Buying a house also means becoming a neighbor. Learn how to be a good one. You’re buying a house, checking out all the properties that fit your needs: three bedrooms, at least two baths and an easy commute to work. You may be seeing some homes that fit your wish list, too, with a neighborhood pool, a finished basement and room in the garage for your skis and bikes.

What often doesn’t occur to buyers until the contract is signed is that you’re also signing up for a whole street of new neighbors. While you may be looking around, wondering whether you’ve moved next door to Steve Urkel or Ned Flanders, you can be sure they’re wondering the same thing about you. Here are a few tips for becoming a great neighbor:

Say hello. Buying a house is a busy time, and the work is just getting started once you’ve closed on your new home. It may seem impossible in the midst of unpacking boxes and trying to remember where you put the screws for your twins’ bunk beds, but take a moment to knock on your neighbors’ doors and introduce yourself. If you wait more than a week or two, it will become awkward.

Share information. When you knock on your new neighbors’ doors, take along an index card with your phone number, email address and any other information you think might be helpful, like the names of your three kids. That way, when a tree falls on your house while you’re on vacation in Florida, your neighbors will know how to reach you.

Avoid gossip. You know that neighbor two doors down that seems to be able to tell you any juicy details you want to know about your neighbors? They’re keeping tabs on you, too. By changing the subject when those topics come up, you can communicate in a subtle and friendly way that you’re not interested in other people’s private business, nor in sharing your own.

Maintain your property. Whether it’s mowing the lawn, hauling out the dead Christmas tree before Valentine’s Day or replacing the mailbox that’s hanging onto its post by a thread, keep your property pleasant for your neighbors’ views.

Communicate, and bring cookies! When it’s time to install or repair a shared boundary or take down a big tree that’s in your neighbor’s yard but hangs over your own, communicate openly with your neighbors. It also never hurts to bring a small token of neighborliness, like a plate of cookies or brownies.

Buying a house is a fun experience, and imagining the new friendships you’ll make with your neighbors can be a highlight. Make sure you start out on the right foot with friendly introductions and if all else fails, bring cookies.

Get starting buying your new house with Dani Beyer Real Estate. From spotting a vibrant, social neighborhood to identifying signs that someone might not make a great neighbor, we can help you get the experience you want. Contact us to get started on the home-buying process!