Some people are very fortunate to have great neighbors that they interact with every day. I happen to be lucky in that area. There are for owners in my particular area of the building, and we all like each other and get along really good. We are part of a bigger complex (2 buildings total), and there is an HOA involved with the management of the property. I shared some of my experience with our HOA in this post: Belong to an HOA? Dude, I Feel Your Pain. How to Cope…
If we didn’t live in a condo I doubt we’d know many of our neighbors. Most of our friends don’t know their neighbors. I don’t know about you but it seems so easy to just stay in a little bubble and not interact with people much. A sign of the times, maybe? When I was a kid growing in Newport News, Virginia, we knew all of our neighbors and hung out with them ALL THE TIME. It was fun, and helped build a sense of community.
If you’re one of the many you also has no idea who their neighbors are, I would like to suggest some benefits of befriending them.
Here are 12 reasons why it can be highly beneficial (and financially-wise) to introduce yourself around your neighborhood and get to know your neighbors:
1. Peaceful Living
It can be far more peaceful to live among neighbors that like and respect each other, especially when they’re living in close proximity. Respectful neighbors are less likely to invade your space, be loud and rowdy, and make overall daily life stressful.
2. Safety First
Good neighbors watch out for each other and their property. Living in a proactive neighborhood can increase your family’s safety, as multiple sets of eyes and ears can help thwart criminal activity and promote a safer area. It’s really nice to be able to give the neighbors a heads-up that you’re going to be out-of-town, and be able to say “hey, can you keep an eye on our place?” That’s an added level of security to have real-live eyes and ears looking out for you and your property.
3. Back Up Supplies
There’s the old cliché about neighbors and a borrowed cup of sugar. It really is convenient to have someone close by who can help you out when you need to finish dinner or borrow a shovel. We’ve recently had a mouse (! it scared the crap out of me!) running around our place, and we’ve joked that we want to borrow our neighbors cats to chase the mouse away. Hey, you never know when you’ll need to borrow a cup of sugar or a cat.;)
4. Joint Ventures
If your neighbors live close by, you can join forces to beautify and build connections in the neighborhood. Plant a mutual garden, coordinate flower colors, or host a multi-family yard sale together. Share lawn mowing responsibilities or other chores around the homestead.
5. Family Camaraderie
Neighborhood get-togethers can be a lot of fun and super convenient since everyone lives close by. Neighborhood kids have other kids to play with and a safe environment to be active. We have some really fun neighbors. One couple has a 15th party every month. So, no matter what day of the week the 15th falls on they have a get together. Another time our neighbors had a “roaming” party. Everyone opened their door to our common stairwell, invited friends over, and the guests were able to go to all the units to enjoy appetizers and drinks. Our building was built in 1907 and each unit has similiar features but they’re all just a little different so it makes it fun to see each other’s homes. The get-togethers and parties definitley add to a family feeling in our building.
6. Family Support
Neighbors are often very supportive of each other’s family needs, especially where the kids are concerned. Good neighbors can be helpful for emergency childcare and generally keeping a lookout for safety. Our sweet downstairs neighbor has come up to watch Henry on short notice. She’s like a sweet grandma figure to him. Our other neighbors have also helped us out with Henry on occasion when we’re in a bind. Especially since we don’t have family in town I can’t tell you how awesome it’s been to have such have good relationships with the neighbors!
7. Vacation Help
Good neighbors can be especially helpful when you are away from home. They can keep an eye on your property, take in your mail, and walk your dog. Since we wake up early with Henry, and don’t travel as much as we used to we often look after and feed our 2 different neighbors cats when they are out-of-town. It’s super easy for us to do, saves them money (and time) on taking their animals to a pet hotel, and then the kitties get to stay in their home and be comfortable.
8. Social Circle
Some neighborhoods thrive on over-the-fence conversations each day. Having someone close by to socialize with can create wonderful friendships that may not have otherwise happened. Now that the weather is warm a lot of the neighbors will sit on the stoop out front and talk. It’s a real Melrose Place type of situation, and it’s fun to catch up with everyone.
9. Good Advisors
Just like Wilson on the TV show Home Improvement (whoa, I’m really aging myself with these references today! 90’s kid much?;), neighbors can be a source of good advice and are conveniently located when you need some guidance.
10. Business Networking
Your neighborhood connections can be a positive for your career. Your neighbors have friends and family of their own and can be instrumental in helping you promote your business or find the contacts you need for successful business connections. Many times in business it truly is who you know.
11. Errand Help
Many neighbors enjoy helping each other out and are happy to pick up some groceries, stop at the post office, or pick up your dry cleaning while they are on their own errand runs.
12. Source of Help
If you are ever laid up due to an injury or an illness, a kind next-door neighbor can be a great source of help during your recovery. They are close by for assistance when you need it most. After my c-section with Henry our neighbors brought over treats and food, and they really were kind and helpful during a stressful time. It was nice to know they were understanding of our situation.
Do you know your neighbors? How have you helped your neighbors/how have they helped you that has had (intended or not) financial benefits?
Neighbor scenarios: I got gastroenteritis at work. Was in pain and wanted my fiancé to pick me up but knew he was sleeping(and didn’t hear the phone). I texted my neighbor with the loud voice and told her to please wake him by yelling at his door. It worked, he came to pick me up.
Also they feed and spoil our cat when we’re away, and we water their plants whenever they are.
They ask us to take the baby if they want to do some gardening alone, one of us straps the baby on his front and we go on wih our lives for an hour or two.
When they had a new baby they forgot they had invited people for brunch, and the shop was closed. I baked them a huge loaf of bread since they had none.
They work from home and garden in every free minute. We get to eat all the excess veggie and fruit, I literally work two times in that garden and get fed for months by it.
We exchanged eggs, onions, and carrots before.
They help us with the wedding logistics.
They feed me some times.
We feed them some times.
When they’re home (so,mostly) I can let the window open, so the cat can go in the garden freely all day.
Sometimes they have clothes out to dry, and it starts raining. We run out and collect them.
If the curtains of their room stay shut all day,I know the lady neighbor has terrible migraine. I keep the noise down and offer food and drinks towards the evening when she gets better.
No neighbor is perfect. But we all need all the community we can get!
And sometimes, even the loud neighbor that wakes you can save you :)
My next door neighbor and I exchanged phone numbers at the community meeting that was held at the apartment complex. I felt hesitant to do that because I didn’t want to anyone to be in my business, but realized that an extra set of eyes and ears won’t hurt. Although this is my first time living alone, it feels good to know that someone is looking out for me, and I’m willing to do the same.
Thanks so much for this post! It is inspirational to me! I’m working at developing a sense of community among my fellow condo dwellers. We don’t have driveways, so most of the neighbors never see each other. People press their clicker, enter their garage, and close the door. I’ve started having annual “block parties” so we can all see each other and get better acquainted. Tomorrow we’re having our 4th party. Some friendships have formed over the past four years, and people have helped each other with things like bringing in mail, garbage cans, etc. while their neighbors are on vacation. Others have borrowed an egg or a lemon or whatever is needed to finish up dinner.
I made a resident roster that lists the contact info of all of the neighbors and gave one to each family. This comes in handy many times. For example, if I see my neighbor’s garage door open at 11:00 p.m. and no one is around, I’ll text her to ask her if she knows the door is open. I’m hoping all of my neighbors will get to know each other better over the years. I’m doing what I can to facilitate the process! :-)
I agree on your point on Vacation Help. Sometimes we need out neighbors to look after our property during vacations to prevent any burglary incidents. They can also check any calamities that may happen like fire.
Loved the article. Realised it is a universal subject of interest. In Mumbai we seldom know our neighbors. Thanks for the ideas. Today I am conducting a team building session for 200 residents of a condo.
I’m so glad, thank you! What you mention is really interesting. Please let us know how it goes.
I am so glad to have this post on the tip of my fingers.
Today i got an idea on how to promote the wellness of my neighborhood and build the sence of community that is so usefull for everybody that is around us.
Thanks for caring about little but so important details.
El Salvador Central America.
Hi Eva. It’s such a generous initiative! Tell us how it goes.
Thank you for sharing this article.Future homeowners can use this as a guide when they are also searching for their future neighborhood.