Being the new neighbor on the block isn't easy, especially during a time when interactions with others face-to-face have become more and more limited. The housing market in Metro Atlanta and North Georgia has bloomed with new buyers throughout 2021, however, causing a surge of new people moving to the area.
If you are wondering how to make new community additions feel welcomed, without feeling as though you are infringing on personal privacy or someone's standards for safety, we've put together five ways below to make the first point of contact.
First, Do Your Research
While your new neighbors are getting moved in, or visiting the home prior to their move-in date, evaluate the size of their family and if they have any pets. If you have children close to the same age, there might be a great opportunity to bring your child along and help set up a play date in the future, which can help new little ones feel more comfortable if they are moving in to the same school district.
Introduce Yourself and Offer to Help Them Move
While your new neighbors are moving in, assess and see how much help they have - you may be able to offer your services to help them carry boxes or other items inside. If that opportunity doesn't present itself, it never hurts to knock on the front door - an old-fashioned cliché that can actually go a long way in building repertoire. Introduce yourself, explain where you live, and offer to help if they need anything. Keep the visit relatively short, unless your neighbor makes a move to invite you inside.
Redefine the Gift Basket
On the day that you introduce yourself, bring along a gift basket, but steer clear of baked food items. Not only are food allergies fairly common, some may feel uncomfortable about eating food that has been baked in someone's home due to COVID-19. Instead, pull together coupons for local spots, a small houseplant like a succulent, a bottle of wine or packaged chocolates to include in the gift basket.
Be a Source of Information
Remember that your new neighbors are working to learn more about a topic that you are already well-acclimated with: your local area. Put together a binder with a directory of phone numbers for emergency contacts and reliable babysitters, neighborhood watch information, materials about sports and recreational activities in the neighborhood, and your favorite camps and programs, etc. This will be an invaluable tool to help newcomers learn more about what your community has to offer.
Invite New Neighbors Over for a Backyard Dinner
If conversation flowed and your new neighbors seemed receptive to getting to know each other more, consider inviting them and several other neighbors over for a backyard dinner, so that everyone can stay a safe distance, while providing the opportunity to introduce them to others living in the nearby vicinity. Check out our blog here on building your own cornhole boards for a backyard rivalry that will break the ice and make the experience more memorable.
Leave a Letter or Note
If you've had difficulties connecting with your neighbors in person, simply leave a letter or a note. Introduce yourself, welcome them to the neighborhood, and leave your contact information, in case they want to reach out on their own times and terms.
Finally, remember that your new neighbors may want space as they get used to a new community. One of the best ways to make them feel welcome is simply to smile, wave and provide a warm greeting whenever you see them, as you build a repertoire over time.