When my husband and I moved into our first home, we were clueless about what we were walking into – just a couple of newbie, first-time homebuyers who’d moved into an established and tight-knit neighborhood. We knew the house and yard were nice, loved that the house was located on a court with no through traffic, and thought the location was fantastic for our needs. We had no idea we’d just moved into a court where all the neighbors are friends, and everyone knows about everyone else’s comings and goings.
Our first lesson in being “good neighbors” in the new house came quickly. We had a newborn baby at the time, and our next-door neighbor (who we’d barely met) knit her a cozy hooded towel with embroidered, bright pink owls and daisies. “What did we do to deserve this?” I wondered, mystified at the kind gesture. She didn’t even know us! And the next day, the neighbors on the other side of our house brought us a cheesecake from the local deli and an adorable, hand-crafted onesie. We were thunderstruck, to say the least. Apparently, this is what good neighbors do? We had a lot to learn.
Now, all of these things can happen to renters who are close with their own neighbors, especially long-term renters in certain markets who live side-by-side with the same people for years. But for my husband and me, this was a brand-new experience after living in student housing during college followed by urban apartments for most of our 20s.