When we were looking for a house to buy around Homer last year we were looking for a certain number of rooms, with a view, good roads for walking on, space to play and a garden, among other things. What we really lucked out with, though, was finding a house of choice in a really nice neighborhood.
The first month we lived in our new house we knew most of our neighbors in sight. We would meet them walking on the road, and sometimes we would be with one neighbor on the road and another would drive by, stop, and we would get introduced to them. There's Liz with the 30 apple trees and Elizabeth across the street. There is Soundra who has to walk across the bridges to get to her place, and the Arndt's whose son and my son are buddies. Carrie has a wild horse, and then there's the delightful lady with the thick accent from Germany who likes to talk plants. Judy connects us all since she and her husband were some of the first people to build on this road 30 years ago. Greg and Judy both came by and dug up some iris I was getting rid of, and Judy also took us for a walk through our family doctor's beautiful garden when we were walking by one day. It goes on. We've met other neighbors at parties, on the ski slopes, at meetings; one even was a blog reader of mine before moving up here to Homer (I haven't actually met her yet, just email correspondence!).
I read about people who don't know their neighbors and I can't imagine it. Well, actually, I can. Most other places I've lived since I left my childhood home I haven't known my neighbors. But this neighborhood we landed in is delightfully friendly and comfortable. When we meet people out walking a conversation ensues. Most people are the sort that we enjoy talking to, they have interesting stories, and an amazing number of them love gardening and plants, giving us a never-ending topic.
Ours is a walking neighborhood, which makes it conducive to getting to know neighbors. A connector trail to the next road over allows for a loop walk of about 30 minutes. Every day people walk by, up or down. If we're out we wave and they wave and sometimes they walk up the drive and talk. The only time there are not walkers is when the road is a sheet of ice, which was for a couple months this winter. As the ice melted the foot traffic increased.
To me this is the ideal sort of neighborhood to be part of. It was an added bonus to finding a nice home in a good location.