Getting ready to move into a new home? Know that to have good neighbors, you must first be one yourself.
Here, Zillow offers seven techniques that can help win the approval of your entire neighborhood.
Delivering fresh-baked goods is an ideal way to break the ice and let neighbors know that you’re thinking of them.
Avoid gratuitous gabfests
If your neighbor seems to know the dirt on everyone within a two-block radius, you can count on them to keep tabs on your personal life as well. Talking with a nosy neighbor? Move the conversation along by refocusing the conversation. “So, what are you growing in your garden this year?”
Share phone numbers
You always should have your neighbors’ phone numbers, just in case, they receive your package by mistake, your house floods while you’re on vacation or even if you need a babysitter. Feel uncomfortable bringing it up? Ask during one of your cookie deliveries or right before a trip. Jot down your name, number and email address on a piece of paper and ask if your neighbor is comfortable sharing theirs.
Always respect the sensitive tastes of others and clean up your act. Keep the ironic lawn ornaments to a minimum, and hide trash receptacles in the side yard or garage. Whenever you’re finished gardening or landscaping for the day, stow your tools and bags of unused mulch. Rake the leaves and clean up grass clippings. And, if it’s not too much trouble, pressure wash and paint your house periodically.
Mow the lawn
An unkempt and weedy lawn is embarrassing for your neighbors, so it should be embarrassing for you as well. Keep it mowed every week or two, and also be sure to trim the edge of your lawn regularly, fertilize on schedule and keep weeds to a minimum. Keep your foundation plantings simple, neatly trimmed and topped off with mulch. You also might want to go the no-lawn method and plant low-maintenance, drought-tolerant ground covers. Of utmost importance: Don’t overdo it on the sprinklers, especially when it’s raining.
A good neighbor must respect boundaries, but they should also be crossed if you are unhappy with their shoddy workmanship or neglected maintenance, for example. Address shared interests such as fences, drainage ditches, and troublesome trees ahead of time so that you can work out a plan upon both parties can agree.