The digital age has made the world a smaller place, but it does not always replace firsthand knowledge. Before buying, it is a good idea to get to know the local area. Taking a vacation is much different from living in a foreign land. It is best to take a week or two, and walk through the town or village and meet as many people as possible. This will give a prospective buyer a good idea of how welcome they are as well as conditions outside of tourist areas. Knowledge is invaluable, and this is one of the best ways to gather it.
Markets and common areas such as parks are excellent places to stroll and meet people. If the community is a seaside one, the local beaches are a good place to begin meeting people. Even clubs and restaurants might help with acquiring in-depth knowledge that will help make the decision to buy there or select another location.