The structure of the house is not the only thing that you buy when purchasing a home. Part of what you are paying for is its location. It may not be mentioned explicitly that you are being charged for it, but definitely you are paying for it.

The location of the property pretty much sets the value of the house. Houses in premium neighborhood usually have the best value. Having a home in this location would be advantageous on your part. This is because when you decide to sell the house in the future, you can get the most return for it. It is also the value of the house that will give you better chances of refinancing (in case there is a need for it in the future).

So you see how important location or the neighborhood is?

Research Before you buy

The next time you buy a house, do not lock your eyes on the physical attributes of the property alone. There is also a need to look at its surroundings and anything that goes beyond the fence. Before you buy, research the neighborhood well.

It is important to analyze the whole place for the following things:

1. Availability of schools- If you have kids, you would definitely want to make sure that they will be able to go to a quality school that isn't too far away from home. 
2. Transportation- Are there available cabs, school buses and other public vehicles that you can ride, should you decide to commute? Are there bus or train stations nearby that could take you to work conveniently? You should ask about this especially if you do not own a car. 
3. Roads- Accessibility to the place is also important. You also have to know if the place is prone to traffic jam and if there are alternative roads that can take you downtown and back home. 
4. Crime Statistics- Knowing this basically tells you how safe the neighborhood you are living in is. 
5. Access to amenities 
6. Homeowners Association

To be able to know more about the neighborhood, you can research them first by using the Internet. You cannot just imagine how plenty the information about communities that you can get when you use search engines. Just type in the keyword in the search box found in website like Google, Yahoo and MSN. After pressing enter, you will have thousands of returns directing you to websites that could provide relative information.

The next best thing to do is to immerse yourself in the area. Visit the place and go to your neighborhood's business area. You can also visit the Chamber of Commerce to get more specific data about the place. You can also drive by the place to get more sites in a day. Look for the schools, amenities and roads.

If you do not find it embarrassing, you can also go door to door. Ask around the locales and befriend them. You can get off the record information about the place. Not to make it sound to sneaky but you have to be a good detective to get valuable information. Only then will you be able to make a sound decision whether or not you will go through living in the area.