Do You Know Who Your Neighbors Are?
Back in the good old days, everyone knew everyone in the neighborhood and children played together while the adults shared drinks and barbecue in well-manicured backyards. Those days are gone, and a staggering 50% of Americans don’t even know their neighbor's names let alone any details about who they are, what they do for work or what kind of people they are. This statistic jumps higher for apartment living.
This fact is interesting because we live so close to these people yet we are comfortable knowing almost nothing about them. The bad news is there are dangers in not knowing whom you live near, and it pays to know precisely who resides in the house next door.
Why You Should Know Your Neighbors
We have all seen on the news the horrific stories of captives held in neighborhood homes for years that suddenly escaped. The surrounding neighbors never knew a thing. Although that is the extreme end of the spectrum, there are other dangers that you should know about your neighborhood.
If you have children, you will want to know if any sex offenders are living in your cul-de-sac or around the corner. How about the overly friendly guy next door who has multiple DUIs? He could pose a danger to anyone in your family by drinking and driving. If you know someone in your neighborhood was convicted of stealing, you might be overly cautious about having them over for dinner.
Domestic abuse is a serious problem in the U.S. and happens more often than you care to think about. Statistics show that in a standard neighborhood, at least one of your neighbors is probably a victim of and an abuser.
Another non-life threatening issue is finding out you are living next to someone who likes to sue people. If you knew ahead of time, you might not have lent them your mower before he injured himself and filed a court case.
Neighbors can be difficult and with noisy parties, pets that destroy your property or other violations of trespass. More annoying are the neighbors who never mow the lawn, have rotting cars out front and throw frequent all-night parties.
How to Find Information on Your Neighborhood
Thankfully in this modern, Internet-rich world, you can quickly and easily check up on all your neighbors for a solid peace of mind. There are dozens of websites and search portals where you can perform a full background check on someone. All you need is their name. If you don’t have their name but have their address, you can look that up too from the white pages or other online resources.
Spending an hour looking into your neighbors can supply you with armloads of information on their political affiliations, court records, sex offenses, criminal records, driving violations, incarcerations, arrests, bankruptcies, tax and property issues, evictions, accidents and more.
You can also see their employment history along with relatives and friends they associate with. With just a few minutes in front of the computer, you can have the entire life story of someone and know exactly who is living next door.
Signs of Odd Neighbor Behavior
Some signs of odd neighbor behavior might be obsessing over the care and upkeep of their property, suspicious behavior or people showing up at all hours of the night. Shades drawn during the day, every day may be a red flag of something going on that your neighbor does not want anyone to see. A seriously unfriendly neighbor might be a standout as well, and you might want to dig deeper to find out what is going on there.
Kids or wives with bruises or unexplained injuries would be another sign to look into. If you visit a neighbor or stop by to ask a question and they act suspicious and won’t open the door all the way, again that is odd behavior indicating something is just not right.
All people are different but using a little common sense and checking out the people living near you, could mean the difference between living in safe, peaceful neighborhood and living in fear.