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One of the things I love about my job is hearing stories about good neighbors. When my parents were ill, their neighbor was my lifeline to them when I was not there. We exchanged numbers, and she would call if something was wrong and would pop over to check on them if I asked her too. She had a key to their home, and even mowed their yard when they were unable to do so. She was a true gem and so very appreciated, and I swear she came into my world because of all the neighbor karma points we had in the bank. My husband was always going across the street to shovel our elderly neighbors’ driveway. Eventually my child took over this duty. We made cookies, swapped recipes and met for lunches. We considered them extended family, even calling them grandma and grandpa.

It made me think about what the most valued attributes are in a good neighbor. I started asking around and taking notes whenever I heard someone say they love their neighbor.

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Many stated it is just nice having someone nearby who they trust to simply keep an eye on their house while they are on vacation. Some took it further and said they swap pet-sitting duties for each other, and even pinch hit on child care.

Good neighbors keep up the neighborhood by maintaining their home and yard. If a neighbor nearby needs a hand, they lend it. They take down their holiday decorations in a timely manner. This one made me laugh, as there was one mention of a neighbor who was very nice, but whose lights stayed up all year and the neighbors didn’t like it at all.  Whenever the conversation came back to the lights there was always a comment about how nice this neighbor was.

Good neighbors participate in community meetings. They may not sit on a homeowner association board but they attend meetings, give input and help where they can. One neighbor hand-delivers meeting notes to elderly neighbors to help keep them informed.

Good neighbors are also respectful of space. They do not allow their kids or dogs to wander into other people’s yards unless they have received permission to do so. In addition to being respectful of space, they are also respectful of noise levels.

Take a minute to think about a favorite neighbor. Are you still in contact? If so, why not reach out and thank them for being awesome. Think about how you can get some good-neighbor karma in the bank – it’s an easy investment to make!

Claire-Ann is a West Side Realtor helping people make Hendricks County their home. You can reach her at 317-345-6640 or

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