25 Reasons Why It's Good to Know Your Neighbors

by Mikey Rox on 21 January 2013 4 comments
Photo: Rob Boudon

Are you the kind of person who passes by the neighbors without so much as a wave or nod? Be warned, you may regret it when you need a helping hand. To help convince you to be a better neighbor — and go out of way to be nice to yours, even — here are 25 reasons why it’s good to know the folks who live next door, down the street, and around the corner. (See also: How to Deal With a Rude Neighbor)

1. So You Don’t Have to Run to the Store When You Just Need One Egg

Nobody wants to drive to the supermarket in the middle of making brunch for one egg or a cup of sugar. But if you know your neighbor, they’ll most likely be more than happy to let you borrow an ingredient or two here and there — so long as you return the favor, of course.

2. They’ll Watch Your House When You Go Away

Your neighbor can keep an eye on your place while you’re away. Much cheaper than hiring a house sitter who’ll eat all your food and leave a sink full of dirty dishes for you to wash upon your return.

3. They’ll Collect Your Mail When It Accumulates

Your neighbor can fetch your mail so your box doesn’t overflow while you’re away.

4. They’ll Shovel Your Snow and Mow Your Lawn

Many neighbors mow each other’s lawn or shovel each other’s snow from to time. If you’re physically unable to return the favor, be sure to send at least a small thank-you gift to let them know that you appreciate the thought and effort.

5. So You Have Someone to Gossip With About All the Other Neighbors

In this case, it’s best to know the neighbor who has been on the block the longest; he or she will have the dirt on everybody.

6. They’ll Lend You a Tool That You Don’t Have

When you don’t want to buy an expensive tool for one-time use, neighbors are a good resource.

7. They’ll Give You a Break If One of Your Parties Gets a Little Loud

They’ll let your summer bash slide if it gets too loud. Just make sure it doesn’t happen often and that the neighbors are invited.

8. They’ll Invite You to Their Parties and BBQs

Free food! Free booze!

9. If They Have a Pool, They Might Let You Swim in It

Why spend $15,000 on a swimming pool of your own when you’ve got a perfectly clean one next door?

10. They’ll Pet Sit for You

It’s an expensive service otherwise, plus, if you know your neighbor, then so do Fluffy and Fido, which makes your absence a little easier on them.

11. They Can Recommend Service Providers You Might Need

Sure, you can find a plumber on Craigslist, but without references, you don’t know what you’re going to get. Your neighbors can provide solid recommendations for everything you’ll need since there’s a good chance they’ve needed it before in the past.

12. It Makes Your Neighborhood Safer

Neighborhood crime is less likely to occur if the neighbors are friendly and look out for each other.

13. They’ll Accept Your Packages When You’re Not Home

You won’t have to worry about your packages being jacked from your doorstep; your neighbor will keep them safe and sound until you get home.

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14. They’ll Bring You Food During Hard Times

When there’s a death in the family or you’re ill, your friendly neighbor will bring you sustenance to get your through the hard times.

15. They Can Let You in When You Get Locked Out

Probably the best reason to know your neighbors. If you give them a spare key, not only can they let you in if you forget or lose your keys, but if you forget to turn something off while you’re at work or on vacation, your neighbor can take care of it.

16. Because It Never Hurts to Have Another Friend

Anybody who thinks otherwise should stay out of my neighborhood.

17. They Are a Good Source for Networking Opportunities

Your neighbors know a whole different set of people than you do. When you need a job, they might just be the folks who have the lead you’re looking for.

18. They May Be Willing to Watch Your Kids

Drop the little buggers off and have yourself a date night.

19. You Have Someone to Share Coffee, Tea, or Wine With

Lonely? Invite over a neighborhood, and it’s all good.

20. You May Be Able to Carpool Places Together

Maybe not to work, but you might be able to go to the grocery store or mall together.

21. They Can Give You a Jump If Your Car Battery Is Dead

Think about the alternatives if you didn’t know your neighbors. It would be a costly hassle without your neighbor’s help.

22. You’ll Get Changes Made to the Neighborhood Faster

If you want to make neighborhood improvements, it’ll be easier to implement them with neighbors on your side.

23. They Might Offer Produce From Their Garden

It’s just one of those things that good neighbors do. Enjoy the tomatoes, and say thank you.

24. The Holidays Will Be Tastier

Friendly neighbors love to bring by cookies, cakes, pies, and wine during the holidays. It’s not a bad circle to be involved in.

25. Life Is Just Easier This Way

Neighbors who dislike or mistrust each other often resort to childish, petty acts to make each other uncomfortable. Sometimes it can go so far as to make people feel like hostages in their own homes. You don’t want or need that nonsense. Being nice to your neighbors just makes life easier.

Do you have even more reasons it’s good to know your neighbors? Let me know in the comments below.

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Meg Favreau's picture

And, related to 13...they won't steal your packages themselves! I once had a neighbor who did that.

Guest's picture
FrugalCat

I lived in a condo complex many years ago. When I first moved in, I introduced myself to the neighbors in my immediate atrium. Several of them were like "why are you telling me you just moved in?" and one was friendly. He was the oldest guy, who had been there forever and was like the mayor of the building. He was the one I talked to the most during my eight years there.

Now I have a house and try to be friendly with everyone but I am closest with my next door neighbor. I wave and say hi to everyone.

Guest's picture

Life definitely is easier when you have people close by who you are on good terms with and who would be willing to help you out in times of need. All of these are good reasons to be friendly with neighbors, but most importantly it would be in case something happened and they were there to lend a helping hand. It really stinks when you move in somewhere and you're neighbors are unfriendly/snobs.

Guest's picture
DriveByCommenter

Just want to point out that you were pretty one-sided in the majority of these posts. You should be expecting to do all of these things for your neighbors too.