You’re in the market for a new home. While things like square footage and condition of a home are important, you’ll also want to think about the bigger picture. You’re not only choosing a home that’s right for you — you’re choosing a neighborhood! How do you know if a neighborhood is right for you and your family? Here are several things you’ll want to think about.

Your commute. Before you make an offer on a home, try out the commute. You’ll want to make sure the drive from your neighborhood to your work is doable, especially during rush hour.

The neighbors. Can you live with the people who will be living closest to you? If you enjoy things nice and tidy, will you be able to live next door to a family with an unkempt yard? Stop by at different times of the day and check things out. Are your prospective neighbors as quiet in the evening hours as they are in the mornings and afternoons? Do any dogs bark incessantly all day (or all night!)?

Amenities. If you like to shop, you’ll want to make sure there are stores a reasonable distance away. Same with parks, schools or anywhere else you go to regularly. Do you have small children? Playgrounds can be a big plus! If you have young children, a house within walking distance to an elementary school or next to a school bus route could make your life a whole lot easier.

Traffic. If you enjoy spending time outdoors walking and bicycling, or you have small children, you may be more at home in a quiet cul-de-sac instead living on a busy street with lots of cars.

Schools. Ensuring a positive and successful experience in the classroom is important to most parents. And not every school is the perfect fit for every child. Take some time to research the schools in the neighborhood you are considering to make sure they are the right fit for you.

There are a number of things to consider when selecting a new home. Be sure to make a list of what is most important to you. It will make your home buying experience so much easier in the long run.