You may not have many neighbors or you may have plenty and would simply like to exchange them for new ones. Before you begin showing prospective buyers around before the owners are willing to sell, consider these options.
You can be the example. You have a major role in how the neighborhood develops, who moves in, who moves out, and how your neighbors behave. Your example is far more powerful than you think. When people see how their neighbors live, they want to at least be like them, if not better than them. This is where you come in. Your example will soon be considered “the norm” and everyone will follow in your footsteps. Do not take any action which you cannot make a habitual thing or a regular event.
Set the tone for the neighborhood. Influence your neighbors to keep their properties in tact by always trimming your trees, mowing your grass and keeping your house clean and painted. Influence them to keep the air clean between fences by always apologizing for and acknowledging past wrongs. Keep the social activities of the neighborhood up by always attending community events, bringing food and drink, and staying behind afterward to help clean up. Demonstrate a spirit of humility for your brethren by always having a spirit of servanthood. Visit the sick or aging, bring food to the ones who are down on their luck, and invite new people over on a regular basis. Widening the circle of your friends is a good position to be in if the economy ever bottoms out.
Do not control. So many times, we try to exert our influence by controlling those around us. We want it to be known that you should not touch us, mess with us or consider us weak. So we do all that we can to put that tough exterior out there, especially when it is on public ground, such as a park or the street. Controlling your neighbors will get you a reputation and fast. If it is easier on them to simply not invite you rather than putting up with your attitude, you will not be invited out. Neighbors will be relieved when you do not show up, and other people will be far less concerned about you if you are down on your luck. Exhibit a spirit of kindness, getting along, generosity and a welcoming home. Always invite someone to dinner if you have spent more than twenty minutes conversing with them.
Do not shy away. Even if you have bitchy or belligerent neighbors, perhaps especially then, get involved with your community. Spend the extra effort on being polite and warm and setting a good example. Even if a neighbor says something to you which is, of course, very personal, do not take it personally. Forget it and act like it never happened. Do not allow yourself to be harmed, but outside of that, act like everything is perfect and as if all of you are dear friends. This warmth is not only contagious, but it will foster caring and good thoughts about you.
Neighborhood events. Attend your neighborhood events for no other reason than to elicit some neighborly interest in who you are. Whether you are an extremely private person or a shining socialite, your neighbors should have some basic knowledge of you. Your work, your habits, your age and your level of introversion/extroversion are absolute necessities. If your neighbors know how you work, then if they see something amiss, they know to do something about it rather than waiting, watching and wondering. This could save your life. After all, isn’t this what communities are for?
Getting better neighbors may not involve switching them out for some Stepfordites, but rather changing your own behavior and perceptions, which will always have an impact on others. You can set such a rock-solid example in your community that everyone will look to you as the leader. Whatever the case, if you want better neighbors, you must be a better neighbor yourself.
http://www.gmhf.com/Publications/bbn.htm, Building Better Neighborhoods