Small-town living in beautiful Tahoe still feels like a dream. With more undeveloped natural lots on our pine-filled quiet streets (conservancy lots, etc.), and even some “hibernating” second homes… year round beautiful Tahoe residents can experience the simple joy of being and having good neighbors. Are you one?
While the old saying, “good fences make good neighbors,” may ring true for some, a new study out could indicate they may not be needed as much these days. According to realtor.com®, there’s a 75 percent chance that the folks you live next to consider you a good neighbor.
This is according to realtor.com’s recently released Good Neighbor report, which found that you don’t necessarily have to be friendly to be considered an easy person to live next to; rather, realtor.com notes that merely being quiet and respectful of others’ property is enough.
“While it’s true that some people focus on what annoys them about their neighbor, it’s a welcome surprise to see that people generally think positively of their neighbors,” says Nate Johnson, chief marketing officer at realtor.com. “Trust and dependability plays an integral part in helping a neighborhood feel like ‘home.'”
The report, which was prepared by Harris Interactive and surveyed more than 1,000 participants across the U.S., found that the best trait in a neighbor is trustworthiness (chosen by 59 percent of respondents), and 67 percent of respondents indicated that being disrespectful of a property was the worst trait a neighbor could have.
Take a look at this infographic displaying some of the key findings of the Good Neighbor report. To view the original report and for a full breakdown of the methodology, click here.
To live in a great neighborhood — and enjoy all the comforts that come with being part of a tightknit community — you have to be a good neighbor yourself.
There’s certainly no shortage of examples of bad neighbors in TV shows and films (think Homer Simpson or any neighbor from “Desperate Housewives”). But what does it mean to be a genuinely good neighbor?
Here, etiquette experts share ways to build and maintain positive, long-lasting relationships with your neighbors. (It requires more than lending someone a cup of sugar.)
Share important information
One of the best ways to welcome new neighbors is by providing them with a “need-to-know” checklist, says Diane Gottsman, author of “Modern Etiquette for a Better Life.” If you know a great housekeeper, handyman, dry cleaner, dog walker or lawn-mowing service, give your new neighbor a sheet with their contact information. Also include suggestions on the best and nearest grocery stores, restaurants and pharmacies.
Just one ugly home in a community can reduce property values for the entire neighborhood. Hence, you don’t want to become known as the owner of “that ugly house” — i.e., the one with knee-high grass, overflowing gutters, dirty windows, peeling paint or toys scattered across the front yard. “You should be cleaning up the front of your house as much as possible,” says Lizzie Post, co-president at the Emily Post Institute, a Burlington, Vt.-based etiquette-training business.
“Pets can be a big bone of contention between neighbors, so you need to keep them in check,” says etiquette consultant Lisa Mirza Grotts.
Start with pet etiquette 101: Clean up after your pooch. “When you take your dog for a walk, do not deposit your dog’s poop bag into someone else’s trash can,” Gottsman says. “It sounds basic, but it happens a lot.”
You may want to attend block parties, community cookouts, and other neighborhood events so that you can mingle and form friendships. But to go an extra mile, suggests Elaine Swann, founder of the Swann School of Protocol, coordinate a community-wide project that neighbors can participate in together, such as decking out your neighborhood’s playground for Halloween.
Live by a senior citizen? Assemble a group of neighbors to help spruce up their yard or hang holiday lights.
Recently moved in? One way to build rapport is by inviting your neighbors over for a housewarming party (instead of only inviting your friends). But, “Let people know that you’re not accepting gifts,” Post says. “This should be simply a social event.”
Once you’ve established a relationship, you could form a neighborhood book club or weekly softball game to deepen friendships.
Part of being a good neighbor is avoiding gossip. However, Post says there’s a difference between “good” gossip and “bad” gossip. “If a neighbor’s mother passes away, communicating that news to other neighbors so that people can attend the funeral is good gossip,” she explains. Bad gossip, meanwhile, spreads negative rumors (e.g., “I heard Jerry got fired from his job. I can’t say I’m surprised”).
Keeping music at a reasonable noise level when you’re throwing a party is common sense. An aspect people frequently overlook, though, is minding where their guests park. “The last thing you want is for your guest to block your neighbor’s driveway,” Gottsman says. You also don’t want your guests’ cars to take up the entire block, which is why Gottsman suggests hiring a valet service.
When you live in a homeowners or condo association, you have to comply with the community’s rules. Still, a lot of people don’t take the time to review their association’s rules, Swann says. These rules may dictate parking restrictions, trash and recycling schedules, landscaping requirements, move-in procedures and more.
Finding the neighborhood that is the best “fit” for you can seem daunting! Contact Tim & Kristi for this. They can help you find your “fit” in a beautiful Tahoe neighborhood. (530) 363-0231
(courtesy of WashingtonPost.com)