Getting to know your new neighborhood is fun, and it involves much less physical work than moving does.
These are steps to take after you’ve moved in. We assume you’ve already had your electricity and utilities put in your name, that you have your cable and Internet set up, and that you’ve set up mail forwarding with the post office.
Start by making sure you know where to get things you need. Find your local grocery stores, drug stores, and gas stations. Want to eat out sometime or order in? Learn what restaurants are in your area. Do you have kids or want to go for a run? Learn where the local parks are. Crave entertainment? Then look for the local movie theaters, theme parks and nightlife options.
The Internet will have more information on your area besides where to shop and hang out. You should have some idea of how safe your neighborhood is. NeighborhoodScout will tell you a lot about your city, and you can zoom in on your specific area. It covers information on real estate, demographics, school ratings, and crime rates.
You can also look up who in your neighborhood is a registered sex offender. The information is provided for you and your children’s safety. The U.S. Department of Justice has a website called The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website and it covers all states.
Make sure your home is locked when you’re out or asleep, and, depending on your neighborhood, consider additional security.
Take a walk around your immediate neighborhood. You may want to walk your kids to a nearby park or walk to a store for a snack. This is a good time to see what you notice about your neighbors. Perhaps some have bumper stickers that reflect your interests. If you’re a parent, you may be interested to see where kids are playing in the yard, because they may befriend your kids. If you’re into sports, you may notice some football or baseball equipment in a neighbor’s garage.
When you see people out of their homes on your walk, say hello and introduce yourself. You can talk about the neighborhood, shared interests, and so on. You don’t have to make friends with all your neighbors, but it’s good to be on friendly terms. You may end up making some good friends you’ll want to spend more time with.
There are a number of websites that will help you meet people with similiar interests in your neighborhood. The most popular is Meetup. No matter your main interests, you’re bound to find groups of people who share them. Other sites include Eventbrite, Groupspaces, Smacktive, MEETin.org, Foursquare, and Citysocializer.
With these four steps, you’ll know your neighborhood and start growing your social circle in no time. Enjoy your new home and all the area has to offer.