Talk to the neighbors around the home you like to find out what they like best and least about the area. It's better to buy the smallest house on the most desirable block than the biggest house on the least desirable one.
If you are not familiar with the neightborhood use your agent as a good source for knowledge on neighborhoods, schools, access to recreation and shopping & dining areas.
Create a list of “must haves” and "nice-to-have but not neccesary" before you start your search.
1. Home Size – square footage, how many bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.
2. Features – updated fixtures/appliances, garage space and storage
3. Area – how close are you to schools, entertainment, shopping and work
4. Neighborhood – scope out the area, are there more children and families vs. single or elderly
5. space to grow – are you planning on having another child or getting some pets?
6. Condition – are you looking for a fixer upper or move in ready?
Make sure you consider your lifestyle, budget and particulars.