Neighbor’s Yard a Blight? Maybe They Need Help

Whether you’re selling a house or just trying to enjoy living in one, making your own house clean and inviting isn’t always enough. A neighbor whose house is littered, unpainted, or overgrown can reduce your property values, not to mention make you want to keep your curtains drawn against the unpleasant view.

But before jumping to conclusions about their lack of care or responsibility, see whether you can find out if there’s a deeper issue at work.

Let’s face it, homeownership is demanding, in terms of both time and money.  If age, disability, or poverty are contributing to your neighbors’ inability to keep up the property, you may be able to advise them about nonprofit resources that can help.

One possibility is Habitat for Humanity’s “A Brush With Kindness” group, which helps low-income homeowners in various U.S. cities who are impacted by age, disability, and family circumstances,  to maintain the exterior of their homes. The group offers painting, landscaping, weather stripping, and minor repair services.

With a little online searching, you might also find smaller, local groups providing similar services, or handyman/repair outfits that offer free work (most likely via local nonprofits).

And if there’s a major, easy-to-remove eyesore, the easiest thing might be to offer to remove it yourself.