The only time I've been to Dallas was on a layover, and that doesn't count. So where did I go for help? Google, of course. I knew I wanted my heroine to live in an uppity neighborhood in a refurbished 1920's home. She needed a nice backyard and the convenience of being close to the city. In order to describe her home and neighborhood, I went on an online house hunt. I shopped around, compared prices of homes, fixer uppers and the newly built. I investigated the median salary and average age; some neighborhoods are more...established where others are filled with singles and young families. I found my heroine the perfect home, saved the link for future reference, and then searched area restaurants and bars.
Nowadays, it's super easy to cross-reference with the Internet. No one wants to read a book that takes place in their neck of the woods only to have the local area described in an atypical fashion. We natives tend to get territorial.
My quick tip: Go online and explore neighborhoods, homes, schools, businesses, restaurants and even the economy in the area you're writing about. It doesn't take a lot of time and you're sure to learn something new.