Moving to a new home is an exciting time for everyone involved, but it can sometimes be daunting becoming acquainted with everyone on your street.
According to research, only one in three people introduce themselves to the neighbours after moving in, but that does not have to be the case. Follow these hints and tips on how to make living in your new house an even more appealing prospect:
Throw a house party
Everyone loves a housewarming party and moving into a new home is no exception – people are always keen to show off their new property to family and friends.
Rather than limiting the invitations to people you already know, however, why not invite your new neighbours to come along?
The atmosphere is likely to be noisier than a one-on-one meeting and provides an opportunity for everyone to mingle. Existing neighbours should already know each other so there will be some familiar faces in attendance who they can socialise with.
Offer a gift
When businesses reach out to new clients and customers, they often accompany their introduction with a gift such as chocolate or some useful stationery.
While it’s probably not advisable to give your new neighbour a ballpoint pen, a tin of chocolates could acts as a lovely introduction to your family, and net you an early spot on next door’s Christmas card list.
Likewise, testing out your new oven with some baking can reap benefits if you take some of the produce across the street for people to test. Everyone loves cake, and chances are you’ll be invited in for a cup of tea to accompany it.
Focus on similar interests
If you notice your neighbour doing the garden and fancy yourself as green-fingered, use it as an opportunity to go out and ask for tips, or offer advice.
The old adage of borrowing a cup of sugar no longer applies, but if you can instead lend a lawnmower or some other garden equipment, you’ll immediately help to create a bond – as well as doing a favour they may return one day.
Similarly, fitness fanatics who enjoy a weekend jog could offer to accompany anyone on the street with the same interest – running alone for miles can be dull, and a workout buddy is the perfect remedy for this.
Think of the children
Children are far more fearless when it comes to making friends, with instant bonds struck up in many cases over something as simple as a toy car.
Look to your children to help create a similar adult bond by encouraging them to play with the kids next door – not only will this help the youngsters to settle in, but will also open up the opportunity to speak to their new friends’ parents.
Nearly three-quarters of homeowners think they are more likely to have some kind of relationship with their neighbours if they have children around the same age, so the statistics suggest that this works.
Think of the benefits
If you have moved to the area from further afield your neighbour will likely know plenty of things about it that you have not yet discovered.
Anything from the best local pub, to the nearest post office, to a shortcut to the main road can be gleaned from asking around. It will not only form a conversation topic, but can help you to settle down in the new area.
If you commute to the same place as someone nearby you could even look into car sharing, which could cut stress and fuel costs in half.
Consider your boundaries
While your new neighbours will understandably expect you to make some mess while moving in, be sure to ask their permission before blocking their drive with a delivery van.
Good etiquette aside, it can also act as your first real introduction, and paint you instantly as a courteous neighbour.
Once you’re settled in, think of ways that you could help them while attending to your own property, whether this is painting a fence, mowing the lawn or shovelling snow in winter – every little helps.