Love your neighbors? You aren’t alone! According to a Trulia survey, 67% of American homeowners claim they like their neighbors. But if you don’t feel the love in return, you might be the annoying neighbor on the block … without even knowing it. Read on for a few signs to learn if you’re the guilty one, and how to remedy your reputation.
1. You’re noisy.
A top common complaint about neighbors? Noise. Yelling and screaming, barking dogs, kids, loud music, revving engines, construction noise, early-morning lawn mowers, fireworks — you name it, they can be annoying. So how do you balance the normal noise of life with being a good neighbor? If your kid practices her drum solo at midnight with the windows open, your roommate revs his Harley at 4 a.m., or you host weekly aerobics classes in your top-floor condo’s living room at 6 a.m. on a Sunday, you can bet you’ve crossed into annoying neighbor territory. Excessive and frequent noise – especially in the early morning or late at night – can earn you some dirty looks from those around you (or even a complaint to the police!).
2. You’re not on your property.
Recently put in a new fence … but didn’t check with or work with your neighbor (and/or city hall) to determine the property line? It will be a source of aggravation if you have overstepped your boundaries (in more ways than one), if even by a few feet. If buying or renovating, you need to know the exact property lines — not just a ballpark. Avoid a quarrel with the people next door and hire a surveyor to define your property line and direct you about how close to it you can build your fence.
3. Your dog is a nuisance.
Little is worse than an inconsiderate neighbor who leaves their dog outside all day or night while the dog barks, yelps, and howls! Keep your dog happy when you’re out of the house to help lower the volume of his barks. Check out tips for leaving your dog at home all day, and try burning off some of his energy before leaving him for long periods — your neighbors and Fido will thank you!
4. You hog all the parking.
Live in a dense, crowded neighborhood? Parking can be a real source of contention. For most neighbors, the parking spot in front of their home is sacred ground. If you and your spouse each have a car, plus one for each of your two teenage children, then you may be a parking hog — especially if you also have an unused garage or driveway. It isn’t illegal to park in front of your neighbor’s home, but it’s inconsiderate to say the least. Be a good neighbor and use the spaces allocated to your property.
5. You’re blocking the view.
Live in a spot with stunning views? Be a good neighbor and keep them open to everyone! Minimize things like tall plants/trees or roof fixtures that could potentially obstruct your neighbors’ views. This is also something to consider if you’ve thought about adding a second story onto your home that would completely block others’ view of water or city skylines.
6. You don’t follow wifi best practices.
Trying to steal your neighbor’s wifi is a big no-no. But believe it or not, keeping your own wifi unsecured (meaning without a password) can be just as annoying! Kids and teens can use unrestricted wifi to bypass parental blocks and restrictions set by parents, which can make you a super annoying neighbor. (And not to mention – unsecured wifi is just asking to be hacked!)
7. You’re a hoarder.
Every homeowner’s nightmare: a hoarder as a neighbor. Subtle hints of hoarding can include an abandoned car in the driveway, piles of old patio furniture, storage boxes, or even an overgrown lawn full of dead trees. You might not notice these items anymore, but you can bet your neighbors do.
8. You’re the neighborhood eyesore.
Leave Christmas lights up all year long? Keep your trash cans on the curb for days on end? Leave outdoor projects half-finished – or don’t even start them? Take pride in your home by keeping up with the lawn and landscaping, as well as your home’s exterior (like paint, siding, etc.). Don’t have time or resources for a fancy lawn? Do some research to determine the types of plants and finishes that require the least amount of maintenance – so you at least don’t draw attention to yourself.
Do one (or more) of these sound like you? Take steps to remedy your standing in the neighborhood, or you might soon find yourself friendless on your block!