Nancy, If you are interested in an area, the first couple of things you can do is to contact the chamber of commerce in that area, tell them you are thinking of moving there, and to send you their introductory package or a welcome package which will have alot of teh information you seek. The next thing you shoul do, is to get a buyer broker to represent you in this area. Located a trusted Realtor, tell them what you are looking for and that you would like a buyer borker to assist you. In most cases there is no cost to hire a buyer broker as they are paid a commission from the listing agent of teh house you end up buying. This way you have someone looking out for your best interest and someone who can get you the information you desire and show you the good and bad of the area. Good luck with your move.... and if yuou do not have any contacts in Southport, let me know, i can assist you with a couple of names if you need.