Purchasing a home in a new neighbourhood is an exciting and life-changing experience. You have an abundance of new parks, shops and restaurants to explore and if you have children, a new school for them to attend. You also have new neighbours to meet, and yes, you really should make a point of meeting them. It’s a sad fact that more and more people don’t know their neighbours, but getting to know who lives around you is an important part of establishing a sense of community, not to mention a feeling of security…and hey, you might actually make some life-long friends in the process. So how should you go about meeting your neighbours? Here are 5 great tips to help you meet and build rewarding relationships with your neighbours.
- Become a Regular at Community Hangouts – Get out of the house and be seen at places where people from your community frequent. If you have a dog, this could mean the dog park, or if you have children this could be the playground. Other community hubs include churches, coffee shops, aquatic centres and public classes offered at the community centre such as yoga. Many neighbourhoods have events throughout the year like community clean-ups, BBQs and Bingo nights, which are all great ways to meet others.
- Be Brave and Introduce Yourself with a Small Gift – When you move into your new neighbourhood you don’t have to wait for your neighbours to greet you…you can make the first move! Head next door with a small gift like homemade cookies or a box of chocolates. This will enable you to introduce yourself and just say “hi.” A simple introduction can do wonders towards building wonderful neighbourly relationships. It’s also a great step in letting your neighbours know that you care about your new community.
- Host a Housewarming Party – Are you a social butterfly that loves to throw parties? Then this method might be for you! You have a new home, why not have a housewarming party? Either deliver invitations to your neighbours’ mailboxes, or if you’re feeling particularly confident, you can knock on their doors and invite them in person. Some of your neighbours may already know each other, but having a get-together is an excellent way to build a sense of community. Bringing them together may lead to block parties or other social events.
- Be Outside – It may sound simple, but spending time outdoors in your front yard can really help you get to know those living around you. So if it’s a nice day, put down the TV remote and instead head outside to tend to your flower beds or read a book. It may seem surprising to you, but your neighbours are likely quite interested in getting to know who you are. A smile and a greeting go a long way when forming relationships.
- Offer to Help – Whether it’s volunteering your time at the Community Association, shovelling the snow on your neighbour’s walkway in the winter or helping out with spring clean-up at the local playground or dog park, offering to help makes a great impression and gets you out there in the community.
So go on, meet your neighbours! Once you get to know them, they’re the ones you will likely call on if you need someone to water your garden, feed your cat or collect your mail when you’re out of town. It truly is a give-and-take relationship that benefits you both and might even be the beginning of a fabulous friendship.