New Kid on the Block? Meet the Neighbors
- Brian Brice
- Home Life
If you followed our advice, then you made an effort to talk to your potential future neighbors before purchasing your new home. Now that you're moved in it's time to branch out and meet the rest of the neighborhood. Even the most outgoing extrovert might find this unappealing, but it's not as overwhelming as it may seem. Check out these tips for getting to know your neighbors:
Seems obvious, I know, but a simple hello could open the door to conversation. Introduce yourself then maybe ask for advice or recommendations on nearby needs like grocery stores or dry cleaners. It may seem like obnoxious small talk, but making the effort will show your neighbors you're approachable and eager to become part of the community.
Find Common Ground
You're bound to have something in common with any neighbor, it's just a matter of figuring out what that might be. Maybe they drive the same type of car as you, or maybe you spot them putting away a surfboard as you're hanging your own wetsuit up to dry, or maybe they're out gardening as you're coming home with a trunk full of mulch and manure. Look for a chance to open up a dialogue over shared interests.
Walk Your Dog
Dog lovers are an easy and willing audience. Walking your dog around the block will, sooner or later, lure them out of the woodwork – it's inevitable. They can't resist the opportunity to find out what breed you have/ how old they are/ if it's a boy or girl. Not only is this an effortless way to meet a neighbor or two, but play your cards right and you may have found a potential dog-sitter for the next time you go on vacation.
Use Your Kids
Kids are more than just little germ factories – they're also, much like pets, great catalysts for socializing. Take ‘em to the local park or playground and bond with fellow neighbors/parents. Or, when they ask if they can go play at Bobby or Sally So-and-so's, walk them down and introduce yourself to the parents. Two birds: a simple way to meet a new neighbor and a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with people your kid may be spending a lot of time with. For bonus points, try to pick their brain about surroundings that could affect your children — schools, sports organizations, shady neighbors, high-traffic streets, whatever concerns you.
BBQ or Party
Everyone loves food — it's just science — and hosting a BBQ offers a casual and comfortable atmosphere with the promise of delicious grub. If weather or space make a BBQ impractical, then throw a small party instead. Either one gives you the opportunity to meet several of your neighbors at once while also putting you in central position as host. Better still, inviting all the neighbors means you probably won't get any noise complaints.
Be smart about your approach. Obviously filling your new home with a bunch of strangers poses a number of concerns, as does getting caught leering into your neighbors' garages to see if they enjoy the same hobbies as you. Don't do anything you're not comfortable with and, in turn, don't do anything that might make the neighbors uncomfortable with you. Ultimately, you're all striving for the same thing — an enjoyable living situation — so chances are any efforts you make to demonstrate sharing that goal will be met with open arms.