Etiquette for new homeowners
Congratulations - you’ve purchased your first home! While you may now own the property, there are several rules and etiquettes to follow in order to maintain positive relationships with your new neighbors.
Keep up with curb appeal
Keeping your new home and lawn maintained will prevent it from becoming the neighborhood eyesore – and raising the ire of your new neighbors. This includes keeping the lawn mowed, garden beds weeded, trees and bushes trimmed, and other exterior repairs made. New to lawn care? Don’t be afraid to ask your new neighbors about tips and tricks for lawn maintenance. Most “suburban dads” are more than happy to discuss mower recommendations, fertilizing strategies, or gardening tips. Likewise, avoid mowing late at night or early in the morning when many are still asleep.
Minimize noise pollution
On that note, try to keep noise to a minimum - particularly between 9 pm and 9 am. While neighbors are likely to forgive the occasional loud party or barking dog, being too loud is one way to quickly alienate the rest of the neighbors. Likewise, if a neighbor does come around and reasonably ask you to limit noise or be quieter, politely respond and try to minimize noise.
There is an important exception to this rule: there is very little anyone can do about limiting the noise from home repairs or remodeling. Whether it is roof repairs or bathroom renovations, don’t worry about noise generated during daytime hours by necessary home repairs.
Respect other people’s property
The golden rule can easily apply to new neighbors: treat others as you want to be treated. Respect your neighbors by keeping kids or pets off of their yards, maintaining your side of the property line, trimming any overhanging tree branches, and more. Likewise, as many neighbors frequently borrow tools or other equipment from each other, make sure to always return it in the same condition in which you received it.
Thank those who pitch in to help
There are many projects around the house that cannot be finished by one or two people alone. If you need to enlist the additional help of friends, coworkers, or new neighbors, follow the 3 R’s of Renovations: rewards, reciprocity, and recognition.
The most basic reward for those who are helping is food and drink. Pizza and beer or sandwiches and lemonade can go a long way in helping someone feel appreciated. Likewise, make sure to recognize their efforts – particularly by bragging about them to friends, family, and other mutual acquaintances. Lastly, reciprocate by helping them next time they are in need of an extra set of hands.
by Author, Sep. 30, 2020