Good neighbors make great neighborhoods!

Neighborhoods have changed over the years and in today’s fast-paced world, it’s common to live in a bubble. Many people can spend years living just a few feet away from their neighbors without ever learning their names. In fact, a majority of Americans (57%) say they know only some of their neighbors and only 26% say they know most of them. Research shows that good neighbors help build strong, thriving neighborhoods.

One of the keys to having a good experience with your neighbors is to be a good neighbor yourself. There’s an art to being a good neighbor and just like anything else in life, it can take a little time to master. Problems can come up and how you handle them can make all the difference. If you don’t want to be that neighbor, try following these tips and see if you can turn polite encounters into lasting friendships!

Curb appeal – A good neighbor is one who maintains the exterior of the house and lawn. But, using your lawn mower, leaf blower and power tools too early in the morning will not endear you to your neighbors. Falling leaves respect no property lines, and the ones that fall in your yard, even from a neighbor’s tree, are all yours. Make sure that your tree limbs, spreading shrubs and weeds don’t creep into your neighbor’s yard.

Practice courtesy when parking – Few things will sour a relationship with your neighbor quicker than parking where you shouldn’t; take care not to block driveways, obstruct the sidewalk, or park facing the wrong direction. All neighbors appreciate being able to park in front of their own home, so please consider this when you or your guests are parking. Town Code requires all vehicles, including boats, trailers and recreational vehicles, to be parked on a driveway, or an improved surface – parking on grass or dirt is not allowed.

Drive the residential speed limit of 25 mph – Most neighbors observe the speed limit, but many times it’s your guests who don’t. Remind your guests, and if appropriate, let them know that there are small children in the neighborhood. Although it is up to parents to keep a watchful eye, youngsters can easily forget the rules of safety when they’re caught up in play.

Late-night noise – You might be a party animal or maybe you are as quiet as a mouse. Noise acceptability varies by neighborhood. Sitting outside on a warm summer night with your friend is wonderful, but if your house is on a small lot, and the neighbor’s bedroom window is close, you might want to take it inside so your neighbor can sleep. Be respectful of your neighbors when your guests are over late, and be mindful of the noise created by loud good byes or slamming car doors.

Pets – Not everyone is a dog or cat lover, so for your neighbors’ sake, please be responsible for your pets by following Town animal codes. Pets that are noisy or roam freely throughout the neighborhood can create a nuisance for your neighbors. Keep pets leashed, off your neighbor’s lawn and pick up after them. This is a good way to ensure your neighbor loves your pet almost as much as you do!

Having great neighbors is terrific. When people make an effort to be neighborly, the neighborhood is more appealing and it can make your home life far more pleasant. An extra benefit is knowing that you and your neighbors will look out for each other. May your neighborhood be better because of you!