So, you’ve moved! You love your new Florida home, neighborhood and town. Chances are you did lots of homework (you’d rather not remember right now) before choosing and committing to your new environs. All that careful research paid off in a successful relocation. Now, you have another project: establishing yourself as a good neighbor. Here are our tips for becoming the kind of new neighbor you’d like to live next door to.
Don’t Be Stingy With Information
Sharing your contact information, whether it’s email addresses, phone numbers or social media handles, is a good way to introduce yourself and family members. If you don’t want to broadcast everything, contribute a household email address to your new homeowners association website. If you establish a rapport with folks next door, you may want to share phone numbers in case of typical community emergencies (escaped cats, blaring security alarms, power outages, etc.).
But, Ask For Information You Need
Despite all that pre-relocation research you did on your new community, once you’re in residence, there still will be things you need to know, such as physician and daycare referrals, and volunteer opportunities. Don’t hesitate to ask your neighbors. It’s a perfect way to introduce yourself and perhaps make new friends. If your HOA has a website and an online community bulletin board, make that one of your first stops.
Consideration Goes a Long Way
You might spring out of bed before dawn every day, but not everyone on your street will. Don’t crank up the leaf blower at 7 a.m., on a Saturday. You’ll undo any favorable first impressions. The same goes for raucous pool parties and playing bagpipes in your driveway. In fact, warning your neighbors of any large or potentially noisy gathering you’re hosting — and that you’ve asked guests to carpool, for example — not only signals community awareness, it’s the neighborly thing to do.
Keep Up Your (Exterior) Appearances
Does your new neighborhood employ a landscaping company to groom all lawns and public spaces? Hooray! If not, tend your own lawn, shrubbery and decorative plantings, or hire the kids or someone else to do it. Maybe you’re a gardener; seek out neighboring gardeners for inspiration and socialization. If you’re not a gardner, opt for classic, easy-maintenance sod and plantings. Remember that simple outdoor chores done regularly, keep your new home and grounds looking spiffy. It also helps you avoid HOA fines from violating community covenants!
Not Everyone Loves Pets
Some people are allergic to them or merely happy to wave at you and yours from across the street. If you’re a pet parent, keep the animal members of your household curbed and under control. Anyone will get irritated at a neighboring dog that barks incessantly. Dogs and cats should wear tags engraved with your contact info, especially if they venture outside. And — we can’t say it enough — if there’s a leash law or HOA bylaw in your new community, follow it. Scrupulously.
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