Everyone knows you should make sure your new house or apartment is in good working order before you move in. It's important to make sure the plumbing works, the roof doesn't leak and the wiring is up to code. But your work shouldn't stop there. There are other factors to consider before you move into a new property. And one thing you need to do if you really want to make sure a new home is the right fit.

Talk to the neighbors.

Sure, you can research almost any area on the internet. You'll probably learn some pretty interesting statistics, too. But statistics are unlikely to paint a picture of what it's really like to live there. Only the inhabitants of a neighborhood can do that.

No one knows the ins and outs of an area better than the people who resides there. Your potential neighbors will give you the inside scoop realtors and property managers aren't privy to. This might include the lowdown on a dog that barks all night long or how often you'll hear the sirens wailing from the nearby fire station. They'll be able to tell you what traffic is like during rush hour or if parking spots are hard to come by on the weekends.

A neighbor stands at the door of another neighbor and hands him a pot of food.

We all have our own preferences. A neighborhood bustling with social activity might be heaven for one person, while the next might prefer to live among quiet individuals who keep primarily to themselves. Light sleepers might have criteria other people do not. And parents of school-aged children may prefer to live on a street filled with growing families.

Talking to your future neighbors will let you know if a new home would be a good fit for your family, personality, and sleep habits.

So, the next time you're deciding whether or not a new home makes your short list, take a stroll around the block and introduce yourself. Ask your potential neighbors questions about the area and get the straight skinny on the neighborhood vibe. It's the best way to figure out if a new area is a good it for you and your family. And what's more, you may even make a new friend.

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