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Exploring your new neighborhood to truly feel at home

Exploring your new neighborhood to truly feel at home

Successfully completing a move is a major accomplishment. You should take a little time to reflect on all the hard work you put in as well as to simply enjoy your new home. It's important to remember, however, that most homes are a building block of a larger and more substantial unit: the neighborhood.

Whether you're in an apartment or in a home sitting on a full acre of green space, meeting your neighbors and exploring local businesses, spaces, parks, roads and much more will help you feel more at home. Let's look at how you can start exploring your new neighborhood as you settle into your home.

An aerial view of a suburban neighborhood.Learning more about your neighborhood helps you settle in.

Start learning before you arrive

Just a few decades ago, it was quite difficult to learn a lot about a new neighborhood or town before you arrived. You might be able to read about local history - if the neighborhood was well-known enough - by buying a book or requesting one from your local library. You also could look at a map to get a basic lay of the land. But that was about the extent of the research you could do without being physically present.

Now, the power of the internet makes it far easier to learn about everything from the best route home off the closest highway off-ramp (through Google Maps and similar sites) to the most highly regarded local restaurants and grocery stores (via rating and review sites like Yelp) and many details about local government (from their own online presence). With social media, you can get a handle on the pulse of your new community by finding users, posts and groups based on local news, events, buying and selling and much more - Facebook is especially valuable in this context. 

You can arrive on move-in day with a plan for where you'll eat dinner that night, stock the fridge the next day and pick up a downtown parking sticker or set up a P.O. box the following week. That kind of preparation gives you peace of mind and helps you start things off on the right foot.

Meet your neighbors

Whether you live a few dozen feet or a half-mile away from your nearest neighbor's door, it's always a good idea to introduce yourself and meet the people who you share property boundaries with. If you need to jumpstart your car, ask them to take a glance at your property every so often while you're on vacation or handle the many other potential concerns that crop up over time, a prior meeting makes these conversations less awkward. If you make a point to offer to help you your neighbor when you first meet them, it also seems like less of a one-sided request and more of a mutually beneficial agreement.

Don't be afraid to get out and explore

Researching local institutions and planning conversations with neighbors are both important considerations. But you shouldn't dismiss the fun, informal learning that comes with walking around the neighborhood or driving down the main drag. You may find something unexpected, delightful or especially interesting that didn't turn up during your online searches. Even if there isn't a diamond in the rough to be discovered, you'll start feeling more comfortable navigating our new surroundings - your new neighborhood will feel more like home.

Need some professional movers and packers to handle the heavy lifting? Atlas is here to help you make a successful move to your new home, no matter where you're headed in the U.S. or Canada.

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