Should You Give a Gift to a New Neighbor?

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​Did someone just move into your neighborhood or apartment complex? Perhaps you are a newcomer to a community and thinking about meeting your new neighbors. It’s normal to wonder if you should just say hi or should you give a gift to a new neighbor?

Find out answers around what is appropriate behavior when interacting with your neighbors, including what type of gifts you can give.

Key takeaways

  • Giving a new neighbor a gift can be good etiquette for a good relationship
  • Gifts to neighbors should be inexpensive and given at an appropriate time
  • It’s okay not to want to give a gift or get to know your neighbors

Should you give a gift to a new neighbor?

There’s nothing wrong with giving a gift to a new neighbor, whether it’s to welcome someone new or let people know you just moved in. It shows proper etiquette so you can have a good relationship.

If you have newcomers to your neighborhood, a gift is a warm gesture welcoming them into the community. If you are new to the neighborhood, it can help to get off on the right foot with your neighbors.

You’ll want to make sure the timing of when you bring over your gift is appropriate, especially when giving it to someone who is moving in. When the movers are there and they haven’t even unpacked yet, it might be an overwhelming gesture.

Wait until they have settled in more and are ready to interact. Having said this, some people might not be interested in getting to know their neighbors. Don’t get offended if someone declines your gift. Just take a mental note of where their boundaries lie.

When is an appropriate time to give your neighbor a gift?

As previously mentioned, it’s best to wait when your neighbor has had a chance to settle down a little before going over with a gift. When it comes to the timing, every person will differ.

However, generally, the appropriate visiting hours are late mornings to early evenings. Your neighbor will let you know if you show up and it’s a bad time.

If nobody is home when you show up, you can always leave your gift at the door with a welcome note, letting them know which house on the block is yours. You can also start with a quick hello when you see your neighbor outside and ask them when is a good time to stop by with a housewarming gift.

When is an appropriate time to give your neighbor a gift?

Typically, appropriate gifts to welcome your new neighbors are something inexpensive and homey that can ease the process of settling into their new space.

You also want to be mindful of what you give since you don’t know their allergies or dietary restrictions. For example, if you bake them cookies, make sure to provide a list of ingredients with the gift.

Some examples of appropriate gifts to give your neighbors include:

  • Vegetables or fruits from your garden
  • Bouquet of flowers from your garden
  • Stack of new, local take-out menus
  • Houseplant
  • Small bagel gift basket
  • Greeting card

Should I introduce myself to my new neighbors?

It’s generally good etiquette to introduce yourself to your neighbors. Neighbors can be beneficial in helping out down the line, such as picking up your mail when you are out of town. This doesn’t mean you have to strike up a lengthy conversation or give a gift.

Just say hi, tell them your name and where you live, welcome them, and let them know you can answer any questions about the neighborhood. If you’re a newcomer, let them know your name and where you moved from.

You can wait to run into your neighbors outside before saying hi or go over and knock on their door to introduce yourself. If they invite you in, make sure your stay is short and sweet since the goal is to introduce yourself. Plans for lengthier get-togethers can be made for a later date.

How do you make a good first impression on a new neighbor?

Introducing yourself or bringing over a gift aren’t the only paths to getting into your neighbor’s good graces. There are various ways you can build positive neighborly relations when you are new to a community and want to make a good impression. For example, you can:

  • Keep your surroundings and property clean
  • Be friendly, kind, and smile when you see them
  • Send thank-you notes when they give you a gift or help you out
  • Respect the noise policies
  • Be helpful in small ways
  • Invite them to a housewarming party
  • Get involved with your local community activities

Is it normal not to know your neighbors?

Yes, it’s normal. Many people don’t know their neighbors’ names or are friends with their neighbors. In fact, nearly 75% of Americans dislike at least one of their neighbors.

Just because you live near them doesn’t mean you have to become friends or give gifts. If you move a lot and/or have a lot of friends, getting to know your neighbors might not be a priority for you.

While there are benefits to knowing your neighbors, there can also be downsides if you have nosy neighbors, people who borrow things and don’t return them, or who bring you into their life dramas.

So, it’s completely understandable if you’d rather stick to yourself. However, it doesn’t hurt to smile and nod when you pass them outdoors to maintain a positive community environment.


It’s really up to you if you want to give a gift to a new neighbor. While it isn’t mandatory, the gesture typically is welcomed and not frowned upon. Make sure it’s an appropriate gift for introductory or housewarming purposes, such as a potted plant or baked goods.

Also remember, there are various ways you can make an impression on your neighbors and maintain a positive relationship without striking up conversations or giving gifts. And if you would rather stay private and not interact with your neighbors, that is normal too.