6 Ways It Pays to Be Friendly With Your Neighbors

By Nicholas Pell on 24 October 2014 2 comments

Our communities just don't have the same bonds they used to. Think about it: Of all the people you've lived next door to, how many of their names do you know? (See also: How to Deal With a Rude Neighbor)

This is a problem, given the tangible, material benefits of having neighbors you know better than, say, the receptionist at your dentist's office. Don't believe it? Then check out these six ways it pays to be friendly with your neighbors.

1. Splitting Chores

Some chores impact more than just one house in a neighborhood. For example, if you share a common driveway, you can all pitch in when it comes to repaving it. It's not just about communal chores, though. Doing small favors can encourage a mini sharing economy. Help your neighbor plant a garden, he helps you change the transmission on your car. Start saving a mint based on the things that you couldn't do yourself, but can do with a spare set of hands.

2. Sharing the Cost of Big Equipment

Just like there are some chores that are impossible alone, so are there pieces of big equipment one person might not want to buy, but a neighborhood can go in on together. Think of things like wood chippers, cherry pickers, or power washers. Particularly if you're not going to be using them a lot, the price can be cost prohibitive. However, once you start splitting the cost three or four ways, the investment starts making a lot more sense.

3. Splitting Entertainment Costs

Especially for the sports fan, the ability to split entertainment costs can be a big deal. Maybe you don't want to shell out for the next UFC fight, WWE pay-per-view, or a season of NFL game day on your own. However, with the help of a neighbor or two you can make the cost of an expensive paid cable event no more than a couple of lattes. What's more, you might also be able to get package deals on vacations if you all coordinate your time away from home. Once you get there you don't have to be joined at the hip, though hey — if you guys are close, why not?

4. Learning New Skills

Chances are good that you have skills your neighbor wants and vice versa. So why not go about trading those talents? Not only can you learn them without paying any money, you can also save money over the long run by applying the skills you learn. Maybe it's auto repair. Maybe it's bread baking. Maybe it's interior painting. Whatever it is, when you learn how to do things for yourself, you don't have to pay someone else to do it for you.

5. Tolerating Your Big Bash

Having a party? Making any amount of racket? Get ready for a noise complaint and the charges that come along with it. Making friends with your neighbors not only makes them a little more tolerant of things like watering your garden on the day that you're not supposed to, but it also makes them more likely to talk to you directly about the problem rather than going straight through more official channels. No one wants angry neighbors, but if you're going to have them they can be angry in the neighborly way or the expensive way.

6. Networking

Networking is more important than ever. Looking for the best plumber in town? Your neighbor might be a friend. Trying to find a marriage counselor? Maybe your neighbors recently got through a rough patch with the help of a family therapist. Is your nephew looking for his first job in publishing? Talk to your neighbors and see if they know anyone who can help. Knowing more people is always helpful, starting with the people who live just down the street.

Are you neighborly with your neighbors? How has it paid off for you?

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Guest

I'm not a handy guy at all, but my neighbor is. I teach his son guitar, and he helps us with yard-work.

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Sarah

Great post!! One thing I miss about living in a neighborhood is the tight-knit group of people (we live in an apartment now which just doesn't have the same sense of community). Thanks for the post - hope you have a great weekend!!