Being a good homeowner means also being a good neighbor. Mr. Rogers may not have asked everyone to be his neighbor if he had seen the way some people care for their homes. Being a good neighbor doesn’t just affect your current property-line-sharing-pal but also reflects on you. There’s a social psychology behind keeping your property well kept too; the more you care for your home and yard the more likely it is that your neighbors will follow suite. No one wants to be the one bringing down the neighborhood values by having an unappealing property. If you (or your neighbor) are in need of a little TLC try starting with these five simple steps below. These tips will help you keep your streets looking fresh, your home inviting, and may even help increase your property value over time.
Most neighborhoods don’t have an HOA or set of guidelines that tell them when trashcans can go out to the curb or when they need to be brought in. Keeping the streets free of trashcans, recycling, and garbage bags on days those services are not collecting helps keep the neighborhood clean.
Sometimes it’s easier to stick your rowdy pup outside than have them in the house while you’re cleaning. I get it. If your furry friend is a barker though it can be tough on your neighbors. Pay attention to how often and for how long your dog is barking outside. If it’s the middle of the day barking is more tolerable than late at night, but prolonged periods of barking could cost you more than your friendship with your neighbors. Excessive barking by your dog can be considered a noise violation and result in a ticket from the local police.
You know the difference between a “fancy” neighborhood and an “average” neighborhood? It’s simple and you may not even notice it. The thing that will set the same house in a pursivevbily different neighborhood apart from it’s less attractive counterpart is the landscaping. When you think of landscaping do you think of perfectly lined mulch beds and beautiful plant pairings? (Don’t worry, me too.) There is so much more (or maybe rather, so much less) to landscaping than these ideas. At it’s heart, landscaping is simply taking good care of the greenery that you have. Trimming your lawn and shrubbery on a regular basis makes a home look well cared for and freshens a neighborhood instantly. It’s kind of like decluttering your counters. As soon as your hand that dishtowel and put away the odds and ends on the counter and room instantly look cleaner and refreshed.
Tip: If you’re comfortable taking care of your lawn but could use some help with your shrubs or hedges ask a landscaper if they can put you on a quarterly plan to come trim those yard staples.
We all remember hot summer days riding our bikes around the ‘hood with our Capri Suns. The one rule my grandparents had (we hung out at their house in the summer) for my brother and I was that we were to be respectful of the neighbors and their homes. That meant not leaving our trash anywhere, picking up our bikes and parking them in a driveway if we went to a friends, and not playing in neighbor’s yards unless we asked permission. Besides the obvious, you never what your neighbors may be doing. Maybe they are planting grass seed and little shoes running through the yard will destroy it. Maybe they have a large dog that isn’t as friendly to children as they’d like. Whatever the circumstance may be no one will ever complain about respectful children (or neighbors for that matter!)
Tip: If your kids are shy send them with a note that they can hand to the neighbors to ask permission for playing in their yard or in the driveway.
How many hours do you spend raking leaves in the fall? I assume the resounding answer is “too many.” I feel you. The worst thing you can do to you neighbors though is leave the job half finished. It’s important to complete the job, whether your raking leaves or lawn clippings, and not leave the remanence on the street or clogging the culvert. Leaves and clippings build up over time in the culvert, eventually blocking it from draining properly. This can cause serious flooding in both your and/or your neighbors yard. And a curb full of clippings or leaves doesn’t leave the impression of being well cared for. Do your part and finish that leaf (or any debris) pick up.
Tip: Don’t want to be wasteful by using trash bags to collect your leaves? Some counties or neighborhoods offer leaf removal once a season. If you blow your leaves to the street a truck comes by and sucks them up. Check with your county or neighborhood for when this might occur and add it to your calendar. Don’t see that service for your neighborhood? You can also reach out to leaf removal companies to see if they’ll come do it just for you for a fee.
Talk soon friend,
Jessica Deleo is a licensed agent in Richmond, Virginia with One South Realty Group. All information provided is of my own opinion and intended for educational purposes only. Read full disclaimer.