One of the things most overlooked when people are looking at houses, neighbors are even more important than property taxes.
I know many people like their neighbors, but I don't think anyone has better neighbors than us. Being friends with our neighbors has allowed us to live even more frugally and yet still feel rich.
We trust our neighbors, so that if we need to have someone watch our kids in a pinch, we don't have to pay outrageous drop-in prices at the day care.
We watch their kids sometimes, too, so that we don't feel like we are always taking, taking, taking.
Our Neighbors have every tool imaginable. When we need to use something, they offer it to us, or we ask.
It also makes us more generous, because when we have a tool that for some reason they don't have, we offer it.
We try to trade work. Our neighbor is downright obsessive about keeping the snow off his drive way. The snow can still be falling, and he is out there with his snow blower clearing his driveway. And this winter we have had a lot of snow. When he finishes their driveway, he comes over and does ours. His wife says that he just likes the excuse to use his toys. Either way, we are extremely thankful to not have to be out there in the cold. Though it does make us feel guilty. So in the summer, when the days are long and so is the grass, my husband can get on the riding mower that we have and do both of our lawns in half the time it takes our neighbor to do just his with a walking mower.
We can borrow the proverbial cup of sugar. This saves us a trip to the store. Which saves us on gas (though we are close enough to walk), time, and temptation (to buy more than what you need).
We spend time together. See 6. We are easy to Entertain. Because they live next door, we can have "an outing" without actually having to go anywhere. Sometimes we grill, or just watch the kids on the swing set.
We take advice from our neighbors. Our neighbors can recommend the best deals for remodeling, lawn care or tree service.
We watch each others' houses. We live in a fairly safe neighborhood, but still it is nice to know that there is someone keeping an eye on things while we are gone.
It's nice to be able to live next to people that are friendly. It would be much more tempting to move, if we didn't like who lived next door to us.
It also inspires us to try to be nicer neighbors in return.
These are also great lessons for our kids, both about being good neighbors, and about money.