When you buy a home in a brand new neighborhood or even a whole new city, chances are you will need to do some exploring on your own. But, that is part of the fun of moving to a new place, right? From the most bustling of cities to the smallest of towns, there are so many things to see, restaurants and shops to visit and people to meet. If you are going to settle down and get comfortable with the landscape you need to take some time in investigating it in detail.

While there is not always time to get out there and immerse yourself right after moving day, make a point of actively engaging with your new community as you settle in. In addition to helping you feel more comfortable in an unfamiliar environment, making an effort to discover your new neighborhood will ultimately make you feel more at home.

The Inland Empire is filled with fun and exciting neighborhoods. From quiet and kickback to lively and filled with activities, there is a neighborhood that is right for any personality.

Here are some tips on how to get started in exploring your new neighborhood.

Meet the Neighbors

The people who live around you are a big part of what defines your community. Meeting your neighbors provides you with an opportunity to ask questions about your new neighborhood and possibly discover some hidden gems (or worthwhile information) you might have missed otherwise.

Some areas are more naturally friendly than others, but you want to make sure you are sending the message that you are open to meeting people. Smile and say hello to neighbors who you come across, ask some light but engaging questions, and build rapport over time.

Take the First Step

These days, the proverbial “welcome wagon” does not necessarily show up on your door with a week’s worth of casseroles and cookies. So if none of your new neighbors have shown up to ring your doorbell, you certainly could bring some to them. You can even host a simple get together as a “housewarming” party; you will be surprised how many neighbors are curious about the new arrivals but intimidated to make the first move.

Take A Walk and Mingle

If you want to know what your neighborhood has to offer, go see it for yourself. Going for a walk is a great way to destress during or after the unpacking process, and will allow you to better visualize your surrounding area. If you have a dog, they can help break the ice with new neighbors on your block. A leisurely after-dinner stroll never seems out of place and gives you the opportunity for a planned “spontaneous” meet up.

Start Exploring!

Even in the age of GPS, you will need to know how to get where you want to go. While you can certainly look it up, there is no substitute for just getting out and about. Challenge yourself to drive or walk different routes each time you leave your house; you might stumble on a brilliant shortcut, a nearby coffee shop you didn’t even know was there.

Check Out Local Clubs and Meet-Ups

Neighborhoods are made up of people, first and foremost. To immerse yourself in the community, start by joining a local club or sports team. Thanks to the internet, meeting new people with similar interests is easier than ever before. Look to sites like Meetup or Meet the Neighbors, which can help you make the connection.

Act Like a Tourist

You do not have to live in a touristy city to approach your new neighborhood from a tourist’s perspective. Just think about what someone visiting your town might seek out – such as museums, local attractions and theater, top rated restaurants – and check those things out for yourself. Usually the things that draw tourists do so for a reason, so go see them for yourself. You do not necessarily have to check everything off your list in one day, but it would be handy to make a list of all the places you are interested to visit and follow through as you can.

Ask for Recommendations

Take a short cut to discovering the best of the best in your new neighborhood by asking for recommendations from people who have been in the area for a while. If your job is local, ask your co-workers where they recommend for live music or the best draft beers on tap. If you do not have anybody you can ask, use a site like Nextdoor, which is basically a forum for individuals in communities to share information, ask advice and get recommendations for new things to try.

Shop Locally

You can find a big box store anywhere you move, but little mom and pop shops sometimes require a little more effort. Shopping locally helps you support your community and what makes it unique. Local businesses bring local flavor to their environments, and the restaurants and shops that also call your neighborhood home can tell you a story about what’s important there and what brings people together.

Get Involved In the Community

There is no better way to become ingrained in the fabric of the community than to jump in with both feet. After all, this is your neighborhood now and you want to know what is going on. Attend upcoming HOA and neighborhood watch meetings. Those who take the time to go to these gatherings are the most-invested homeowners in your community. Listen to the issues and volunteer your feedback as a way to become known in the community. Volunteer to help with projects, like planting flowers in the spring or sprucing up playground equipment.

You also can see if the local parks or library needs volunteers, or check out the community center, where they can probably always use a helping hand. Many towns have community gardens, where you can chat with neighbors. If you have kids, volunteering at the school is an ideal way to get involved immediately. By putting yourself out there, your new town will feel like home in no time.

Find the Right Agent

The day will come when your new neighborhood no longer seems so novel and you have settled in to life in the community. Take the time in the beginning to go the extra step and immerse yourself in where you live, and you will feel a deeper connection and appreciation as the days, months, and years add up. A move to a new neighborhood is an opportunity to explore the world with a fresh set of eyes, so make the most of it and get out there. You will always be glad that you did.

Windermere’s community of real estate professionals is our greatest asset. We have experts in all areas of real estate, from your typical starter home to condos, luxury properties, and new construction. While residential real estate is the mainstay of our business, Windermere also has offices and associates who specialize in property management, commercial real estate, and relocation services. To further facilitate the home buying process, Windermere has affiliated partners in certain regions to provide mortgage, title, and escrow services.

Call us today with any questions or concerns. Our professional Real Estate Agents will help you through this exciting process. (951) 369-8002