Get to know your neighbors
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7 ways to build stronger relationships and make your neighborhood a great place to live.
Everyone lives in a neighborhood but not all neighborhoods are the same. Those who live where ties among residents are strong enjoy camaraderie and mutual support that’s envied by others. If you’d like a neighborhood that’s more neighborly, you don’t have to move! Here are seven ways to build stronger relationships right where you live.
Make the first move whether you’re a longtime resident or the newest neighbor. Your opener can be as simple as saying, “Hi, my name is …” Once you break the ice, you open up more opportunities to strengthen ties with your neighbors.
Keep the conversation going by asking for their advice or a recommendation. They may know a really great plumber (or other service provider), and they’ll feel good about helping you out.
Before you end the conversation, offer your phone number and let them know they’re welcome to contact you if they need anything.
Regular walks around the neighborhood are good for impromptu encounters. Walk a dog, push a baby in a stroller, or have the kids tag along and your opportunities for conversation multiply. Conversations don’t have to be long – even a simple hello helps create connections.
Walks are also a good way to become familiar with what’s usual and what’s not. You can be watchful without being nosy.
Follow up if you notice something odd
If you notice something out of the ordinary, such as an open garage door at night, say something. Send a text, make a call or knock on their door to see if all is well. Most folks will be glad that someone is looking out for them.
Offer to help
Helping neighbors is one of the quickest ways to establish bonds. Is there an elderly neighbor who needs help clearing leaves? Or, are you skilled with a chainsaw and could help someone with storm-damaged trees? Maybe your neighbor is sick or caring for someone who is; could you provide a meal? Many people are hesitant to ask for help but are very appreciative when help is offered.
Cooking something tasty? Double it.
Baking a batch of cookies or brownies? Or making a pot of homemade soup? Make extra and take it to your neighbor. Many lasting friendships have started by sharing something tasty.
Share emergency contacts
A lot of people live alone, and a lot of people live far from family. If you’re comfortable, ask your neighbor who they’d like notified in case of an emergency. You can open this conversation by offering to share your emergency contact first.
Plan something fun
Sharing food and laughter is one of the best ways to connect with neighbors. Consider a fun event like a block party (any time of year), movie or game night, potluck or progressive dinner party.
Events could be at someone’s home but not necessarily. Your neighborhood event could be held at a park, church or community center. You’ll bond during the planning and the event itself.
Get creative, have fun and get to know your neighbors. You’ll all live in a better place as a result.
Consumers helps more than 1,000 members finance land, first and second homes, and home improvement projects each year. When you need a mortgage or home equity line of credit, call us at 800.991.2221. We’re here to help you get the home of your dreams!