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When you first move into a new rental property, whether it is a home or an apartment, there are several things you will want to explore. From finding the local super market to checking out the specials at the local pub, from taking your kids to the nearest parks and meeting the new neighbors, there is always something new to find. Make the time to meet your neighbors and get to know them. You may just find that you and your neighbor have a lot in common and your relationship could easily develop into a friendship where you discuss things like selecting furniture with roommates.

Neighborhood Friendships

Becoming friends with your neighbor offers several benefits. For one, you are literally only a few steps away from her. You can forget the 20 minute commute to meet her for coffee and ditch the cab ride home after a night out on the town – with your neighbor being so close to you it is easy to walk home after a few wines and not worry about breaking the law. Furthermore, if you ever need to escape the house, your neighbor is right there.

If you have a family then you can add to your family events some nights by inviting over your neighbors and kids as well. Dinner parties, barbeques, board game nights and even movie nights can become more fun when you have a neighbor to share the experience with. The children will entertain themselves and the adults can enjoy a drink on the deck and some overdue adult conversation which is often needed when caring for children all day.

Convenience is not the only benefit to befriending a neighbor. Having a friend that is also a neighbor means that you can easily depend on someone in an emergency. Whether you have run out of milk or need her to watch your eldest child to run the youngest one to the doctor, she is just a few doors away. However, make sure you do not take advantage of this friendship by constantly asking for favors and not returning them. Friendship is a two-way street so be there to help her out, from watering the plants when she is away to watching the kids for an hour so she can have some down time.

Getting to Know your Neighbor

If both you and your neighbor have children or a passion in common, such as walking, cycling or aerobics, you will most likely form a connection through this shared interest. You may notice your children playing on the street with her children which is a great way to start a conversation and get to know your neighbor. If you notice your neighbor walks every night after dinner and this is something you enjoy, ask her if she would mind company. You will both benefit from getting out of the house and catching up on the daily gossip.

When getting to know your neighbor you may need to make the first move. Head over to her house and knock on the door. Introduce yourself and ask her over for a cup of tea one afternoon. Ask her about the local sights, schools, parks and restaurants if you are new in town. If she declines the offer, let it rest. Many people are happy to keep a distance from their neighbors while many others are looking for closeness with the people next door.

Getting close to your neighbor should not be forced. There is no rule that says you must be friends with your neighbor – you make up your own rules. Let the relationship evolve into a friendship naturally and if it doesn’t, then that’s okay too.

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