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My husband and I have been married for 16 years! During those years, we lived in two different homes. We loved our first little house, especially after making it our own by refinishing the hardwood floors and completely remodeling the kitchen. The problem was it didn’t feel like home. Even though the inside of the house met our expectations, our neighbors did not! Unfortunately, most of us can not choose our neighbors, but we still need to have a good relationship with them.

So what does it mean to be a good neighbor? People have all kinds of relationships with their neighbors, but one thing good neighbors have in common is mutual respect and courtesy. Although our first housing situation wasn’t successful, Dave and I have been very happy in our current home, which we’ve lived in since 2006. Some of the reasons why are listed below:

What it takes to be a good neighbor?

  1. Be welcoming – This could mean just sharing a smile or a wave. In our case, we frequently talk to our neighbors on the right-hand side, but we just share an occasion wave and hello with the neighbors on the left. This is perfectly fine! Find what works with your neighbors.
  2. Consider your neighbor’s lifestyle – If you can, get to know your neighbors a little so you can be considerate of their lifestyles. For example, if your neighbor works nights, quiet mornings are important. Quiet nights may be important if they have children. By learning about each other in advance, you can possibly remedy problems before they start.
  3. Caution your neighbor of parties – If you are planning a large party, be sure to tell your neighbors. Let them know how long you expect the party to last and ask them to contact you if things get too loud. You may even want to invite them.
  4. Remember parking etiquette – Be respectful of where you park your car or where your friends/family park. Be sure your neighbors have adequate space for coming and going. If they park in the street, try to avoid their spot.
  5. Keep your yard tidy – Mow your lawn on a regular basis, pull weeds, keep your bushes trimmed, and avoid leaving toys and other things in the yard for long periods of time.
  6. Be responsible for your pets – Keep your dog in your yard (unless you have a mutual agreement with your neighbor).  If necessary, put your dog on a leash. Control barking, especially when your dog is outside. Clean up dog waste on a regular basis.
  7. Position outside lights with care – Make sure your outside lights aren’t shining into your neighbor’s house, especially a bedroom.
  8. Keep favors to a minimum– It’s alright to ask for favors every once in a while, but your neighbor will not appreciate it if you are asking too often.
  9. Give your neighbors space – Be sure you aren’t intruding or overstepping your boundaries. Play close attention to your neighbors verbal and non-verbal clues. Last thing you want to do is overstep your relationship which could cause bad feelings.
  10. Be a good neighbor first – You can’t control your neighbors, but you can control yourself. “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

Having good neighbors is important to a healthy living environment. Neighbors can be a blessing or a hindrance, I’m hoping yours are the first! If not, try to remedy issues so there is a more comfortable feeling in the place you call home.


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