12 Important Questions to Ask Your New Neighbors

12 Important Questions to Ask Your New Neighbors

When you’re ready to buy a house, it’s all about finding the perfect floor plan and certain design elements that fit your unique style. It can be easy to forget that the neighborhood is another important part of the equation! Once the moving company drops off those boxes, it’s time to get acquainted with the faces you’ll see every day.

While it may feel a bit intimidating, it’s fun to jump in and get to know your neighbors. Here are 12 questions that will help you get plugged into your new community!

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1. How long have you lived here?

While it doesn’t matter one way or another, it’s nice to know how long people have been in the neighborhood. Is this the type of community where people have been for many years or even decades?

In addition to being a great conversation starter, this question will also help you determine who may be able to answer more specific questions about the area.

2. How safe is the neighborhood?

There’s a reason neighborhood watch programs are so popular. It doesn’t matter how much you research or what your real estate agent told you, no one knows the neighborhood quite like the people who live there.

Ask your neighbors whether there’s anything you should look out for or be aware of when it comes to safety. Were there porch pirates on the prowl last Christmas? Did someone have their car broken into during the early morning hours? Your neighbors can warn you about instances like these, helping you plan accordingly.

3. the neighborhood family-friendly?

If you have children, you’ll want to know whether the neighborhood is full of other families. Many areas embrace this phase of life with special holiday events and even block parties. Get the scoop on whether other neighbors have kids and enjoy planning opportunities to get together.

4. What’s the best way to stay in touch with everyone?

On that note, be sure to find out how you can stay in touch with your new neighbors. Whether there’s an email list or a community Facebook group, there are so many ways to connect with your neighbors. This is important for social reasons, as well as neighborhood alerts that pertain to safety and other concerns.

5. Do a lot of people have pets?

People love their pets! If you enjoy walking your dog after a long day at work, find out who else is interested in getting their pets out for a little socialization.

This can also help you avoid any possible conflict between certain animals. If you’re worried about how your dog will interact with other pets in the neighborhood, it’s best to get a feel for what you’ll encounter when you head out.

6. How are the local schools?

Schools are an important part of a neighborhood, even for residents who don’t have children. Your local school district ratings can strongly impact the value of your home.

Nonetheless, if you do have children, it’s important to know your options. Even if your school district is highly rated, there may be charter schools or private schools that are a better fit for your child. Many school districts also offer open enrollment, allowing you to choose whatever school you like (as opposed to being strictly zoned for one in particular).

Ask your neighbors with kids about the schools in your neighborhood and what their experiences have been like.

7. Are the neighborhood streets busy or quiet?

This is a big one for safety purposes, especially if you have kids who want to ride their bikes or walk to a nearby park. Try to get a feel for how busy the streets are and whether there are any issues with speeding or distracted driving. This will help you determine whether your kids are responsible enough to play alone or need a little extra supervision.

8. Are there any street parking restrictions?

Street parking is often restricted, especially in neighborhoods that have an HOA. Some communities simply prohibit overnight street parking, while others may restrict street parking altogether. The rules can vary greatly, so it’s important to know the guidelines if you want to avoid tickets or fines.

9. Where should you go in the event of an emergency?

A serious emergency requires immediate action. You shouldn’t have to stop and search for important details about your local fire department, police station, or hospital.

While you should always call 911 in the event of an urgent situation, it’s still good to know the basics about your surroundings. For example, does the nearest hospital offer pediatric care or will you need to travel further? Get the information you need to feel prepared when someone in your family is in trouble.

10. Are there preferred providers for any home services?

There’s a lot that goes into maintaining a home. From landscaping services to security system providers, it’s hard to know where to begin. Fortunately, your neighbors probably already know which providers come to the neighborhood and do high-quality work.

Check in with your neighbors before you hire any of the following professionals:

  • Plumbers
  • House painters
  • Maid services
  • Landscapers
  • Electricians
  • Pest control
  • HVAC companies
  • Alarm system companies
  • Garage door specialists

This is especially important if it’s your first time buying a home. You have a lot of new responsibilities after your real estate agent helps you close on the house. Keeping a list of providers will make problem-solving easy.

11. What are the best nearby restaurants?

Although there are a lot of serious topics to cover, it’s also essential to connect with your neighbors on a personal level. Ask them about their favorite restaurants and other nearby activities (think hiking trails or local shops). This gives you a chance to get to know them better while also giving you a place to start when you’re ready to explore your new neighborhood.

12. Was the previous owner of the home well-liked?

This may seem like an odd question, but it allows you to get off to a good start with your new neighbors. In a perfect world, the previous owner was respectful of everyone in the community and got along well with others.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. If your house was known for hosting loud parties or allowing a dog to bark outside all day, you want to know this. It will allow you to make it clear that you’re the new owner of the home and that you intend to do things differently.

Win over your new neighbors

Everyone wants to live in a friendly, respectful, and well-kept neighborhood. Do your part to ensure you’re a great addition to the community.

In addition to keeping your home and landscaping in top shape, go out of your way to be friendly to your neighbors. Say hello when you pass by and compliment them on their home. Whether it’s holiday décor or new landscaping, it’s easy to find common ground.

Look for opportunities to get involved in your new neighborhood. Attend HOA board meetings or offer to help with the next block party. Demonstrating that you’re invested in the community will go a long way!

 

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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