True Homes buyers typically find themselves moving into a brand-new community where no one yet knows their neighbors. People are moving in at roughly the same time, and friends are just waiting to be made.
Building relationships with neighbors creates a sense of community in a neighborhood, and provides the opportunity to build lifelong friendships, promotes well-being, and even reduces crime rates.
Here are some tips for bringing an old-fashioned neighborhood feel to your brand-new True Homes community.
Use technology to create a sense of community.
These days, people seem to be most comfortable communicating online, so why not get everyone started by facilitating online conversations?
One option is the Nextdoor app. Neighborhood boundaries are defined on the app, and only people whose addresses fall within them can join for a particular neighborhood group. Members share recommendations, tips, alerts and more. If your community is not on the app yet, become a founding member.
Use your favorite social app to create a community, such as a closed group on Facebook. An old-fashioned email chain works too. Whichever tool you use, the idea is to get a private, online space where neighbors can chat.
One technology you should use prudently? Your smart phone! If you are outside watching your children play or sitting on your front porch, consider putting it away. You’ll be more approachable to neighbors walking by and more likely to make friends.
In personal interactions, start small.
If you want to meet your neighbors in real life, there’s no need to start with a block party. Personal interactions with neighbors works just fine. A simple smile and wave while you’re checking the mail is a great place to start. Keep going with simple conversations about the weather or the local sports teams, and before you know it, you’re watching your kids play together, sharing recipes, setting up a tool library, and, eventually, hosting that block party.
You’ll have more opportunities for these types of conversations if you get outside – take a walk around, visit the neighborhood park, or even set up places to play and converse in your front yard. Some people even garden in their front yards. Gardeners love to share secrets and tips, and neighbors love to be on the receiving end when fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs are shared!
Show your support outside your True Homes community, too.
When you shop at local stores, stock up on wrapping paper through the local school fundraiser, and cheer on the high school football team, you are contributing to your neighborhood’s vitality. Your neighbors’ lives, like yours, extend beyond the boundaries of your new home community. Meet them there, too.
Remember the Golden Rule of Neighbors.
When it comes to building a sense of community and building good relationships, get off to a strong by remembering the Golden Rule: Do unto your neighbors as you would have them do to you.
Extend simple neighborly courtesies like keeping your dogs on leash and cleaning up after them as you go on walks. Keep your yard and home well-maintained. Be mindful of noise and light levels that have the potential to affect your neighbors. Drive carefully, watching for neighbors who are out walking and playing with children.
Go beyond the simple good manners, too. Keep an eye on a neighbor’s house for them while they’re on vacation. If someone’s sick, offer to pick up their packages or even mow their grass. Welcome new neighbors with baked goods or a delivery from your favorite takeout. Decorate the front porch when neighbors bring home a new baby (the new mom and dad would probably welcome a meal, too!).
Building community among your True Homes neighbors is a great way to make your new home feel as welcoming outside as you’ve made it on the inside.