Have you checked out the neighborhood? You wouldn’t pick out shoes before choosing an outfit, right? Or buy car accessories without first deciding if you want a truck or a sedan?Well, house hunting should be treated the same way.You shouldn’t search for a dream home without vetting neighborhoods or experiencing the new area for yourself. If the area doesn’t meet your needs, the property may not provide a dream scenario. So how do you make sure you’ve found the right neighborhood? Keep these details in mind:Cost of LivingAre the property taxes and HOA fees trending upward? Are there mostly trendy boutiques and high-end businesses in the area, or does it have a good mix of local and national retailers?Planned commercial development could affect the long-term affordability of the area. However, having more access to retailers and entertainment could enhance your lifestyle.Commutes and Social LifeHow close do you want to be to the friends and family you visit the most? How far are you willing to drive to get to the restaurants, theaters or stores that you frequent?It’s understandable to prioritize your work commute, but keep in mind the other places you visit on a daily or weekly basis.Long-Term GoalsHow does the community fit into your future goals? Are there good schools, parks or sports leagues for your family?A thriving community adds to your quality of life. And it’s a good sign for future home values.Want to try before you buy? Where possible, consider renting a unit in the area for a few days through a short-term rental site. Experiencing the neighborhood like a resident can help you to decide if it fits your current and future needs.Are you looking for a new home? Get in touch if you’d like to see a neighborhood report.