In real estate, we often use the expression, “Looking for a new home.” But, while the home is important, so is the neighborhood. In fact, you should focus just as much attention on the neighborhood you choose to target as you would the homes for sale there.

What should you look for in your next neighborhood? To help you make that determination, ask yourself the following questions:

• What type of neighborhood do I want to live in? Urban? Suburban? Countryside?

• What do I want to have nearby, within walking or easy driving distance? (For example, grocery store, public school, hospital, playground.)

• Am I okay with some traffic noise and congestion or is a quiet area better suited to me?

• Is having transit and other convenient commuting routes important to me?

• What demographic would I like the neighborhood to have? Families? Older residents?

• What do I want to live nearer to than I do now? (Friends, family, work, hobbies.)

Going through these questions is likely to help narrow your choices to a few potential neighborhoods. Your next step is to find out the current selling price for homes in those neighborhoods. That will help you match neighborhoods to your budget. Ideally, at least one neighborhood will come to the surface as the ideal one for you. When that happens, start seeing listings!