Love Thy Neighbor

How do you protect yourself from a less-than-desirable neighbor? If you're already settled into a home, we offer some tips on how to make the most of it.

Love Thy Neighbor

Posted by John Hardy - 2015-04-07 14:35:00

So you don’t live next door to Mr. Rogers. Sad fact is, no one could possibly be that fortunate—or perhaps you’d consider that a blessing.

©Fred Rogers and CBC

Look around, you’re probably not the only one that has had some trouble with a neighbor. The internet is full of message board rants and blog posts that, more often than not, make good material for Larry, The Cable Guy, Jeff Foxworthy or Jerry Seinfeld.

No matter how much you complain online, that’s not solving the problem. How can you avoid going from the frying pan and into the fire if you’re considering a move?

Quite easily, the best way to avoid moving next door to the Krank’s is to do a little homework before you put an offer in on a house. Research the neighborhood before you make your move, or better yet, ask your agent to inquire about the neighbors to see if they’re the reason the house you’re looking at is on the market to begin with.

Uh-oh, John, it’s too late for that.

You’ve already moved-in and a problem has already developed? Don’t get too excited—yet. Stop, take a deep breath and never go to speak with them if you’re already mad because it can only make things worse.

So what can you do:
   - Think about what you want to say
   - Think about HOW you will say it
   - Think about it from both sides
   - Think about how the problem would effect you
   - Leave the blame out

Most times you can diffuse a situation by removing blame and not pointing fingers at anyone. If that’s not the case you can always approach your Homeowners Association to see if there’s an amicable solution to put out the fire so both sides can walk away happy.

If the situation doesn’t improve you can always find a mediator, most states have them. In Omaha, if you need a mediator, you can start with a mediator, or, for something more serious, you can hire an attorney.

Most of the time it’s probably a misunderstanding, but, before it goes to litigation, watch this. Everyone has the right to quietly enjoy their home.

© Fox News

And remember, “A bad neighbor is a misfortune, as much as a good one is a great blessing.” - Hesiod

Here’s seven great steps to get to know your neighbors. If you start off on the right foot everything I wrote above won’t be necessary:

   - Always offer a smile, it builds trust
   - Introduce yourself, maybe they're shy 
   - Go for walks by yourself, with the family or your dog
   - Bake something, but not with a laxative in it
   - Throw a party, make sure you have permits if it's gonna be loud
   - Join a neighborhood organization, get involved with your HOA
   - Just get out there

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