How to Be a Respectful Neighbor
Unless you live out in the middle of nowhere, the chances are high that you have at least one neighbor that is in decently close proximity to your home. While we do not often think about it, being a respectful neighbor is important for anybody who wants to receive respect in return. Whether you are thinking about moving into a neighborhood where there are manufactured homes that are in close proximity or even already live in one, there are some basic tips that you can keep in mind to ensure that you are not considered to be “that annoying neighbor next door.
Be Mindful of Sound
One of the most common complaints that people tend to have about their neighbors is that of them being too loud. In order to avoid such a stigma about yourself, you should always be mindful not only about how much noise you are making on your property, but about the times of day or night in which you are making such noises.
For example, you might like to get up early and get your yard work done on the weekends. However, your neighbor may like to sleep in on the weekends or may even have young children in the home that need to sleep. Therefore, getting up at 6AM and busting out the lawn mower may not be the most considerate thing in the world. Not to mention, this could even be against your city ordinances. Many towns have laws in place that prohibit people from mowing laws or performing noisy construction work on their property during certain hours for these exact reasons. Regardless, in order to be a respectful neighbor, you should avoid making excessive noise either very late at night or early in the morning.
Of course, there may be times when things do get a bit noisy in your house. This is to be expected, and you have every right as a home owner to hold a house party or to make noise from time to time. For example, say you decide to throw a small party with a few friends and you have your music playing very loudly. You may be having a great time, but if your neighbor next door can hear your music over his or her own TV show or anything else, then this can be considered annoying. You could even end up with a noise complaint. To avoid this, consider stepping outside while you have people over; if you can hear what is going on inside from the edge of your property, then you are probably being too loud.
Aside from noise issues, another commonly reported issue between neighbors is that of pets going astray and running a muck on the other person’s property. If you have a dog, be sure that he or she is safely fenced in at all times or at least tied up on a leash outside to ensure that he or she does not get out. Also, if your dog is the type who likes to bark at things outside, have some common courtesy and do not leave the dog outside for extended periods of time.
You should also be well aware of what your property boundaries are, especially if there is no fence in place between you and your neighbors. Go to your local municipal office and request a map of your property boundaries, as these are readily available for these exact purposes. Once you are aware of the exact boundaries, be careful not to encroach on those. Just as much as you probably respect your own privacy, you should respect your neighbors’ as well. Do not set up lawn furniture or build sheds extremely close to their property lines, and have some respect. Furthermore, if you have children, be sure that they are aware of property boundaries as well. Let them know that they should never set foot on the neighbors’ property if one of their toys ends up there on accident; instead, have them politely go next door and ask the neighbor for permission first.
Give Them Privacy
While you may get along with your neighbor and even consider him or her to be your friend, living so close to another person can sometimes get to be a bit overwhelming. While it may be nice to drop in to their house and chat from time to time, the chances are pretty good that your neighbor does not want to have an extended conversation with you every time you run into each other. Be sure to give your neighbor the same level of privacy that you wish to receive from them.
Do Good Deeds
If you know that your neighbor will be out of town for an extended period of time, consider offering the help watch the house or pick up mail from the mailbox to make it appear as if somebody is home. This is something that will be greatly appreciated by your neighbor and make you a more respected on as well. Furthermore, it is not a huge hassle to simply keep an eye on the house for a person while they are away. You may even be able to get your neighbor to return the favor down the road if you end up leaving town for any reason.
Furthermore, if you know that your neighbor is sick or busy with something, why not consider raking their leaves, mowing their lawn, or even shoveling snow off their driveway for them? Little things like this can earn you a huge amount of respect in the community, and you will feel good knowing that you did a good deed for another person. Not to mention, there is a good chance that they could return the favor for you at some point down the road when you are sick or too busy to mow your lawn or do some other kind of necessary yard work.
From time to time, in order to be a more respectful neighbor, it is nice to check up on your neighbor when you see him or her outside. Ask them how they are doing or how their family is doing. Having a friendly relationship with your neighbor can be very rewarding and it can also earn you respect to show that you care.
Overall, being a good neighbor does take a bit of extra effort, but many find that it is more than worth it to live peacefully next door to another person rather than living with animosity towards them. So if you have been looking for a way to be a more respectful neighbor in general, be sure to keep these tips in mind. Keep your noise levels down, give your neighbor their privacy, and take the time to do good things for them every so often as well.