Living in a good neighborhood is a subjective question for many, but it's not all about having the best schools, but instead about the community where you're buying a home as well. And that's because your neighbors will impact your life for years to come. Having neighbors that are awesome is more than just a convenience. Studies have shown that having good neighbors can benefit your mood to the point that they even decrease your risk of a heart attack! And yet, security company Safe Home found that a full 30 percent of Americans aren’t on a first-name basis with their next-door neighbors.
When you buy a home in a good neighborhood, a neighborhood that acts like a community, your decision comes with financial benefits, as well. For one, your neighbors all have a variety of talents and specialties. Have a doctor move in down the street? You have someone who can look at that strange rash on your arm at 7 p.m. on a Saturday. My best friend has joked that one of the biggest benefits of living on her street is the “lawnmower man” who can fix just about any problem a lawnmower can have. For a first-time homeowner, that’s huge!
If you live in a tight-knit neighborhood, it’s like having access to the biggest toolbox around. Been wanting to try out an Instant Pot, but not willing to shell out the hundred bucks? You probably have a neighbor who can loan you one. If you are doing a home improvement project and you suddenly need a certain screwdriver or drill bit, there’s generally no need to run to Home Depot!
Having neighbors is also cheaper than installing a home security system. If you have an active neighborhood watch, you can enjoy the vigilance and security of having your neighbors keeping an eye on things whether you are at home or not. Who better to know whether there has been suspicious activity in the neighborhood than people who live there?
Close enough with your neighbors? You won’t have to worry about catching a pricey shuttle to the airport, because maybe you have a friend next door who can drive you. Depending on your level of closeness, you might even be able to take advantage of your neighbors’ hospitality when you have a lot of guests in town. Maybe they have a spare room where you could park your aunt and uncle?
Your neighbors and you, being one big family, can enjoy other financial benefits as a group. You can go in together on a Costco membership, on a Netflix membership, or get a group cost on lawn and/or pool maintenance or solar panel installation.
In short, having great neighbors is the gift that keeps on giving. When you're buying a new home, you have to think about more than just the specifications: where in Northern Virginia you will live, the school district, and commute. You have to think about the community you will be a part of for the coming years. Whether you have just moved into your neighborhood or have been there for some time, consider bringing some cookies over to your neighbors and starting a conversation. All relationships are worth maintaining, but your closeness with your neighbors can have real tangible benefits for all of you.