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In a few weeks, my family and I will be moving into our new house. I would like to have good relationships with my new neighbor, but I can't figure what is commonly accepted today for such introductions.

Should I go door by door to introduce myself? And say something like:

Hey, nice to meet you. I am your new neighbor, living the house up there! insert small talk here

It feels to me it may disturb people while they are quietly at home. But, moving in without introducing us does not look like an option, if I want to stick to the values with which I was raised. Saying "Hi!" over the fence is an option, but it may takes weeks before I got a chance, if our schedules aren't synchronized.

I would like to be a good neighbor and people around knowing they can count on me if they have some service to ask, but I have no idea of how to do that without being intrusive. I currently live in an apartment and never faced this situation.

I live in France, but answers from other countries may be useful (and satisfy my curiosity)!

54

Anecdotal but probably relevant:

When we moved to our neighbourhood (Germany, rural area, medium size community) we threw a "Garage Party" and invited the closest neighbours. That is the ones you'll likely be running into and say "hi". (Ended up to be around 20 people)

We wrote invitation cards and simply dropped them in their mailboxes two weeks prior.

It was nothing special, just a little get together with Glühwein and Bratwurst (Germany in Wintertime , haha).

This was very well received (to our surprise, honestly). But of course that will depend on your neighbours.

We for that matter have been told what a great idea it was. And it is being talked of even ~3 years later now. Most of them left their phone numbers "just in case". And that Russian neighbor said literally in broken German "If you have trouble, you ring my doorbell!"

I can only recommend it. You may not "make new friends" on the spot. But that "who are the new guys"-awkwardness is simply gone for the cost of some sausages and a few bottles of wine ...

In a bigger town this may not work so well perhaps, though.

P.S.: Since that was close to christmas we also served self made christmas cookies. Elderly ladies really appreciate "self made" stuff ...

11

Here in Germany your example would exactly be the expected way to introduce yourself at least in smaller cities and communities.

In a big town nobody might care and people might even be disturbed, but usually you are expected to introduce yourself.

I would even extend that to

Hey, WE are your new neighbors

and bring your family with you.

If you're not the only family to move there at a specific time (when I moved last there were 10 new houses built, so 10 new families) you could plan a little barbecue and invite everybody in the street with a little flier.

That might be a little bit "over the top" if you are the only one to move there at a specific time, though.

7

I think a good plan is to have some sort of 'open house'. Something informal like drinks and nibbles or maybe a BBQ, for France cheese, wine and charcuterie would seem appropriate.

If you have it as an open invitation over an afternoon or early evening it gives people the opportunity to pop in without committing themselves to a whole evening.

Equally something informal keeps the catering simple so you are free to actually talk to people rather than running around organising things.

It may also be a good idea to invite some of your existing friends and family as they are more likely to hang around for the duration and create a better atmosphere, as long as you are active in introducing people to each other.

This also means you can print a load of invitations and go round knocking on doors. This means people can keep any conversation short if its not a good time and you can just push them through the letter box if they're not in. I also think that having an actual invitation card encourages people to actually turn up.

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From a French perspective, we did what is already stated on other answers, we did knock on closest neighbors door to introduce ourselves as the new family in the neighborhood and planned a party around June, on the last move one the neighbors told us about the Fête des voisins date for the area and we did offer to host the event as the latest newcomers there.

When introducing yourself on a door to door journey, this could be a starting point of discussion, if there's already one planned there, if not ask if they would be interested in participating and compile all feedback to plan next move.

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The fact that you are considering such action proves that you are a good neighbor. Let your energy be your guide. People who want to meet new friends will accept your handshakes and will smile if you meet them in the elevator (or wherever). I live in New York City - a simple

Hi, how are you doing?

will tell you a lot whether they are open or not to chat. Don't take anything personally!

I think a lot of people share your thought - not wanting to be a bother to others. So the best advice is do what you think is right with good intention. Since you can't control the outcome or any downstream events, you'll feed good about what you're doing.

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