Privacy and community standards
What if you feel more comfortable in a world without jeans, or shirts, or shame? Privacy and yard coverage will play a key role here. Not everybody wants to share the sight of their body -- and not everybody wants it shared with them.
If you just want the right to relax and unwind in the privacy of your own backyard without exposing too much to your new neighbors, look for suburban neighborhoods with high fences, thick bushes, or an even thicker copse of trees. You should be able to sunbathe to your heart’s content. Remember the general rule of exposure: whatever you can see can see you back. If you’re just looking for a little jacuzzi au naturel make sure the pathway from house to hot tub is fairly discreet -- yes, even if you’re still wrapped in a towel.
The moral standings of the neighbors
Living beside good neighbors can mean long-lasting friendships for you and your kids. Living beside bad neighbors can mean just about anything, depending on your lifestyle. Some people settle in HOA neighborhoods to guarantee a quality of life, while other people's idea of quality living is no HOA to tell you what to do. Look into neighborhood policies to make sure you land in a location that shares similar quality of life ideals.
For some it’s an issue of whether they’ll return your hedge trimmer. For others, it's whether your untrimmed hedges are bringing down property values. In both cases, good fences make good neighbors; remember that your actions affect other people, but you also don't get much say in what happens next door. Find a neighborhood that strikes the balance you can live with.
Bottom line: find out who will be sharing your white picket fence, because you want to be on good terms with the people you'll be seeing everyday, and hopefully inviting to the neighborhood cookout.