Stay Safe (and Sane) From Nosy Neighbors With These 9 Tips

So the people next door are less than desirable, huh?

Having nosy, annoying, or disrespectful neighbors is no picnic. However, there are ways to keep undesirable neighbors out of your business, off your property, and off your mind. Follow these nine tips to coexist with your neighbors safely and stress-free.

1. Study the neighborhood before you move.

You can’t control who moves in next door, but you can take charge of where you live. Before you buy a house, talk to neighbors and cruise the neighborhood. Find out what the neighborhood safety is like and whether they have a neighborhood watch program. If anything sticks out as undesirable to you, perhaps consider a different home.

2. Check the sex offender database.

Anyone who has ever committed a sex crime has a file—complete with their address, crime, photo, and general information. Never move to a new neighborhood without checking the sex offender database. Knowing where sex offenders live is particularly important if you have children as you scope out a new neighborhood.

3. Make a good first impression.

When you switch homes or new neighbors settle in on your street, say hello. Make a kind gesture by bringing over a loaf of bread or baked goods with a card. First impressions are so important. By getting off on the right foot, you might head off conflict down the road.

4. Extend an olive branch.

Killing people with kindness isn’t just a proverb grandmas teach kids. It’s a great philosophy to carry through life. If you’re having a problem with a nosy, annoying, rude, or contentious neighbor, try talking to them. Show them the respect you would like in return and see if you can settle your differences calmly and rationally. You could also suggest going to a mediator if things get really bad. Addressing the problem in an adult fashion may smooth over conflict before it escalates.

5. Install smart home security devices.

Sometimes a neighbor could assume they have a standing invite to your home, even when they don’t. If you’re worried someone in your neighborhood could try entering your home uninvited, secure your home with smart motion-sensing cameras, smart outdoor lights, and smart doorbells. Most home automation security devices can send an alert to your smartphone, so you know the moment someone trespasses, rings the doorbell, or tries to break into your home. That way, you can avoid face-to-face conflict and call the police if you need intervention.

If you don’t want to buy the devices separately, consider installing a complete home security system. Higher-rated systems come with glass break sensors, motion-sensing alarms, cameras, and so much more. Buying a home security system can help keep intruders out of your home and save you the hassle of deciding what features you need to install on your property. 

6. Upgrade windows to triple pane glass.

If your neighbors are party animals, install triple pane windows to help block out the noise. Even consider a white noise machine to help you sleep better. Before you complain, look up local noise ordinances—and don’t call the police until you’ve tried talking to your neighbor nicely. If they don’t respect your wishes after you’ve done them that courtesy, then you can call the authorities and let them handle it.

7. Hang curtains or frost your windows.

Keeping the blinds and curtains shut will keep nosy and potentially dangerous neighbors from seeing inside your home—or watching your family. If you don’t want to block out all the light, frost your glass. Otherwise, get thick curtains and opaque blinds to keep prying eyes out.

8. Construct a privacy fence

Fences make it hard for anyone to see what’s happening in your yard or trespass when you’re not looking. Have professionals put up a six-foot stockade fence to prevent your neighbors from spying on your social events or wandering over uninvited.

9. Build a case.

Finally, if your neighbors are doing something illegal that’s endangering your family or home, build a case against them. Don’t by any means trespass on their property, but if you see people coming and going at odd hours, write down license plate numbers. Take photos with your smartphone and store them away. Then pass everything off to the authorities to handle.

More likely than not, you’ll get along amicably with your neighbors. However, there are some negative scenarios here and there. Follow the steps above to ensure your family and home stay safe from nosy or troublesome neighbors.

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