It might seem obvious, but the best way to feel like you have a place in the community is by staying connected. It is important to know all about your local neighborhood and city, what it offers, and how to engage. It’s easy to get lost in our daily lives and to drop out of touch, but below are some excellent ways of staying connected with your community.
Moving to a new location is challenging. You may not know many people in your new area and it's easy for us to become focused on our own lives that we don't interact much with people around us. But, being friendly and getting to know the neighbors around you can provide so many benefits, possibly creating friendships that last a lifetime. All it takes is just a simple wave or smile as you pass by people on the way to picking up your mail.
Here is an article on 7 great reasons to get to know your neighbors on Roomrs.co.
Here are another 6 reasons to have good relations with your neighbors on LiveLMH.com.
Many communities (especially those that are in the same subdivision) have a Homeowner’s Association (HOA). An HOA is made up of homeowners in the same community of homes, subdivision, or condominium building that makes and enforces rules for the properties and residents. Those who purchase property within an HOA's jurisdiction automatically become members and are frequently required to pay dues, known as HOA fees. Usually, the guidelines for HOAs are designed to help ensure a uniform appearance for all the properties with the goal of preserving and enhancing the community's property values. Often, the guidelines are appearance-oriented, so they deal with the cleanliness and upkeep of the properties.
Homeowner associations are run by a board of directors (homeowners) and often hold annual meetings to go over the financial budget of the association, maintenance items to be addressed for common areas, and other useful information about the neighborhood and association. These meetings are open to every homeowner and are an excellent way to get to know people in the neighborhood and to stay in touch with what is going on locally. It is highly recommended that you attend these meetings.
If you are unsure if you are part of an HOA or need help finding when your HOA meets, please give me a call. I’m happy to help you track down this information.
Here is a great article on why to get involved in your HOA on Moving.com.
For a more detailed information about how HOAs work, including advantages and disadvantages of HOAs, see this article on Investopedia.com.
Nextdoor is a social platform used to connect neighbors. Imagine a platform like Facebook, but your newsfeed is populated with the people who live in your neighborhood. Similar to other social media platforms, Nextdoor features a news feed where you can view and interact with posts made by neighbors, and even buy products and services from local businesses. The platform allows neighbors within the same geographical area to share information and communicate. To join Nextdoor, you can download it for iOS or Android or sign up on its website.
After logging in, you'll see that people generally post neighborhood updates, missing or found pets, items for sale, and the network can be used to alert everyone about suspicious activity and small crimes. It is also a platform where neighbors routinely ask for recommendations for home repair, real estate, and maintenance.
To get started and join Nextdoor, visit their website on Nextdoor.com.
To read more about what Nextdoor is and how to use it, see this article on BusinessInsider.com.
As you might imagine, there's a social media site for just about everything. A great way to stay in touch with city events, places to go, and the latest developments is to join Facebook sites that serve the area you live in. Doing a quick search on Facebook will give you many options to choose from. Here are some examples:
Here's a Facebook group for Seattle Events.
Here's a group for Life in Shoreline, WA.
Here's a group for Kirkland/Bellevue/Eastside Events and Things To Do.
Here's a group for Kirkland/Bellevue/Eastside Buying and Trading.
Here's a group for North Seattle Buying and Selling.
Here's a group for Redmond Neighbors.
And so much more...
Windermere has a great tool called Neighborhood News that sends you reports on: