How to be a Good Neighbor

By Laura Otto
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A little consideration goes a long way when you live in a community. From first-time homebuyers to longtime residents, most everyone can agree that a clean and friendly neighborhood helps encourage community harmony.

According to a recent CAI poll, 42% say they know their neighbors very well. When asked what is the best way to welcome new neighbors? More than 50% said saying hello when walking their pet. Despite the digital age we live in, face-to-face interaction was the number one way neighbors communicate.

Here’s how you can be a good neighbor beyond just a smile and a wave: 

  • Welcome any new neighbors to the community with a handwritten note or stop by and introduce yourself.
  • Make sure that the outside of your home, including your yard, is well-kept and complies with your association’s rules.
  • Be mindful of noise—loud music, barking dogs, power tools—that may disrupt the neighborhood beyond a reasonable hour.
  •  If you throw a big party, communicate your community’s parking rules with your guests, end the event at a reasonable hour, and invite your neighbors to join in the fun.
  • If you borrow something from your neighbor, return it promptly and in the same condition they lent it to you and express your thanks.
  • Replace anything of your neighbor’s that you, your children, or your pets break.
  • Respect your neighbor’s privacy.
  • Offer to take care of mail pick-up, plants, or pets while your neighbor is on vacation.
  • Be social! Inviting a neighbor over for coffee and conversation fosters new friendship and keeps your neighborhood warm and welcoming.

Do you think you are a good neighbor? Our survey found that an overwhelming 95% believe they are a good neighbor.

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Laura Otto

Laura Otto is editor of CAI’s award-winning Community Manager. A seasoned journalist, Laura previously worked for a creative, advocacy agency in Washington, D.C., where she wrote and edited content for a variety of public health clients. Prior to that, Laura served as a senior writer and editor for the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Laura is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia.