If you’re thinking about moving, then you are most likely daydreaming about what your new home will be like while scrolling through MLS listings.

You might envision yourself getting more involved in your community and making friends with your neighbors. However, your move-in date isn’t the only time to make friends with your neighbors; even as a long-time area resident it’s never too late to connect with new neighbors or your community as a whole.

Here are five tips to help you break the ice and make friends with your neighbors.

1. Extend an Invitation

 If you are trying to make friends with your neighbors, consider having them over. There are a number of different activities which offer the perfect opportunity to get to know your new community. For example, inviting your neighbor over for a meal allows the opportunity to get to know them without so much pressure. Another option, if it’s nice outside, is to take advantage of the weather by hosting a BBQ as it is a bit less formal than dinner and you can invite a number of your new neighbors to join you.

On the other hand, if you are trying to welcome a new family to your neighborhood, it could be helpful for you to create an opportunity for them to meet your other neighbors or your friends who live nearby. Host something fun like a games night where everyone can get to know each other without the added pressure of awkward small talk.

2. Introduce Yourself

 Trying to introduce yourself to your new neighbors can be a bit nerve wrecking. To help ease some of the tension, consider possibly giving your neighbor a gift when you meet them to help the experience go smoothly. Food is usually a safe bet – if you are looking for ideas, chocolate or fresh baked cookies could be good starters. Make sure to stay away from food options that are not allergen friendly as it will ensure that your treat can be enjoyed by the whole family regardless of dietary restrictions.

For the introductions themselves, one of the first steps to getting to know someone is a friendly smile and hello. However, it is also quite important to be respectfully of your neighbor and not be overly persistent as although you may be eager to meet them, the feeling is not always mutual. 

3. Helping Out

If the opportunity arises to help a new neighbor out, why not seize it? It is an easy way to get to know someone and they’ll be grateful to have an extra hand. This is especially a good idea if you catch them when they are moving in.

This tip works both ways, asking for a little bit of help could be a good excuse to get to know your neighbor. Try asking your neighbour for tips about your new community, it’s an easy conversation starter and a good opportunity to get a better feel for your new community.

4. Find an Excuse to Chat

If you’re not very outgoing or just worried about trying to strike up conversation with a stranger, you can come up with a number of sneaky ways to get a conversation started. A good excuse to talk to a neighbor could be complimenting them, because who doesn’t love a compliment? Also be observational and take note of other things that may stand out to you, for example if they have any pets; this could present the opportunity for you to bond over shared interests.

5. Get Involved

 A huge part of getting to know people is putting yourself out there. Look around for events in your area that you want to attend. This could be a good way to meet people with shared interests. This can also extend to longer term commitments such as joining a local book club or even try joining a volunteer organization. These activities will create the opportunity for you to identify familiar faces and build relationships over time.

There is no need to fear looking at houses for sale in a new neighborhood or worry about running into the new family moving in next door. While getting to know your neighbors can be a difficult process but it is often well worth it. However, a crucial step in the process is your openness to trying to make new friends. Whether you are able to form lifelong bonds with your neighbors, or you smile and wave at them in passing, getting to know new people is part of the fun.

Zoocasa is a full-service brokerage that offers advanced online search tools to empower Canadians with the data and expertise they need to make more successful real estate decisions. View real estate listings at zoocasa.com or download our free iOS app.