Moving to a new home is both exciting and stressful. And no small part of the stress is having to live among and meet a lot of new people. And it’s all too easy to get caught up in the excitement of the move and the tasks involved in setting up a new home while putting off meeting the new neighbors till late in the game.
Remember, moving isn’t just a new experience for yourself, but also for your entire family, especially your children. Leaving the friends that they know can be stressful and upsetting for kids. Jumping right into a new neighborhood and meeting the families around you will help ease the transition for everyone.
Meeting your new neighbors is one of the first things you should because the people are what makes a neighborhood a great place to live. Even in the post COVID-19 world we’re all living in these days, here are 7 things you can do to meet your new neighbors in Boston safely.
1. Watch and Observe
One of the best ways to meet your new neighbors in Boston is also the simplest and easiest. And it is to just keep an eye out for opportunities to meet the neighbors, especially when it appears you have common interests. If you can find some common interest – you both have kids, your mother is elderly, you both drive Jeeps, or you both have amazing gardens and love landscaping – this will make it easier to approach the person. The key to careful observation is to not be obvious about it or act like a stalker.
So watch, observe, and check out the neighborhood and the new neighbors. If you have small children, note the houses with signs of kids such as toys in the yards and mothers walking with children. Approaching people with similar interests lowers barriers and makes it much easier to meet and get to know the neighbors.
2. Ask Questions
When attempting to meet your new neighbors in Boston, don’t just make inane small talk about the weather – ask questions. There’s no better way to draw people into a conversation than by asking about the things they’re truly interested in, particularly questions about where they live.
Heres what moving experts recommend – Ask what the best place to get tacos is, whether there are any good spots for live music nearby, or, if you have a dog and so do they, whether there’s a good dog park in the area. Or, if you’re already at the local dog park, ask which veterinarian or dog walker that they use. Try to ask questions that warrant more than a simple one-word answer and that can get people talking about their interests.
3. Go Outside
Here in New England, we tend to hibernate from January until around St. Patrick’s Day, when the days slowly start getting longer and the weather becomes a bit more tolerable. Take advantage of the nice weather as much as possible. If you have children, bring them to the park. If you have a dog, find the local dog park. Take precautions, wear a mask, and head outside.
Obviously, you can’t be seen as approachable and you can’t meet neighbors if you can’t be seen and can’t see them. So to meet your new neighbors in Boston, you’re going to have to get outside. You can’t meet people if you stay holed up in your new home. Go outside, work in the yard, or go for a walk around the neighborhood. This way, you’ll come into contact with and meet more people. When you’re doing yard work out front, make sure to wave at your neighbors or engage them in brief conversation if they are walking by. Make sure to appear friendly, greet them warmly, and ask those questions that will draw them out.
4. Help Out and Ask for Help
Lending a hand is also a great way to meet your new neighbors in Boston, but so is asking for help when you need it. If you see a neighbor struggling to get a load of groceries into the house, walk over and lend a hand. Or when it snows, shovel the porch and front walk for your elderly neighbor. Be mindful of COVID-19 precautions and be sure to wear a mask if you’re approaching neighbors, even if you’re outside.
And if you need help of some kind, ask! Again, moving experts say that you can build relationships with neighbors not just by giving help, but asking for a little help yourself when you need it. Most people like to help others, and if it’s not a big imposition it can help build and sustain a nice relationship. If you’re heading out of town, ask your neighbor if they wouldn’t mind taking in any packages that get delivered to your door.” Then, just show your gratitude, and make it clear that you are more than willing to return the favor.
5. Join Local Clubs and Organizations
With COVID-19, in-person networking and indoor club meetings are much less common at the moment, but in “normal times,” finding local Meetup Groups are amazing ways to meet your new neighbors. Now, you will need to be much more vigilant when encountering newcomers.
Which doesn’t make this entirely impossible. Head over to Facebook or Nextdoor and discover any local groups that apply to your new neck of the woods. Join the groups, jump into the conversations, and reach out to some people directly if you find that you share specific interests and would like to build relationships with them. Local “moms” groups are AMAZING ways to meet other parents with children the same age as yours, and they tend to be open and welcoming to newcomers more than you’d think!
6. Throw a Party
This one is more applicable pre-COVID (or, hopefully, post-vaccine), but don’t forget the power of food, drink, and fun. Hosting a welcome party is always a good way to meet your new neighbors in Boston.
Distribute personalized invitations to your new neighbors (maybe slipping them into mailboxes or on their doorsteps) inviting them to attend an informal get-together at your new home. Refreshments invite conversation so that people drop their guard and are willing to open up in a more relaxed way. Parties work because they break the ice.
It doesn’t have to be frightening or awkward to meet your new neighbors in Boston. Just don’t make a job of it by thinking of it as networking. These are your new neighbors – they live on your street, your block, and in your town.
7. Remember Names by Taking Notes
Unless you have an amazing memory, you’re going to forget the names of many of the new neighbors you meet. You will have lots going on during your move, and sometimes names are the hardest thing to remember, yet using someone’s name is the simplest way to start to build a new relationship.
Here is the trick that we use – write it down in your phone.
We love keeping a running document in Notes on our iPhone that keeps track of names (and anything else we learn – a spouse’s name, names of children or pets, and maybe a quick note about where you met or conversation topic).
That way, next time you encounter the same neighbor, if you don’t remember her name, you can quickly slide into your phone and have a quick peek at some point during your next conversation with her!
Have fun with the natural process of meeting the people you live among. Be approachable, and let the relationships develop organically, not forcing them to become your new best friends. And don’t forget to ask your local real estate agent for suggestions. Your agent can do much more than just help you find and purchase a house. Discover how our agents can help you fit right in. Contact us today at (617) 657-9811.
Get more great ideas about how to meet your new neighbors in Boston! Contact us today! (617) 657-9811
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