Meet the Neighbors: They’ll Be There When You Can't

Congratulations on your second home! You have years of vacation memories to make, and you can’t wait to get started.

As much as you might like to be there every day -- and you may be, when it comes time to retire -- you can’t. After all, you wouldn’t have been able to get a mortgage for that second home without a job, right? So you’ll need to compromise.

Often, homeowners moving into a new neighborhood get visitors, some bearing brownies or, if they’re lucky, a casserole to enjoy while they’re still unpacking the new kitchen. But when you buy a second home, you should go introduce yourself to the neighbors, rather than the other way around.

Benefits of neighbor friends 

If you’re renting your house to vacationers when you aren’t there, you’ll want to know if they host big house parties, park in the newly landscaped yard, or bring pets when the rental agreement prohibits them. You know who’ll be happy to tell you all about it? Not the rental company, because they’re looking after lots of different places, and don’t have the time to keep tabs on every single one, every day. That sweet retired couple next door, though, will be more than happy to call and tell you all about the college kids who are clearly violating the “no more than 8 guests” and “no noise after 11 pm” rule. Once you get that call, you can call the property management company and have them deal with the problem.

Good neighbors will also tell you if the lawn isn’t being regularly maintained (even though you’re paying for weekly mowing), if there is any suspicious activity in the offseason, or if a large chunk of your roof is missing since the last big storm. Your neighbors have a vested interest in your home: their property values rise when the homes around theirs look better. They’re on your side.

So, congratulations. Now, get baking, and start knocking on some doors! And when you do come for the weekend? You may find yourself invited to some neighborhood gatherings.