Are you a good neighbor? Do you have any? What makes a good neighbor?
People sell their homes and move because of complaints with their neighbors. Few people move because of the color of a neighbors house. The broader categories of complaints are cleanliness, noise and traffic. Major complaints range from excessive noise levels; uncut grass; snow covered sidewalks; garbage; lack of maintenance to the home and adjoining property; an unusual number of/constant constant flow of guests; nuisances on the neighbors property impacting your own.
Property owners have purchased the right to use and enjoy their property in any manner that is lawful and which does not infringe on the rights of others.
Loud music and socializing guests at an outside party after midnight may not be lawful in your community especially if lot sizes allow close proximity to your neighbors. Operating a business that generates excessive noise and/or increased traffic (examples: child care provider, product distributor); or excessive debris (for example: discarded storage facility purchases, old auto parts, boxes) on your property may not be lawful or comply with local ordinances. Check with your local community for information on specific issues or even better, observe and discuss with your neighbors what has been the norm in the neighborhood. Is it the norm to store garbage cans in the front, rear or on the side of the house? Where do most people entertain guests or barbecue? Are boats or RV's stored on the property? Where is this storage allowed? Do they need to be covered?
Asking questions of your neighbors or even giving them a little heads up ahead of time for any activity on your property which may disrupt the peace and enjoyment of theirs is a neighborly thing to do. Prior notice gives your neighbors choices. It also gives them an opportunity to voice their objections or point you to the community ordinances that will apply to the particular situation. This is not asking permission. You are simply notifying those who live closest to you as a courtesy. From this discussion, you as the homeowner can make an informed decision- in a thoughtful way- on whether or not this activity is acceptable or may be adjusted to meet the needs of both you and your neighbor.
Several of my neighbors sponsor fire work displays on Fourth of July. This activity is lawful in my community for three days per year. The surrounding neighbors are notified. Since it occurs annually, those with animals and small children are not surprised by the event so they may choose to join or do other things. Most in our neighborhood enjoy these displays and post lawn chairs in driveways to watch. After the fireworks are over, everyone joins in to clean the debris from the streets and surrounding yards. When a neighbor has a party and we are notified, many times their guests are offered an additional driveway or two for parking. Any cars on the street after 2 am are ticketed. The party may have gone inside at midnight but it doesn't have to end!
No one wants to live next door to the house with so much garbage outside that it constantly flows over onto the next property or provides housing and visits by various and sundry animals who do not recognize a property line. Besides the vermin, it just doesn't look good. Passerby devalue the property itself and those in close proximity to it. Keeping your property clear of debris, in the proper cans with tight fitting lids discourages animals, stops garbage from blowing onto others properties and helps to maintain both your relationship with your neighbors and the cleanliness of your neighborhood.
How can you be a good neighbor?
*Consult the authorities for the overriding neighborhood rules;
*Observe your neighbors and their property habits for tips and examples;
*Talk to your neighbors about any ongoing issues or upcoming plans and devise a plan to coexist. *Keep your property clean and uncluttered. Arrange for the appropriate disposal of garbage overflows on your property. Arrange for the proper storage of extra cars, boats and RV's
*Manage your parties to keep noise levels down.
*Manage any business conducted from the home discreetly. While one on one client meetings may not stress your neighbors, regular meetings of more than 5 people at a time may. In these cases think about arranging an alternate location.
The general attractiveness of your neighborhood impacts the value of all the homes there. You - as one of the neighbors-are in charge of that! Take an active role in keeping up your values!
This is from a series of articles composed and written by me, Rhona Ravenell on items that have an impact on your property's value. I am the owner of Omega Appraisals, LLC. and am a Certified General Appraiser, licensed in the state of Michigan with more than 15 years in the field. Please visit my web page at www.omegaappraisals.com for more information.
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