The perks of finally getting to know my neighbors

As I am sure my fellow apartment dwellers would agree: living in an apartment building has certain challenges. Among other annoyances, living in an apartment means you’re sharing walls, floors, and ceilings with complete strangers; you’ve got to fight to use the laundry equipment; and there’s a solid chance you’ve heard way more than you want to of your neighbors *ahem* romantic adventures. Apartment living doesn’t have to be a nightmare, though, if you take the time to get to know your neighbors.

At this point you’re probably saying something to the effect of “I have absolutely no desire to know anything about my neighbors outside of basic facial recognition.” I feel you, but trust me, a building that embraces the communal setup that comes with apartment living can actually be awesome. Here are four perks to being buds with your neighbors.

You have yourself a backup contact

Establishing a contact at your building that isn’t your landlord or super can really, really come in handy. Say you locked yourself out. Who you gonna call? Cindy in unit 3B. Having another building contact is also useful if you are going to be out of town and need someone to check your mail or keep an eye on your place. My neighbor, and now good friend, and I have a slick system in place where we check in on each other’s places if one of us is out of town. Needless to say, the time I was out of town and the cable guy needed to get in, she was a lifesaver!

Building events are a blast

One of my favorite things about summer in my building is that we throw a few BBQs for the whole building. We share the building grill, everyone brings a dish, and we hang out casually together and enjoy the summer nights. Not everyone comes each time, but it’s a great chance to gather and socialize right in the comfort of your own homes! After all, who doesn’t enjoy a gathering that when you leave, you only have a few steps between the party and home?

Making building improvements is actually possible

It can be really frustrating living somewhere and not being able to make any modifications or drastic changes to the living situation. While this won’t be true in all cases, a group of tenants working together can sometimes get perks that wouldn’t be considered before. For example, the caretaker for my building gave one of my neighbors and myself permission to re-paint our porch floors. His reasoning? Since we would be doing it together, the entire first floor would be painted in a uniformed manner, thereby making the front of the building look pretty classy. Our perk? A gorgeous looking porch floor. Winner winner.

And you get a built-in nearby friend

As I mentioned before, one of my neighbors is now one of my friends, and it’s pretty darn awesome to have her right across the hall. You won’t always make a BFF with your neighbors, but you can still make relationships that will last even after you move out. At the very least, you’ll hopefully have friendly and, dare we say it, pleasant interactions when you see your neighbors in the hallways.

You don’t have to be best friends with all of your neighbors, but it does make your home base feel a lot more homey if you can wave at Brenda as she comes home from her nursing job or say what’s up to Phil as he leaves to walk his dog each day.