When you are looking for your next home, it is very helpful to know where exactly you want to be! This is not necessarily an easy proposition because different areas differ:
in crime rates.
in quality of education.
in air/noise pollution.
in requirement of flood insurance.
in tax rates.
in commuting distance.
in local amenities.
in site locations.
Before you ask your realtor to show you a property, do yourself a favor and Google map the address. Look at its aerial view to see if the property abuts railroad tracks, highways, major roads or waterways. Do a street view and see if there is a lot of traffic in front of the house. Is there a major flight of stairs to go up to get into the home? Will the yard be easy to mow and maintain?
A major factor for many families is finding the best school district for the money they have to spend. Sadly, the areas with the best rated schools are also the most expensive. Some families might have to forego the best school district for an area that is more affordable.