Having the best mortgage interest rates in the world would be cold comfort if you ended up moving into a neighborhood with people you don’t trust and eventually develop an adversarial relationship with.
The best neighbors recognize that a community, be it a city or city block, thrives when the bonds between individuals are strong, and there is a mutual flow of respect and care.
With that, here are some qualities to look for in a great neighbor (and, of course, the qualities that your neighbors are looking for in you!).
Stronger Together Whether it’s positive energy or good vibes or “paying it forward” they believe in it.
Good neighbors know that staying strangers makes for a weaker neighborhood. Good neighbors want to introduce themselves and build strong relationships with you.
Friendly You don’t necessarily have to be drinking buddies or BFFs, but you should both feel comfortable giving a smile and a wave when you see each other.
Of course, it’s not the end of the world if either of you is a bit shy or even stand-offish as long as you both work to keep the distance from growing into active dislike.
In fact, that’s a great segue into this next point:
Respect Differences Good neighbors are okay with someone who isn’t a mirror image of themselves.
They know it’s not important whether people follow a different faith, root for a different sports team, or don’t like pineapple on their pizza. Great neighbors look first and last at the “content of a person’s character” to quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Considerate Just because a stereo can go to 11, doesn’t mean it should. Like, ever.
A great neighbor actually considers their neighbors when it comes to things like TV volume, late-night parties, or whether to buy their kid a drum set for their 13th birthday.
Respect their Property It’s not just the stereotypical Chevy on cinder blocks that matter, but also unattended lawns and shrubs, and not picking up after their animals, etc.
It’s a bit unfair, but the “one bad apple” philosophy does apply to a neighborhood when one home becomes an eyesore. Great neighbors are aware of this.
Straight talkers If a great neighbor has a problem they come and talk to you about it. They don’t make passive aggressive comments, spread rumors, threaten, or do something to “get you back.” They knock on your door at a decent hour and explain that they have an issue they’d like to talk over with you.
Conversely, if you’re the one with a problem, you’ll know you’ve got a great neighbor if you feel you can knock on their door and talk things over with them and not have to worry about their overreacting, deliberately taking offense, or shifting blame.
Pitch In Great neighbors are ready and willing to lend a hand. If Glen next door broke his leg and now needs a hand mowing the lawn, they fire up the Toro. Or if Mrs. Johnson down the street is going to be out of town for a week, they’re happy to clear the porch of flyers and whatnot.
If there’s a block party or neighborhood meeting they show up and take part. They recognize they’re a part of the community and act like it.
If there’s a neighborhood message board or app such as NextDoor, they take part in it; sending along information that’s useful to others around them.
Trustworthy It’s not just that your Amazon packages are safe, but the lawn mower you lent out will come back in good repair.
And the friends and family your neighbors invite over won’t look at your property as a dumping ground for trash or your driveway as a convenient parking place.
Re-Charging Station It may be true that a, “[person’s] home is their castle,” but it’s also much more than that. Your home is your sanctuary. The place you trade up to 30 years of debt in exchange for making you feel safe and secure and ready to face the next day.
Without good neighbors, however, your castle can quickly feel like it’s constantly under siege, even if you scored the best interests rates on that mortgage. And that’s no way to live.
Think you’ve found your next group of great neighbors or are ready to start looking? Answer a few questions here and a home lending expert will contact you!