How to be a good neighbor as a homeowner

Fencing, landscaping, noise, and—of course—cookies.

If you grew up watching Sesame Street as a child, you may recall the recurring song “The people in your neighborhood.” In this sweet little ditty, the main singer asks a second person about the people you meet outside your home. The tune imagines the various residents, the jobs they do, and what makes them happy. 

And while the song is decades old, it’s a great reminder today to be a good neighbor and homeowner to the people in your neighborhood. Wondering where to start? Luckily, Trilogy has had over 50 years of experience learning how to be a good neighbor and builder. Check out some of our suggestions on the topic below!

Here’s how to be a favorite neighbor by taking care of:

Home Clearance and Fences.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Good fences make good neighbors.” It’s true! But if you’re going to build a new one, it’s a smart idea to check in with your neighbors before you start digging holes. Make sure you understand where the property lines are so you don’t encroach on their yard or cut off some important view. The same goes with home clearance—nobody wants part of someone else’s roof carport or other structure overhanging their space.


Does anyone ever want their house to be known as the neighborhood eyesore? Ensure your yard isn’t an overgrown jungle where raccoons reenact their version of the Hunger Games. Keep it mowed and tidy to prevent weeds from flourishing and sending pesky weed seeds into your neighbors’ yards. And while you’re at it, consider putting in firewise landscaping. It’ll help protect your home and contribute to your street looking its best!

Noise levels.

Okay, so say you’ve built a brand spankin’ new fence and are patting yourself on the back for creating more privacy for both you and your neighbors. Don’t forget: even if you have a fence, people can still hear you. While you may prefer to start your day at 6 am with water aerobics in your pool or a good old leaf-blowing session, your neighbors might not appreciate it. Remember to keep noise levels at a respectful level.


Another way to be a good neighbor is to think about the safety of your home in relation to people who live in the area. Keep your property well-lit outdoors and install motion-activated lights (just be mindful you don’t have a floodlight shining into your neighbor’s bedroom.) If you live in a gated community, don’t give out the gate code to just anyone. Be watchful and discuss suspicious activity with the other neighbors to help make your area a safer place. 

Bonus: Cookies!

Ever since Ruger’s brush with literary fame after he wrote about a dog’s day in the life at Trilogy for our blog, he’s been giving the humans “advice” whenever we sit down to write. Our resident canine coworker is a big fan of cookies (the moo-flavored kind) and strongly suggested this as a top tip to be a good neighbor. And you know what? We agree. There’s nothing nicer than a plate of warm cookies to bring people together or welcome new ones to the neighborhood. So without further ado, we’ve got two cookie recipes for your two-legged and four-legged neighbors.

Ruger’s Favorite Brown Butter Cookie Recipe (for humans, inspired by the Brown Butter Cookie Company in Cayucos, CA from Yummy Mummy)


  •  1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  •  1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  •  A pinch of sea salt to sprinkle over the top of each cookie


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and heat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, and stir slowly until it caramelizes. When you see brown flecks and smell a rich, nutty flavor, remove it from the heat and pour it into a bowl to cool. Then, stir in the brown sugar and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. 
  4. Combine the ingredients in both bowls, mixing well.
  5. Use a small scoop or your hands to shape small cookies on the cookie sheet, and then sprinkle a bit of sea salt over top of each.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. 

Ruger’s Favorite Pupalicious Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe (for dogs, adapted from Flora and Vino)


  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats, or oat flour
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large ripe banana (or 2 medium bananas), smashed


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. If you’re using whole oats instead of oat flour, blitz the oatmeal in a blender until it has the consistency of flour.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the peanut butter and bananas together, and then add the oat flour until combined.
  4. Roll the dough out on the counter into a thin slab around ¼ inch thick.
  5. Cut shapes with a knife or a cookie cutter, and then place them on the baking sheet. 
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, and make sure they’re cool before putting them into your dog’s mouth!

Let’s be good neighbors together

At Trilogy, we recognize the importance of being a good neighbor and part of a community. It’s one of the many reasons we go above and beyond for our clients, whether they’re building a Palisades Home or a custom home. We think the key to turning a house into a home is trust, kindness, and caring throughout the building process. If you want to find out more about how we can help you, contact us today.

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