No matter where you live, you are likely to be surrounded by neighbors. The goal is to ensure your street lives in harmony without drama or complaints. This will lead to an overall more positive and pleasant neighborhood.

Here are five surprisingly simple tips for being a good neighbor and homeowner:

  1. Know what you are getting into before you buy

 You can avoid a lot of potential problems by knowing your neighborhood and neighbors before purchasing a home. When out shopping for homes, spend a little time on the street or in the general area. Feel free to introduce yourself to anyone you spot, and ask them about the neighborhood. Asking questions like whether they feel the neighborhood is safe, what they like or dislike about the neighborhood, and about the homeowners association, if there is one.

  1. Keep the noise down

The expectation isn’t to maintain total silence, but instead to ensure a reasonable noise level, respectful of the time of day or night. For example, if you have kids don’t let them run around the house screaming until the crack of dawn. If you are throwing a house party, don’t keep the music blaring late into the night. The general guideline is to avoid unnecessary noise between 9pm and 9am.

  1. Maintain your home’s frontage 

It’s important to take care of your front yard. Keep the grass trimmed, the hedges and/or plants tidy, and the driveway clear of clutter. The value of homes is influenced by the quality of the street and neighborhood. You don’t want to be the one dragging down the appeal of your area. General maintenance should be enough to keep it looking good.

  1. Welcome new neighbors 

If someone new moves next door or opposite you on your street, whether they’ve purchased the property or are leasing, it’s a great idea to welcome them into their new home. Help the new family feel welcome by introducing yourself and letting them know you’re there to help them settle in if needed. It’s a much-appreciated gesture that won’t go unnoticed. 

  1. Lead by example, be a good neighbor yourself 

In addition to being conscious of your noise levels and properly maintaining your home, you should also mind your pets. If you have a dog, pick up after it, and depending on your dog’s level of training, you may need to keep it on a leash while walking it. Also be considerate when parking. Make sure you don’t block your neighbor’s driveway or take up more space than needed, when parking on the street.

If you follow these points of common courtesy and etiquette, you will be a good neighbor and homeowner. You will help contribute to a happier, more welcoming street that people will enjoy living on.