appearance (leaves raked, grass cut, weeds plucked, shrubs pruned, etc.)
  • On a similar note, make sure your trees, shrubs and other landscaping elements don’t creep across property lines.
  • Clean up any clutter (bikes, gardening tools, toys, etc.) If you need em’, you can find our Decluttering Dos and Don’ts, here.
  • Keep outdoor decor tasteful.
  • Put your trash out on the right night and in proper receptacles so neighbors don’t have to see or smell your garbage.
  • Remove mold from exterior walls and paint when necessary.

Tip: If you don’t have the time to mow your own lawn, hire a neighborhood teen to do it!

4. Respectful

When in doubt, follow the golden rule. Your neighbors are people you will likely see every day for years to come. Show them respect and they’re sure to give you the same.

  • Observe and respect your neighbor’s personal space. (Be sure your children and pets adhere to these boundaries, too!)  
  • If you borrow something, return (or replace) the item immediately after use.
  • Don’t gossip (take our word for it, you don’t want to be known as a nosy neighbor.)
  • If an issue with a neighbor arises discuss it maturely in person. More often than not, it’s an easy fix.
  • If the misunderstanding persists, be the mature one. Keep things on good terms by waving occasionally.
  • Pick up after your dog!
  • If your neighborhood has an HOA (Homeowner’s Association), know the rules and follow them.

5. Welcoming

A good neighbor really knows what it takes to help a new neighbor feel welcome. If you’re up for it, claim the “welcoming committee” title. It doesn’t have to be a huge initiative, but greeting new members with a personal introduction, a batch of fresh baked goods, and perhaps a bouquet of flowers to liven up their new home is a fantastic neighborly gesture.  

And to get the whole neighborhood involved: can we please bring summer block parties back?

Tip: Compile a list of local doctors offices, dentists, schools, pizza shops, dry cleaners, daycares, home service companies, emergency services, and whatever else you can think of that could be helpful for a new neighbor to have.

As you can see, it really doesn’t take much to be a good neighbor. A simple hello, friendly wave or occasional smile can go a long way when it comes to being a good neighbor. Give it a try and see how quickly your positive actions take a ripple effect. You’re sure to notice a difference in your community in no time.

When deciding which neighborhood is right for you, remember that each one is different. While some are home to social groups of individuals, others can be more quiet and secluded. Some communities may be better for families while others are better for young working professionals.

When looking for a new home, it’s important to consider what characteristics or features you want in a neighborhood. Once you’ve determined your neighborhood “must-haves”, an experienced Realtor will be able to help you narrow in on the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood.

When it comes to Raleigh neighborhoods, no one knows better than the team of real estate experts at Spencer Properties. See how we help buyers just like you choose the right Raleigh neighborhood.

Also, read about one of our favorite Raleigh neighborhoods–Bedford Falls River, in our latest Raleigh Neighborhood Spotlight Blog