Erika Sullivan Realty Group

Posted by Erika Sullivan Realty Group on 2/25/2018

???Robert Frost's poem, Mending Wall, poses an interesting question about whether "good fences make good neighbors."

On one hand, there are several advantages to having your property surrounded by a fence, especially if you or your neighbors have dogs or small children running around.

If you happen to have a vegetable garden or fruit trees in your backyard, a well-constructed fence can also help keep out ravenous deer, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, foxes, and other wildlife.

There's no doubt that fences can serve a variety of useful purposes, ranging from privacy and safety to wildlife control and home security. While it can be beneficial to mark off your property boundaries and keep your backyard private, a question to consider is whether a large fence -- especially a new one -- sends the wrong message to your neighbors.  Striking the perfect balance between privacy and friendly neighbor relations can be tricky at times, but there are compelling reasons to stay on good terms.

  1. Security reasons: If you take the time to chat with your neighbors every now and then, they'll have more of a tendency to keep an eye on your property when you're on vacation or just away for the day -- especially if you ask them.  People tend to be more helpful, observant, and protective of others with whom they share a bond or have a sense of community. In contrast to that, if they don't even know your name and haven't exchanged more than a few words with you in years, they'll be less inclined to pay attention to who's on your property and whether they belong there or not.
  2. Sharing resources: Keeping the lines of communication open with your neighbors is beneficial on many levels. When you have a friendly, ongoing relationship, you won't feel reluctant to ask them for help when your car battery's dead and you're running late for work. Trusted neighbors can also provide you with valuable information, such the names of dependable home improvement contractors or how to arrange a free pickup of household clutter that you want to donate to the Salvation Army.
  3. Quality of life: When you're regularly greeted by friendly neighbors, your neighborhood will feel like more of a welcoming and upbeat place to live. It may be necessary for you to set the example or make the first move, but once a friendly atmosphere has been created in a neighborhood, it's relatively easy to keep it going.

So while you may not want your neighbors to get in the habit of stopping by your home to chew the fat, every day, it can be worth your while to greet them by name, offer help whenever possible, and be the kind of good neighbor you'd like them to be. Setting a positive example may be all that's needed to establish a cooperative relationship and possibly even a life-long friendship. And, if all else fails, keep in mind the words of Benjamin Franklin: "Love thy neighbor, but don't pull down your hedge!"

Posted by Erika Sullivan Realty Group on 7/2/2017

In a world where we do much of our socializing online and can talk to people around the world in an instant it has become less incentivized to have a relationship with your neighbors. However, there are man benefits to having a tight-knit neighborhood that are sadly being forgotten. Some people are private by nature and like to keep to themselves, which is certainly okay. Others like to be involved members of their communities, getting to know the people who live around them and taking an interest in their well-being. Have you ever wished that your neighborhood had more things for your kids to do? Or maybe that you had a few friends next door to have cookouts with in the summer time? In this article we'll talk about the many ways you can build a community in your neighborhood to get your friends and neighbors more involved.

Start a community garden

Is there a lot or patch on land in your neighborhood that is going unused? A great project to start that can benefit the neighborhood is to create a community garden. Gardening with others is a rewarding activity. You'll be busy working so you won't have to worry about awkward silences, and you will all share in the great rewards of seeing your creation grow. Here's how to start:
  • Get permission for using the land, unless you own it
  • Pass out flyers and post on Facebook to the people in your neighborhood to let them know about it.
  • Add on the flyer that it would be appreciated if people brought some tools and supplies along which you can also list on the flyer
  • Have a "breaking soil" day when your neighborhood comes out to commence work in the garden
  • Before long, word of mouth and curious passersby will make your garden a popular place to hang out in the neighborhood

Host an outdoor movie night

It's easier than ever to screen a movie outside. All you need is a laptop, some decent speakers, a projector, and a white sheet to hang against a wall. Just like with the garden, pass out flyers. And, be sure to choose a kid-friendly movie that people can bring the family to.

Start a neighborhood book club and book swap

Books are great icebreakers. You won't have to worry about having nothing to talk about because you'll have all the material from the books to discuss. Once you get a few people in the neighborhood to join the club, you might think about creating a neighborhood book swap. Take an outdoor cabinet and put it on your front lawn with a sign says "Take a book, leave a book." Then get some of your neighbors to join in as well.

Spend time outside and go for neighborhood walks

Just by spending more time in the front yard and taking nightly walks you'd be surprised at home many new members of your neighborhood you'll meet. Instead of hiding your benches in the backyard, put them in the front and remember to say "Hello!" to your neighbors when they pass by.