I know this was bumped because of spam, but it's something I've been thinking about a lot. We're in the process of buying a house in what looks like it could be a good, friendly neighborhood. We've been renting a house in a very upscale neighborhood, and although we've met several of the neighbors, they all seem pretty aloof... it's hard to imagine being friendly with them. This may be due to our status as renters, though.
My goal for the new house is to throw a no-gift housewarming party within a month of the move, and invite our neighbors in addition to our friends in the area. It seems like that would be a nice gesture and opportunity to say more than "hi" to them, and of course they'll want to come and ogle the new neighbor's taste in furniture.