10 Simple Tips to Help You Connect with Your New Community
A new home means new neighbors, and while you no doubt have a full plate trying to get settled after your move, don’t wait too long to meet the people who live around you. Knowing your neighbors can provide a sense of community that helps you feel safer, more settled and happier in your new home.
Neighbors can become fast friends, whether it’s over a cookout and a cold beer or playdate with the kids — forging these new relationships may be just what you need to help you settle into your new environment. Here are 10 simple tips to help you get to know the people in your new neighborhood.
Host a Housewarming Party — Once you’ve had a little time to finish unpacking, a housewarming party is a great way to welcome friends, both new and old, into your home. Plus scheduling a party is a powerful incentive to finish getting unpacked! Keep it simple with a come-and-go party and a few finger foods and refreshing drinks. Your new neighbors won’t be expecting an elaborate gathering, considering you’ve just moved in.
Strike Up a Conversation — Most of us today are so caught up in our own worlds that we miss out on the multitudes of opportunities we have in any given day to make a new friend. Whether you’re walking your dog, pulling your trash can to the curb or picking up the mail, if you see a neighbor outside, don’t be too quick to rush back in the house. Shake a hand and introduce yourself. You might be surprised how one small effort can evolve into a friendship that lasts a lifetime.
Get Involved in Your Community — Volunteering is a great way to connect with others over something that matters to you. Find your passion and spend some time at your local food pantry or animal shelter. Get involved with your child’s school. Attend meetings for your neighborhood homeowner’s association. No matter the size of your new community, if you want to feel a part, it’s going to take a little time and effort.
Connect on Social Media —Many neighborhoods, apartment complexes and small towns use social media sites such as Nextdoor and Facebook to connect residents. You can search for a dedicated neighborhood page or group where members of that community can connect and engage with one another. Social networking can be a great tool when it comes to anything from sharing upcoming events to asking for a recommendation for a local car repair shop or hairstylist. And it’s an easy question to ask a neighbor – “Do you know of a neighborhood Facebook or Nextdoor page I should follow?”
Spend Time in Your Front Yard — In decades past, the front porch was a place of gathering. Neighbors came together to enjoy one another’s company while the kids played in the front yard. Today, most of us are so consumed in our own lives that we neglect the opportunity to connect with those who live near us. Read a book on your front porch, spend time working in your yard, plant a flower bed in front of your home. Make yourself visible to your neighbors passing by and coming home for the evening. Simply let people see you. This is the first step in meeting someone new.
Host a Neighborhood Cookout — There’s nothing that brings people together quite like food. Pick an afternoon or evening and invite your neighbors for a potluck cookout in the front yard. Invite those around you to bring tables and chairs. Set out a few activities for the kids and enjoy a few hours of fun with your neighbors.
Just be Friendly — If you see your neighbor unloading groceries from the car, offer a helping hand. Pull their trash can to the curb on trash day. Offer help lifting a heavy load. Lend a hand planting a garden. Offer to water plants or feed the dog while your neighbor is out of town. Suggest exchanging contact information. Small gestures go a long way in creating a lasting relationship. A simple smile or a nod can brighten someone’s day and open the door to more interaction in the future.
Use Your Dog — Even if you’ve got a big backyard, take Fido on a walk around the neighborhood or to your local dog park to play. Taking your pet out in public is a great way to meet other animal lovers, and connecting with each other while your dogs play is no different than meeting other parents while watching your child play on the playground. As an added bonus, when you build relationships with other pet owners in your neighborhood, you’ve likely found someone you can lean on to take your pup for a walk when you’re not home or even pet sit while you’re out of town. (Of course, always offer to return the favor.)
Become a Regular — Get to know your neighborhood coffee shop. Become a regular at the nail salon down the street. Frequent places where you’re likely to see plenty of regulars. Spend some time there conversing with others. It may take time, but at the least, you’ll make a few acquaintances that can help make a new place feel a bit more like home.
Start a Local Group — Whether it’s a book club, bunco night, play date for kids or monthly dinner party, starting a local group only requires a few hours of your time once a month. These simple events provide an opportunity for neighbors to connect on a new level, and you’ll no doubt build some friendships over time.
Stepping out of your comfort zone to get to know your neighbors can be scary, but settling into a new home and a new community may also be one of the best experiences of your life. You’ll never know if you don’t try.
Are you planning a move to a new neighborhood or community? Contact PrimeLending today to speak with a loan expert who can help you secure financing for your new home.