Living in a close-knit community means never being short of a last minute babysitter, or someone to back you up when the wheelie bins haven't been emptied. Good neighbours don't just lend cups of sugar, a study has shown they can also help to improve your heath. And if that wasn't enough, when you decide to sell your house you can appeal to buyers by highlighting the benefits of living in your community. Want to get to know your new neighbours? Here's how.
Host a housewarming party
Start building relationships as soon as you've unpacked. Give an invitation to everyone on your street (or in your building, if you've moved to a flat). Introduce yourself, let them know where you live, and what time the party will start and end. Invite your family and friends too: they'll be popping round to visit you on a regular basis, so it’s a good idea that your neighbours get to know them too.
Become a regular
Show your face around the community by shopping at local businesses. By doing this you'll start bumping into the same people when you're buying your groceries. But don't stop there: join the local gym, start getting your hair cut at the salon or barbers down the road, and go for Friday drinks at the nearby pub.
Get a dog
Sorry, cat people. One of the best times to meet your neighbours is during a dog walk. Dogs are great conversation starters, and inhibitions drop as soon as a cute pup is involved. However, if you can't commit to pet ownership, you may wish to try a reputable site like BorrowMyDoggy.com.
Use online networks
There are several social networks designed to make meeting people in your neighborhood easier. Nextdoor.co.uk is exclusively for connecting with and chatting to people who live in your area. Another good site is Meetup.com. This network helps users find neighbours with a similar interest – whether that's wine tasting, running or business networking.
Once you've established yourself in your community, it's important not to forget how hard it is to be new in the area. When people move into the street, be the first to greet them. Introduce them to the other neighbours, and help them to get involved in community activities.