Although it doesn't get talked about much on House Hunters, the one feature that can really make or break a new home isn't the kitchen, bathroom or the backyard; it's your neighbors. And good neighbors, I think, are more an issue of nurture than nature—when you set a friendly tone with new neighbors upfront, you'll find it's easy to build and keep a relationship with them, no matter who they are or how they live.
But the first step, of course, is to meet them.
5 Gifts to Bring Someone Who Just Moved Into Your Building or on Your Block
To give you an excuse to saunter over to their door, come prepared with an offering in hand—ideally one of these five gift ideas that only a neighbor could give. You're kind of like an ambassador to the neighborhood, so you have an opportunity to really impress with a personal gift that's bettered by your extra insight.
A Gift Card to a Great Restaurant Nearby
It takes years to discover all the hidden gems around your home, but you can give your neighbors a cheat sheet. The next time you're at your favorite local haunt, grab a takeout menu and a gift card, then tuck them into a pretty envelope for the newbies.
Something to Rep the Neighborhood
There's a lot of pride in where people live. Hit up the local neighborhood association for a flag, poster or t-shirt that represents where you live to give to the 'hoods newest residents.
A "Welcome to the Block" Info Packet
I know, there's nothing sexy about an information packet, but I can promise you this one might be the most appreciated housewarming gift your new neighbors receive. Type up a bunch of need-to-know information that usually takes a bit of time to acquire: things like the recycling and garbage collection dates, non-emergency phone numbers for police, fire and other local agencies, and homeowner's association details. Top it off with a handwritten welcome note and a bunch of flowers.
Something You Know, From Experience, They'll Need
Think back to your first days in your home and try to think about the unexpected purchases that popped up—the small necessities that you'd only know you needed once you moved in. For instance, if your building has storage units in the basement, but you know there isn't the best lighting in there, give your new neighbors a battery-powered lantern (tied with a piece of ribbon) to keep downstairs.
Wine or Snacks (To Enjoy Together)
The best way to start a great relationship with your new neighbors is to get to know them. So the best gift might just be the simplest: Bring over a bottle of wine and an invitation to come over for some cocktails and conversation.
Want some crowd-pleasing ideas?
How do you like to welcome new neighbors?