Moving to a new neighbourhood is exciting—and if we’re honest, can be stressful. Not only are you getting used to your home, but you’re also learning about a whole new area of town, or maybe an entirely new city or province. You’re probably brimming with questions, like where’s the nearest park for my dog? When is the trash picked up? If I have an emergency, where’s the closest hospital? 

Maybe you remember having some of these same questions when you moved into your neighbourhood. So, when you see that moving truck pull up down the road, why not introduce yourself to your new neighbours with a welcome package? It’s a great way of fostering community early on and providing important neighbourhood resources—and maybe a few treats—to the newest kids on the block. Here are a few recommendations on what to include in a new to the neighbourhood welcome package according to two local homeowners who moved into new neighbourhoods and Rachel Herrndorf, a REALTOR® with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group.

Neighbourhood resources 

In this category, you’ll want to provide all the relevant information specific to your neighbourhood. Include a calendar of important dates, such as trash and recycling pick up, hazardous and electronic waste drop-offs, acceptable lawn treatments, and neighbourhood meetings. 

“We had to look up neighbourhood regulations, like you can’t paint your door a different colour and things like that,” says homeowner Paisley Rotondo. 

Your new neighbours may also be curious to know who their local politicians are and how they can reach them. 

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Emergency services

You can provide your new neighbours some peace of mind by sharing the addresses of essential services like walk-in clinics and hospitals in the area. You may also want to identify where the nearest fire stations and police stations are, too. 

Image via Gustavo Fring on Pexels.

Businesses and professionals

We all have access to Google and Yelp, but having someone recommend a professional, service or business based on first-hand experience is more compelling. 

Jeff Richard, a new homeowner who moved from the city to a smaller, more rural community, says, “finding a good healthcare provider, like a doctor or optometrist, is all word of mouth.” 

Include a directory or the business cards for some of your go-to people and places, like plumbers, electricians, mechanics, contractors, doctors (including optometrists), dentists, dog groomers, landscaping, and snow removal services. If your new neighbour has a green thumb or plans on doing some work to the yard, they might want to know where they can find the nearest garden centre, nursery, and landscaping depot. 

Recreation and entertainment

After a long day of unpacking, sometimes all you want to do is unwind. Help your new neighbours out by providing them a list of nearby amenities, such as parks and walking trails, and places they can enjoy some fun activities, like movie theatres and bowling. And don’t forget about food! Consider slipping in a couple of gift cards or some coupons to your favourite places to eat. 

It’s also a good idea to include information on city offerings, such as recreation leagues for homeowners looking to play organized sports. 

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Household necessities

We all know the pain of forgetting which box something small and important, like batteries, are in. In your welcome package, include those household necessities that are always good to have on hand, but always seem to go missing. Items such as paper towels, batteries, multi-purpose cleaner, and lightbulbs are a good place to start.  

Involve the community

Putting together a welcome package doesn’t have to be all up to you!. If you have a neighbourhood committee or regular meetings, ask others to take a turn or join in. You may even consider going door to door and seeking help or suggestions from your neighbours. People may not want to be responsible for assembling and gifting the package, but they may be willing to donate money towards gift cards, household items, and treats.

While Herrndorf says, “every homeowner faces different challenges upon first moving in,” you can help make the move to a new neighbourhood less overwhelming. A welcome package, filled to the brim with important neighbourhood resources and generous recommendations, will truly help your new neighbours feel right at home.

Assembling the welcome package 

While you could technically just hand these things over to your new neighbours in a cardboard box, it’s nice to take the extra step. Compile all the items into a reusable grocery or cooler bag, a wooden planter box, a nice basket, or something else the new homeowners can reuse. Check out some local makers and see if they have anything that could work. This way, you’re not adding to their pile of things to dispose of as they unpack their belongings.

Next time you see a “sold!” sign in your neighbourhood, consider putting together a  welcome package filled to the brim with important neighbourhood resources and generous recommendations for your new neighbours—it will truly help them feel right at home. 


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