Know the neighborhood before you buy
Before you start looking into specific homes on the market, you have a good idea about the places you want to live. Start looking at various neighborhoods and the amenities they offer, such as parks, shopping, transportation, proximity to your work, and other factors such as crime rate and taxes that might affect your decision. Spend time during different parts of the day and night in the neighborhoods you like. That will help make sure you're making the right choice when you decide to buy.
(Getty Images Photo / Justin Sullivan)