Living in the here and now may be a good outlook on life, but it's not necessarily to best way to find the perfect neighborhood. That's because if you don't check with your local planning office regarding the city's future plans for your area, you may find out too late that you just purchased a home in the middle of a new community college. The planning office can inform you of any future construction projects or road expansions that would affect the neighborhood. You might think a neighborhood is perfect because it's quaint, quiet and private with lots of mature trees, only to find out that a developer is clear cutting the trees behind the house you like to build another subdivision.
Even if your lot isn't directly affected, the city's plans may significantly impact the atmosphere and culture that made you fall in love with the area. It's important to check with your development or homeowner's association about future houses in your area. If you love the fact that a home is on a corner lot without another home on one side, you'll want to know about the plans to expand that side of the development with 50 additional homes. It's likely that will affect your decision.