If you plan on living in one house for an extended length of time, it might be worth your while to try to appease your neighbors. By keeping things amicable between the neighbors, you prove yourself to be a contributing member of the community. Nurturing a relationship between you and your neighbor could be helpful down the road when you need a favor, like someone to keep an eye on the house when you’re out of town or someone to borrow an egg from when you’re stumped on a recipe. However, if you repeatedly offend your neighbors, negativity will build up between the households. Eventually, this could lead to some major confrontations, which can be stressful.
If you have a driveway or garage, this is an appropriate place to park your vehicle. Do not park in the street when personal parking is available. It should be a common courtesy. If a driveway is not an option, you should always park in front of your own home if at all possible, as parking in front of a neighbor’s home merely robs them of their own parking spot. Neighbors will begrudge you for inconsiderate parking habits, especially if you move your trash bins in front of the house to lessen the parking availability in a neighborhood that depends on street parking. And always park correctly; just because the curb of a cul-de-sac is rounded doesn’t entitle you to utilize it as a parking lot.
If you’re looking for a quick way to completely infuriate your neighbors, let your dog poop in their lawn and don’t bother to pick it up. Cleaning up after your pet is important. They can’t do it themselves and leaving dog waste on the lawn is bad for the environment. You may think that dog poop will ultimately serve as a fertilizer for a lawn, but in truth, it is full of bacteria like human waste and is the equivalent of pouring sewage on a lawn. In fact, dog waste causes 20 to 30% of pollution in run-off streams, deteriorating the quality of drinking water. The responsibility of picking up after your dog is yours and yours alone. Plus, your neighbor isn’t anticipating a lawn full of dog poop, so when they step outside barefoot in the morning to bring in the paper and accidentally step in your dog’s excrement, you’ll probably hear from them sooner or later.
When parents get irritated with their children, they often instruct them to go play outside. Little do they realize, this only subjects their neighbors to their annoying children. Outside, children play in the streets where they could potentially get hit by a car. They leave toys all over the lawn. Even if your neighbors have children and you reason that your children can simply play together, they may not be comfortable with letting their children play unsupervised, and you’re essentially doubling their load as a parent by letting your kids run free with theirs. Kids are brazen enough to engage strangers in conversation, which is potentially dangerous if not extremely obnoxious to childless adults in the neighborhood. Wrangle up your kids to avoid conflict with unhappy neighbors.
If you drive home from work to find a line of cars parked down the entire street, consider it a warning that one of your neighbors is throwing a party. And we’re not referring to the kind of party thrown by sensible adults with catering, wine, and designated drivers. If you live in a college town (or still attend college), you might be able to get away with it, but throwing rowdy parties in a neighborhood where grown adults have to get up and go to work the following morning is generally frowned upon. Loud music, drunken banter, and a lawn full of solo cups at two in the morning can be frustrating to neighbors who are respectful to you and your need for sleep at regular slumbering hours. No matter how much you enjoy loud music at your party, it just sounds like a headache-inducing bass to surrounding neighbors lying wide awake in bed. When your intoxicated guests drive home, they are privy to swerving into the lawns of neighbors, promptly killing the grass where the tires make contact.
If you live in a suburban neighborhood with well-tended lawns, you will likely be the subject of disdain if you let your grass go wild, refuse to yank up weeds, and let your plants shrivel up and die. There may be little they can do about it, but your neighbors will harbor some hostility if your home reflects poorly on the rest of the neighborhood. Try to contribute positively to the neighborhood; doing so will make it a place that people will want to live. There are few things worse than a neighbor that lets his lawn become littered with trash and refuses to do any upkeep on the vegetation that exists there. With enough neglect, grass will yellow and die. Soil can become inhospitable, which lowers your home’s resale value. Take time to keep your home looking decent.
A Dusty Car
If you have a vehicle just sitting in your driveway or street that hasn’t moved an inch in years, it’s time to get rid of it. There’s no reason to prolongedly keep such a fixture on your property and it detracts from the overall presence of the neighborhood to have your dusty, beat up Honda decaying on your driveway. Worse, keeping an oversize Winnebago parked in front of your house will cause quite a bit of tension among your neighbors. When people work hard to keep their house and lawn in order only to have their view blocked by a bulky motor home, things can get nasty. Keep the recreation vehicle in storage when you’re not readily using it, as well as boats and other large, unsightly modes of transportation.
Extreme Holiday Decor
While they make great viral internet videos, who wants to live across from the people who put together Christmas light shows? These people literally spend thousands of dollars on Christmas lights, timed to music for passerby’s to enjoy. Not only are they usually insanely bright and a bit of a fire hazard, but they attract swarms of visitors into your neighborhood in hopes of viewing the spectacle. Many of them will require speakers in the yard to play the corresponding tune. Even if they keep this at a decent volume — and it likely has to be loud enough to hear from a car with the windows rolled down — it will certainly become irritating to hear Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy 50 times a day. Likewise, neighbors who insist on putting up an eight-foot-tall inflatable Santa in their yard should be chastised by the local homeowner’s association for their tackiness.
Depending on the proximity of the neighbors, you should always be aware of how many people can hear you when you’re fighting with your significant other. This highly personal conversation should not be conducted on a front porch or kitchen with a window open. If people walking along the sidewalk can hear angry sounds coming from your home, you should decrease the volume of your bickering. Fighting is intimate, and it makes others uncomfortable to witness it. Likewise, do it enough and you’ll receive the unflattering descriptor of “those neighbors who loudly fight all the time.”
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