Have you ever thought about how your neighbor losing his job or having other financial hardships might impact YOU financially? There are effects that this can have on your entire neighborhood and community.
In hard economic times it seems that no one is immune to the downsizing that many companies are doing these days. Everywhere there are layoffs and small business failures and everyone knows someone who has been hit hard by the financial crisis. If that person that has been affected is someone living on your street, it is possible that it has directly impacted you as well.
The first thing that might be noticeable will be that they are not keeping their lawn up. Perhaps they don’t have the money to do it, especially if they had been paying for a lawn service to do it. Or it might be that they are a small business owner and are having to work many extra hours (if they can find the work) just to make ends meet. Either way, their shabby lawn can make yours look unkept also, especially if they are side by side or in the same line of vision as you are driving down the street. This might be the one lawn that people remember when they are thinking about the neighborhood. If there are several homes for sale in the neighborhood, as is usual during these times, then that one house is going to be a detriment to those homeowners looking to sell. Seeing the benefit in helping your neighbor AND yourself, you might volunteer or round up a group of neighbors to volunteer to cut the grass when needed. It will certainly help to keep your property value from plummeting.
The next thing that might happen is that they will simply stop making payments on their house because they can not afford it. In a matter of time, the house is bound to become a foreclosure. This is why it is very important if your neighbor is a business owner that you try to support their business in any way that you are financially able. Refer friends and family to him or her. Help them to build a network so that, though their business might be struggling, they are given the confidence that there is work out there. This might be the boost that they need to get them through the rough patch until there is another upswing in the economy. If the house is foreclosed, it will likely sell for many thousands of dollars less than what you paid for your house. Your own home value will be destroyed. This chain of events is simply caused by a neighbor who wasn’t able to make payments on their house. The neighbor is probably a perfectly upstanding citizen who has fallen on hard times, yet has had an innocent hand in wreaking havoc on your finances.
It is important to understand the relationship that you have with your neighbors and try to do everything that you can to help them when you see they are in need. Support their businesses, network, send friends and family to their business…it just might keep you from losing thousands of dollars.