The Financial Benefits of Being a Good and Friendly Citizen and Neighbor

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Jan 15, 2022, 12:43:34 PMJan 15

Hi everyone,

Have you ever thought about the idea that you should be a pleasant neighbor to the other folks in your neighborhood? Have you wondered, "What's in it for me?" other than the feeling of doing the right thing and being nice?

One positive benefit is that in the modern era, internet research of neighborhood residents is very easy, and there are lots of ways to find out about people, including Facebook. I realized recently that if you are a little bit kind and friendly to your neighbors and your neighbors say nice things about you, that can drive up the price of all homes in your neighborhood. Researchers of your home may wonder, "What kind of people live in this neighborhood, and what economic forces influence prices of houses and popular/unpopular attitudes of neighbors in the area?" If you are pleasant, you might not drive up the price of your own house above the prices of everyone else's in the neighborhood, but you might play a key role in showing real estate researchers that "this can be and often is a pleasant neighborhood, with desirable houses that many aspiring new homeowners will want to buy," thereby possibly increasing prices of all houses in the community.

One very wonderful aspect of being a good neighbor is that although your house as a "team slot" may not be uniquely impacted by your contribution to the neighborhood atmosphere, your family itself might start to be seen as a "very desirable family to live near" if you exhibit good-neighbor and good-citizen qualities, including pleasantness and law-abiding conduct. In theory, a real estate agent linked to a particular area that is trying to drive up prices of homes might even prioritize getting you into a good neighborhood or getting you a good deal on a home (in accordance with all applicable laws of course--I don't claim to know the system) if you are seen as someone who would "help the neighborhood as a positive-attitude/atmosphere team player" in a sense. (Note, you should watch out for "bad trait prioritization," like "please live here because of your ethnicity or religion"--that is not a deal you should take advantage of under any circumstances.)

Of course, everyone understand emergencies, time constraints, and other difficult circumstances; not everyone has the opportunity to go above and beyond to make his or her family's neighborhood a better place. That said, if you can be part of the solution to the challenge of improving your neighborhood, that's a wonderful decision to make that can in theory yield both reputational and financial dividends to you and your family.

That is one example of how being a good citizen can help you in lots of ways. In fact, fair and appropriate assertiveness to people, including leaders, who are trying to toxify a community or group of people, is a very good choice, too--defend, improve, and advertise are all three valuable verbs to participate in with respect to making your neighborhood, workplace, political group, etc., a better place. Crime doesn't pay; adding value pays.

-Philip White (
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