Prettiest House On the Block: Is Neighborly Competition a Good Thing?

Is competition a good or a bad thing?

Your answer largely depends on your personal worldview. If you’re a big believer in free markets and how business competition drives innovation and lowers prices, then your answer is probably yes. But you might not agree if you prefer working together with people instead of against them, and have seen instances where competition has brought out the worst instincts in people.

Let’s examine competition through the lens of a “Prettiest Home on the Block” contest. You know, the type of challenge where homeowners try to design the most picturesque landscaping, house facade, and lawn accoutrements with the hopes of being honored by a neighborhood association for their efforts. The prize is usually a sign in the yard showcasing their award and perhaps a mention or photo in a neighborhood newsletter.

You could certainly make the argument that these “Prettiest Home on the Block” competitions have tangible benefits. After all, they encourage homeowners to keep up their homes and even to strive to achieve new levels of beauty and curb appeal. Ideally, people who live outside the neighborhood take notice, which contributes to the attractiveness of the area. Ultimately, this added desirability is reflected in higher home prices and increased home values for everyone on the block.

On the other hand, it is possible to place too much importance on a “Prettiest Home on the Block” contest. Since the condition of one’s home often reflects on them personally, you could end up with homeowners turning the competition into a unhealthy battle of sorts. In these circumstances, you get an erosion in the spirit of neighborliness, and perhaps even extralegal measures being taken in order to secure the prize. As a result, such a contest could lower the quality of life for the neighborhood instead of raise it.

The bottom line is that it’s difficult to assess the wisdom of a “Prettiest Home on the Block” contest without taking into account the details of the challenge itself. First and foremost, it’s probably not smart to dangle a tangible prize for the winner (like a cash award or a preferred clubhouse parking spot), because the additional incentive may be enough to emphasize the negative aspects of competition. It’s also essential that any such contest be equipped with a clear set of rules on what is and is not allowed along with at least a rudimentary explanation of how the winner will be chosen. Finally, any instances of cheating or unfair play should be addressed promptly; and if such behavior continues, an elimination of the entire competition should be considered.

The goal of producing the most attractive entry in a contest has differing dynamics depending on the type of competition. For instance, artists trying to win a blue ribbon in a county fair might approach the challenge differently than the entrants in a “beauty queen” pageant at the local high school. When it comes to “Prettiest Home” competitions, there is a line between embracing the spirit of improving neighborhood aesthetics and engaging in whatever means necessary in order to win. As long as your block’s dynamics remain on the correct side of that line, these types of challenges can benefit the neighborhood and its residents.

Written by Chris Martin

Spring Savings!
50% OFF Installation
+ no money down, no interest up to 18 months† | Hurry, Offer Ends 4/30/2024
I authorize Lednor Home Solutions to contact me about our products via phone, email, or text. You also understand we use an autodialing phone system, and my consent is not required to obtain a free estimate - I can call 888-543-5638 instead. We will never share your personal information with 3rd parties for marketing purposes or spam you. You can opt out at any time. Message/data rates apply. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Terms | Privacy Policy


1 Million+ Satisfied Customers Nationwide

I recently had the Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet installed on my house. It not only looks amazing, but the guys arrived on time, were professional and efficiently got the job done. I am very satisfied with Gutter Helmet's attention to detail and fulfilling their work as promised. I will definitely tell my neighbors about the Gutter Helmet.
I have had Gutter Helmets for 20 years. In all that time I've never had a problem until recently a bird's nest found its way into one of my gutters. The installer who came to replace the product was the same installer from 20 years earlier. Now that's impressive. Everyone at Gutter Helmet inclusive of the office staff were professional and a pleasure to work with.
Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet just replaced our roof and we could not be more satisfied. The crew showed up early, worked all day and stayed late, were professional and caring regarding the project and the surrounding impact it had on our property and home. They completed the roof quickly and it looks simply amazing!
VERY happy with our entire experience adding Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet to our house. Installing this was a great value for us. The gutters are working perfectly in heavy downpours and with year-long leaves and debris coming down from our river birches. Terrific customer service and a first class product.
We needed our roof repaired due to wind damage. After several quotes, Gutter Helmet was the only company that went into our attic to look and see if more damage had occurred. If it wasn't for them taking the extra time to look at everything, we would have had rotting wood under our new roof. They were very professional and gave a fair quote.
We just had Gutter Helmet installed on our gutters and couldn't be happier. They provided us with useful information about Gutter Helmet and cleaned up everything, leaving no mess behind. We definitely recommend Gutter Helmet to anyone considering this product.

50% OFF Installation

We work hard with each manufacturer to offer our customers the best promotions monthly.

Find a Location

Serving a Location Near You


Join the Lednor Home Solutions Family

We're seeking fun, outgoing, and confident individuals who enjoy winning to join our team. Lednor Home Solutions is an equal opportunity employer and we operate a safety first & drug-free workplace focused on employee safety. Great pay and benefits, apply today!