by Shannon Beal

Last year, Jason and I bought a new-to-us home on a very charming, tree-lined street. We already knew a handful of our new neighbors, a handful introduced themselves to us, and we assumed the others were perfectly lovely people that we didn’t have a chance to meet yet.

The tricky thing about house-hunting and buying a new home is that you just never know what your neighbors are going to be like.  Are they going to be loud partiers?  Are they going to get persnickety over the mow-line? Are they going to invite us to bonfires? Will they borrow me a cup of sugar? You just never know what you’re going to get.

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Well, we struck gold. Last month I was invited to a “Cup of Christmas Tea”. You remember the kind: the old fashioned coffee party?  The kind your mother used to go to during the week, have coffee, maybe some pumpernickel bread with a slice of cheese on it, and chat for hours with the neighbor ladies?  Well, our street had one.

15+ ladies attended and we enjoyed a fabulous almond poundcake with fresh fruit in a well-appointed living room and everyone shared their story of the street.  How long they’d lived there, who their neighbors have been, the changes they’ve seen, the families that have come and gone, and it was fantastic! For someone who makes a living connecting people with homes, I could’ve sat there all day listening to the women share the many reasons that they love our street.

So, the moral of the story?  Get to know your neighbors.  Throw a party.  Maybe you don’t drink tea?  Drink something else. Make it a potluck.  Go knock on doors and slip an invitation in the mailbox.  Get to know those that live closest to you.  You’ll find that you have a lot more in common than a street address.

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