Are You a Good Neighbor?

Are You a Good Neighbor?

Bethany Nauert
Aug 29, 2011

Back in the 1950's era of classic American suburbs, new neighbors would often receive home made pies and fresh flowers as welcome gifts. This was also during a more innocent time when we didn't feel the need to lock our doors and everyone knew everyone on the block. Fast forward a few generations — and welcome to your new neighborhood. How do you get off to a good start with your new neighbors?

Whether you're moving to a new house or into an apartment complex, it's always a good idea to take note of few things before signing the dotted line. Is it a safe neighborhood? Do your neighbors appear to be friendly and possibly good contacts in an emergency? What kind of noise is tolerable to you at different hours of the day?

I refer to the 1950's as a classic example of 'getting to know your neighbors' because of the stories my parents and grandparents used to tell me. Literally milk men delivering crates of bottled milk to the doorstep, huge block party barbecues, book clubs and knitting circles, card games, and without hesitation some lovely neighbor down the street who was always there to watch the kids if you had plans. During my parents' last move, they were concerned about three things: the location and if it was safe, the shape of the neighborhood and the quality of their landscaping and home.

I'm finding it very important that you have a good relationship with the people in your neighborhood or building. You don't need to spend every Sunday cooking burgers with them, but they should certainly be friendly to you. Should something happen to your home, you want to know you can trust them. Also I think it's polite to say hello and introduce yourself when they see you moving in, you don't want to isolate yourselves accidentally by appearing unfriendly. One tip I learned quickly after a building fire years ago, was to always have your landlord's/building manager's emergency contact well as possibly the person across the hall. You don't want to abuse the privilege but it's good to have.

What are your tips for getting cozy in a new neighborhood?

Images: Bethany Nauert - Paul and Barbara's Classic American Cottage

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