It can be quite intimidating to meet your new neighbors. You’re likely nervous because you want to make a good first impression. But don’t let those feelings of insecurity keep you from getting out there and meeting the people you’ll be living next to for the foreseeable future. Once the initial greeting is done, you will invariably settle into a neighborly routine, whether that’s a courtesy wave when coming home from work or hosting block parties in the summer together. Here’s how to get to know your neighbors after a move.
Wave and crack a smile
You may not see your neighbor right away, but when you do see them in their yard, wave and smile. Make eye contact and call out a greeting. It may seem obvious, but it’s an easy way to start things off on the right foot. Then progress into a casual exchange, such as “I see you have little ones. What are their ages?”. This may evolve into a play date with both families later on. But don’t have high expectations. Not everyone is looking for a bonding friendship. It may stay at a wave and never go from there. But at least you tried.
Knock on their door
This takes guts, but it may not seem so weird if you’ve already exchanged some waves across the yard. Introduce yourself when they open the door. Say something simple like “Hi I’m Jim. My family and I just moved in at #34 and I thought I’d come over to say hi.” Just be sure to keep timing in mind. Don’t head over there early on a Saturday morning or at dinnertime. Wait till you see their car in the driveway, perhaps on a weekend afternoon, recommends Moving.com.
Bring a treat
You may feel awkward showing up empty handed. In this case, bring some baked goods or homemade jam to break the ice.
Ask for advice
Everyone loves to be asked for advice. Ask your new neighbors who does their landscaping, or which takeout place is best for delivery pizza. If nothing else, it will spark up a conversation. If you don’t have any advice to ask for, why not ask if you can borrow a screwdriver or hammer? Return it promptly after using it.
Keep an eye out for opportunities for you to be neighborly. Perhaps you have spotted a banner in their yard announcing the arrival of a new baby. Pick up a small gift and bring it over to say congratulations. If your neighbor is having trouble repairing something under the hood of their car, go over and offer to help.
Take a walk
Walking around the block gives you a chance to meet your neighbors in their natural habitat. Comment on how cute their toddler is, pet their dog, or ask about the gardening project they’re working on.
Be visible outside
Who says you have to leave your front yard to meet people? Make yourself accessible to others. Sip a drink on your front porch, do some gardening, or play with your kids. If someone passes by, wave and shout a greeting. Then the ball’s in their court whether they want to take the exchange further. If you work a lot, for instance, and don’t get outside much, make sure you do all you can to connect with people at holidays. You can pass out candy on Halloween or light sparklers on the 4th of July.
Gather at the bus stop
Provided you have school-aged children of your own who take the bus, gather at the bus stop with them and talk with other parents. This gives you an opportunity to get the scoop about the school, fun activities and the neighborhood as a whole.
Walk your dog
Dogs are great conversation starters. Chances are, if you take your dog for a walk, people will ask what breed he is. Reciprocate by asking questions about the best local veterinarians and dog parks. Just be mindful of people who are wary of dogs. Don’t push it.
Attend neighborhood meetings
If your neighborhood has a homeowners’ association or at least an active community watch, be sure to get involved. Go to all the neighborhood-related meetings and block parties, using these times as a way to connect with people around you.
Host a housewarming party
Hosting a party is an ideal way to get to know the neighbors within a relaxed setting. Casually mention it to your immediate neighbors or put a flyer in everyone’s mailbox. Make burgers and dogs or having the party catered. Offer drinks and comfortable seats, along with plenty of things for all the kids to do. Give them a tour of your house and get their advice on some interior decorating tips.
Invite them for dinner
If a big party isn’t something you’re willing to do this soon in the game, invite a neighbor over for dinner. It doesn’t have to be lavish or fancy — casual is best because then you will both feel more comfortable. Before you cook, ask if they have any allergies or dietary restrictions. It’s best to stick with simple foods such as finger sandwiches, pasta or pizza. Even the biggest extroverts can be intimidated moving into a new home and neighborhood. Sometimes you won’t hit it off right away with your neighbors, and that’s OK. The point is to get the ball rolling, appear friendly, and always be there with a smile and a wave. When you put in the effort, you’ll reap the rewards. And even if the adults don’t hit it off, at least maybe the kids will become life-long friends!
Contact Moving Proz
Call us at 866.981.3731 if a residential move is in your future in KC and surrounding areas. We would be happy to supply you with a free quote and help you move in to your new neighborhood.