Perhaps one of the greatest emotional advantages to owning a home is the ability it provides to make lasting, meaningful connections with your neighbors. While you can certainly meet and befriend neighbors while renting, it is unlikely you will live near your neighbors long-term in the way you will once you switch to homeownership. In rental situations, particularly in apartments, neighbors seem to come and go as soon as a lease term comes to an end. When owning, it is likely you will live next door to the same people for years to come. However, you may feel slightly awkward about introducing yourself to your neighbors and may be unsure of how to go about attempting to form friendships with the people who live only a few steps away. These tips and ideas will make meeting your neighbors easy and simple, and will hopefully help you form some friendships that last a lifetime.
Throw a Meet and Greet Get Together
Throwing a get together once you’re situated in your new home is an excellent way to introduce yourself to your neighbors and potentially make some lifelong friends. The party doesn’t need to be anything fancy, and you can even consider organizing it as a backyard barbecue or potluck. Pick a date and take an invitation to each of your neighbors inviting them to come over and meet you and your family, and extend the invitation to their families as well. If you have kids, this can be a great way to help them make friends in a new neighborhood by giving them the chance to meet other children in nearby houses.
Spend Time Outside
Whether you’re tending to your garden or going for a job around the block, going outside is by far the easiest way to meet other people in your neighborhood. Take time to say “hello” to each neighbor you pass, or take a few seconds to ask how their day is going or to strike up a friendly conversation. If it’s your first encounter, you can simply introduce yourself and tell them you just moved in. If you have kids, ask if they do as well and tell them about yours. Taking just a few minutes a day to be polite and friendly can help pave the way to lasting friendships and connections with your neighbors.
Offer a Helping Hand
If you see a neighbor working in their yard or struggling with groceries, offer to help out! This is a great way to establish yourself as a friendly and helpful member of the neighborhood, and can help break the ice when meeting someone for the first time. If your neighbors have kids, you can offer babysitting should they ever need it. If you see them working on a home improvement project you have expertise in, offer assistance or a professional opinion. The number of ways you can offer help in your neighborhood are endless, and you never know what type of help your neighbors may be able to offer you in return.
Throw Holiday Parties
Once you’ve formed acquaintanceships with your neighbors, throwing holiday parties can help you stay connected with the neighbors. You can throw a backyard barbecue for the Fourth of July or a costume party each Halloween. Invite all of the neighbors on your block to attend and be sure to include their families in the invitation. Like throwing a meet and greet after you first move in, this can be an excellent way to help your kids make friends and feel comfortable around other children in the neighborhood.