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November 1st, 2013

As a broker I am often asked “Is this a good neighborhood?” and so I thought I would talk about what that question really means. Obviously everyone has different opionions about what makes one area more desirable than another and there are many sources of information about demographics, crime, convenience, schools and other tangibles but I want to talk about the intangibles. What makes up the heart and soul of a good place to live. Is there a feeling of belonging and inclusion. One of our favorite activites after a long day in the biz is to sit on our front stoop and greet the steady parade of neighbors walking, biking, and motoring by. It may be just a wave but that simple act helps us to feel like we live in a place where people value each other. We often see the same folks and over time have developed ongoing friendships with many of our neighbors from this very simple beginning. We know the names of almost all of our neighbors. We have come to depend on them and they on us for a variety of things, from gas for the lawnmower to pet sitting our chickens. This is not information you are going to find on a website. This is evident though by spending a little time in the neighborhood. Park your car and just take a walk. Go at different times of the day. Observe how people interact with each other. Stop and ask questions. Most people are eager to talk about where they live if its a good place. All of this will give you some idea of what the place you might call home is like on the inside, not how much the homes cost or what are the average incomes of the residents. Then, and this is the most important part, make it a better place by being a good neighbor. Go out of your way to get involved, even if it is just a wave from your front porch. You never know where that will lead. Be a better neighbor and you will build a better neighborhood.