Beautiful day in this neighbourhood

Brandon Scott is a Sherwood Park & Edmonton based mortgage consultant and the author of a weekly column entitled Real Estate Solutions in the Sherwood Park News. This article was originally published on October 5 , 2012 The home has been purchased, the financing secure and the day of the big move has arrived. When moving into a new neighbourhood for the first time, there is usually much anticipation and excitement. Of course, turning the house into a home is on everyone’s to-do list as soon as possible. Placing furniture in the right spot, hanging pictures on the walls, and settling in are all top priorities so that the new space begins to feel comfortable and familiar — but remember you haven’t just bought a house; you have also bought into a neighbourhood. I can recall growing-up watching the classic television show Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. He would start every show tying his shoe laces and singing “Since we’re together, we might as well say, Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbour?” A mid-17th century proverb quoted in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations says “Good fences make good neighbours.” While there may be some truth there, it takes more than a fence to make a great neighbourhood. There is nothing more satisfying than driving through a cul-de-sac and seeing a game of street hockey being played, or a multi-family garage sale with lawn chairs and smiling faces. How is it that some neighbourhoods thrive while others lack community and camaraderie? There are several ways to develop relationships with your fellow street-mates that will ensure you enjoy spending just as much time in your front yard as you would in your backyard. First of all, it does take a determined effort, rather than pulling into your garage and letting the door roll down before you get out of the vehicle. When we first moved into our home awhile back, it was early winter. We were exhausted from lugging all the boxes and furniture, so when we saw it starting to snow, the last thing we had time or energy for was clearing the driveway and sidewalk. Upon our return home from running a few errands later that day, we were delighted to discover that our neighbour, whom we had yet to meet, had shoveled all of it. It felt like we won the lottery. Small gestures like this one have allowed us to develop a friendship with our neighbour and reciprocate the act of kindness in other ways as well. Hopefully we’ll be able continue to build a bond that will carry forward with others on our block. Of course there are many other ways as well like hosting a block party, neighbourhood watch program, or assisting each other with landscaping projects. It is the neighbourhoods we live in that make our county such a desirable place call home. If you have contributed in making your neighbourhood something special please share what was done and let the rest of us be inspired and work to make our neighbourhoods even stronger. Download the current e-edition of the Sherwood Park News