Congratulations! You’ve survived the process of leaving one home and finding another and the onus of packing everything up and then unpacking the same boxes. You’ve found a new bank and a new doctor; you’ve investigated trash pick-up times, licensing requirements, and car registration; and your mail is being forwarded on a regular basis. So far so good, but now that you’re somewhat settled in your home, it’s time to become familiar with your new environment.
The following tips are designed to help you become part of your new community and re-create the sense of belonging you had in your previous location.
- Go online to learn about the new area and what it has to offer. Look at the city or chamber of commerce website. Research religious facilities, cultural opportunities, parks and outdoor activities, and so much more!
- Acquire a regional map and drive around. Explore shortcuts and pinpoint the location of shopping malls, medical services, libraries, the post office, city offices, etc.
- Talk to neighbors. Ask advice about home maintenance companies, babysitters, doctors, or the civic league or homeowners’ organization association.
- Take a walking tour of your neighborhood. Introduce yourself to and initiate conversations with neighbors who are outside. Compliment their yard or ask directions, for starters.
- Attend garage/yard sales in the vicinity of your home. Shoppers at these events are generally friendly and gregarious, so talk to them.
- Read the local newspaper to discover places of interest and happenings in the area. Look for clubs or group meetings that focus on your interests--art, gardening, books, sports, crafts, e.g.
- Join a recreation center or gym. Attend classes there or work out with a group that you know will share your interests.
- Volunteer. Check with a church or synagogue, a hospital, library, or school near you. Volunteering is a terrific way to meet people and to make you feel an integral part of the community.
- Give a house warming party and invite all your neighbors. Such an occasion is a good reason to finish unpacking and decorating your new home and a wonderful way to make friends..
Before long you will become familiar with your new environment and be comfortable there. Best of all, you’ll “belong” once again!
Courtesy of Greenville NC Real Estate Expert Liz Freeman.