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Embracing that neighborly feeling

Embracing that neighborly feeling

A little among neighbors is worth more than riches in a wilderness.   — Welsh Proverb


We consider it a privilege to be a part of your homeownership story. At MonteVista Homes, our homeowners are family. Our mission is to build homes distinguished by innovative design and solid craftsmanship.  Our corporate vision is to have homeowners stay with us as they move through life, needing larger homes, downsizing or re-locating. Building dream homes for their relatives and friends is our highest aspiration.

Since we began this amazing home-building journey, we have been driven to provide beautiful homes of highest quality craftmanship, designed to last for generations.  As we continued to grow and build more homes, we began to increase the number of home sites we were building.  Since our guiding principal is that our homeowners are family, the next logical step was to create our own communities- pleasant and ‘stroll-worthy’ neighborhoods. A place to make lasting friendships and feel safe.

Neighborhoods became our passion.  We recognize that “well-being” encompasses body, mind and spirit. We know that social interaction and camaraderie are as important to personal growth as physical activity and food.  MonteVista Homes is creating communities where folks can build and renew relationships with friends, family, and neighbors.  Where all are welcomed home.

Benefits of living in a neighborhood include a sense of community spirit or closeness. In addition, traffic is somewhat limited throughout the neighborhood, so homeowners feel safer about letting their children play outside. Others feel that they know their neighbors better and have more of an opportunity to chat with them.  Most homeowners feel a sense of safety when they know that near-by friends and neighbors are keeping an eye out for each other.


MonteVista Homes offers a great value for high quality, customized production and semi-custom homes, creating multi-generational residences in neighborly communities. We will build a better neighborhood – together, we can all be better neighbors.


We found this article about emerging neighborhoods – that we thought might inspire you.  (It sure inspired us!)


Excerpts taken from, April 2018

These days, it feels like people are turning inwards. We pull into attached garages and let the doors close behind us, never emerging except within the protective husk of a car. We build private jungle gyms in the backyard rather than letting our kids’ bike to the park. Meanwhile, Netflix and Hulu make it easy to get absorbed by fictional folks on TV, rather than interacting with actual humans in real life. And our news creates a fear of strangers, while paying little attention to all the good and compassionate things people do for each other every single day

As baby boomers continue to “mature”, many of us look back fondly to a time where kids could roam freely through spaces both public and private. Neighborhood streets, other people’s yards, schools, parks, creeks, and drainage ditches were all fair game.  Our only rule was not to cross the busy arterial streets. At dusk, parents would call everyone home. Some would just stand on the porch and yell their kids’ names, while others whistled or rang bells when it was time for dinner.

Although stay-at-home moms were common, most of us were still not formally supervised. There were no cell phones, and we often disappeared for hours at a time.   One difference was that we knew so many people in our neighborhood.  My family kept spare keys for half a dozen neighbors, knew everyone’s name within a two-block radius, and had friends scattered throughout the area.

Which made us wonder: Did we have so much freedom to roam because we knew our neighbors? Or did we know our neighbors because we spent so much time out roaming around?

So maybe it’s time to flip those habits, get outside, and meet the people who live nearby. Let’s put the neighborliness back in neighborhoods. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking “outside the box.”

1) Do your own Gardening and Yard Work

Everyone’s busy. Nobody has time or energy to do their own yard work. But there’s something wrong when the professional lawn care guy knows more of your neighbors than you do. Being out in the yard makes you visible and approachable. People who wouldn’t ring the doorbell will happily stop and chat if you’re out planting flowers. Besides, mowing lawns is more productive than running on a treadmill, and if you’re out in the yard, you’re making the neighborhood safer for everyone.

2) Activate the Front Yard

Make a point to spend time in the front yard. Years ago, we bought a cheap fire pit (the kind you can pick up and move around). Instead of setting it up in the back yard, we built a fire in the front. It attracted people like moths to a flame. Neighbors walked over to see what was going on. People driving by stopped to hang out and chat.  Before long, we had to open more wine and bring out the dining room chairs

There’s no reason why the back yard should have all the fun. Spread the love. Get out the sidewalk chalk, throw Frisbee, start a neighborhood corn hole competition, or spread out blankets and have a picnic on the front yard lawn. The more time you spend in the public-facing spaces, the more opportunities you create to meet your neighbors and be aware of what’s going on around you. The simple act of drinking coffee on the front porch makes you part of the community in ways that could never occur on a back patio. Even if all you do is smile and nod as strangers walk by, you’re contributing to a friendlier and safer place.

Behind every privacy fence is a neighbor you’ll never meet.

3) Behind every privacy fence is a neighbor you’ll never meet.

There are times when a privacy fence is a good idea. You may need a screening fence if you have a swimming pool or hot tub, or your backyard abuts a commercial parking lot. Often, however, you do have a choice about ‘how tall you should build the wall’. The assumption is that you want nothing to do with your next-door neighbors, and they have no business glancing into your back yard for any reason whatsoever.  Privacy fences eliminate chance encounters with neighbors. They prevent us from keeping an eye on each other’s property (in the neighborly, not nosy way). And they assume mistrust where none exists. You need to keep the dogs in the yard. Whenever possible, choose a lower, more transparent fencing option and get to know your neighbors instead of staring at a fence.

4) Leave the Car at Home

One of the simplest ways to engage with your community is to physically get out in it.  Whizzing by in a car doesn’t count. When you walk or bike, the slower pace allows you to notice details you’ve never seen before. Not only that, you will hear, smell and feel the environment in a way that’s impossible to experience from inside an automobile. If you’ve ever followed your nose to a terrific restaurant, you know exactly what I mean.

You will be amazed how many total strangers speak to you when walking or biking. They ask for directions, make surprising observations, or just say howdy. Cars create barriers between people. Active transportation eliminates them. When we’re not surrounded by glass and steel, people can see our faces and we become recognizably human. Sharing a smile, which happens a lot more often when you’re on foot or bike, reminds us of this fact.

So, get out of the car. Walk the dog. Bike to the store. Stroll to a restaurant. Speak to a neighbor and make their day a little bit friendlier for everyone.

5) Pick up Trash

An added benefit of walking in your neighborhood is that it’s easy to stop and pick up trash. (How often do you see a car pull over so someone can jump out and pick up a beer can? Answer: never.) Especially in up-and-coming areas, this is an important public service that improves curb appeal and enhances a sense of safety. Since buying a property in an emerging neighborhood, I’ve come to appreciate that trash bags are a luxury, not a priority, for people who struggle to afford necessities.  As a result, there’s always something blowing around, especially on trash day. So, one of my weekly duties is trash patrol. It only takes a few minutes, it makes the world a better place, and it creates opportunities to chat with folks up and down the block.

No matter where you live, you can improve your neighborhood by picking up trash. It’s a simple act that shows how much you care.

6) Share your Tools

Yet another perk of knowing your neighbors is the ability to share resources and knowledge. You’ll discover that there are plenty of people who are happy to help when you decide to tackle a do-it-yourself project, but it only works if sharing is a two-way street. Take care of the tools you borrow, return them promptly, and find ways to repay the favor.

7) Keep it Simple

Obviously, the above ideas are not about how to be a good neighbor. They’re more about breaking down the barriers that prevent us from knowing one another. Once you meet, it’s simple. No matter where you live, or what your circumstances, there’s only one rule for being a good neighbor: be kind.

Introduce yourself. Be respectful. Keep an eye out for each other. Check in on old folks.  Tutor a kid. Dog sit. Assume the best. Chip in and help when you recognize a need. And remember that the word “community” means we’re all in this together.

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