After unloading the moving van and unpacking what can seem like a never-ending amount of boxes, you might think you’re done moving.
Moving into a new home is one thing, but moving seamlessly into a new neighborhood can take a bit more work. Here are seven tips for a smooth transition into a new neighborhood:
Sign up for services: Cable TV, phone, internet, home security, garbage, electricity and water are some of the services you’ll have to sign up for as the new owner of a home. Ask about trash pickup dates and when the monthly bill is due from each service.
Scout the area: Find out where the local hardware store, grocery, coffee shop and post office is so you can easily get things you’ll need as a new homeowner. You don’t want to wait too long on getting your mail forwarded to your new address.
Introduce yourself: Knock on the doors of your neighbors and introduce yourself. Invite them over for coffee and learn about the neighborhood from your new neighbors. It may be the quickest way to learn about the area and can help you and your children make new friends.
Read the rules: If your home is part of a homeowners’ association, or HOA, read the rules. An HOA can, for example, limit the color you can paint your home, or how high the bushes can be. You may also want to check on the city’s zoning laws to see if there’s anything that applies to your home that you normally wouldn’t expect, such as a rule to keep trash cans behind a fence.
Go online: Your neighborhood may have a group on Facebook or at Nextdoor.com, a free private social network for neighborhoods, or at another website. Ask your neighbors if there’s a website they check regularly for the area for community events, crime alerts, garage sales and other issues. If there isn’t an online presence, check your local library or coffee shop for a bulletin board.
Volunteer: Local charities, schools, churches and city recreation facilities are often looking for volunteers. Offering your skills can help them and can introduce you to people with similar interests.
Host a group event: Starting a book club, dinner club, beer club or some other group in your new neighborhood can help you connect with your neighbors. You can also plan a holiday event at your home, inviting neighbors to a small mixer at your home on Christmas, for example. Or you can organize a block party on July 4 and get more people involved.
Whatever you do as a new member of a community, putting yourself out there and meeting people is the best start you can make to becoming a vital part of a new neighborhood.
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