Location, Location, Location.
You've heard it before--the three most important things in real estate are location, location, location. Virtually no other single factor has a bigger impact on the desirability and resale value of your home to be. No home is an island, and the value of yours is affected by the homes that surround it. Your first consideration is the neighborhood. If you're not familiar with the area or community you're moving into, talk to a real estate rofessional who has experience there and can point you in the right direction. Then visit those neighborhoods at various times of day and observe the homes carefully. Look also for things like traffic congestion, intrusive sounds or annoying smells. You may find the perfect home, but if the neighborhood has problems, your investment won't be worth much when it's time to sell. Also, remember that extremely large homes surrounded by smaller ones tend to appreciate less than a large home among other large homes. Conversely, the smallest home in the neighborhood tends to be "pulled up" by the others.