Developing relationships with your neighbors can make your life easier and your community safer—and may result in lasting friendships. The good news is that it’s easy to extend acts of courtesy to those who live close by.
Welcome new people to the neighborhood. Stop by and introduce yourself. Baking cookies is a traditional way to extend a warm welcome, but you can also bring them recommendations for local services, such as babysitters or landscapers; a children’s activity kit filled with coloring books, crayons, and games; or a list of local phone numbers.
Little gestures can go a long way. Offer to collect your neighbor’s mail, water their plants or feed their pet while they’re on vacation. If that’s too much of a commitment, you might offer to keep an eye out on their house while they’re away.
Keep up your house and yard. This will help maintain property values while keeping the neighborhood as a whole looking its best. Mow your grass regularly, trim your shrubs as needed, and make façade repairs in a timely manner.
Walls have ears. If you live in a condo or townhouse, think twice before plugging in noisy appliances near your neighbor’s walls. A television, a hair dryer or even the beep of a microwave may be a little white noise for you but an annoyance for your neighbors.
Know the news. Whether or not you’re head of your community watch program, there are always chances to help out. Keep your neighbors informed of relevant news, such as upcoming construction or recent crime. Extra eyes and ears are always welcomed.
Return kind gestures. If a neighbor lends you something, whether it’s their tools or their time, return the gesture quickly. It’s easy to move along with your project and forget they’ve done you a favor, so be sure to show your appreciation in a timely manner—your gratitude won’t be overlooked.