View lots of homes- You are going to be in this home for 3 to 5 years and you should take your time. We can usually look at 10-15 houses a day and I put them in a route order so as not to waste time. Don't try to make concessions on your home, find one that you are excited about and can imagine living there. Some articles have been written by Michael Bluejay that it takes a solid three months to find the right home. He said if you can't find something perfect after three months you can settle for a home that's merely acceptable.
It is acceptable to take pictures of homes that you view and to take notes. Put key words in your notes to help you remember the home, if you don't after about five homes they are going to start to run together. Try to look at the layout of the homes and not so much the colors or the owners furniture. Colors can be changed, professional stagers are now hired by owners. Flooring can be replaced but could be a little pricey. You need to make sure the house has "good bones".
One great advice from Michael Bluejay was to check out the neighborhood (schools, demographics, crime) with a site like city-data.com and check out how walkable the area is with walkscore.com One of my favorite sites is alsde.edu for the schools. To make good decisions about a neighborhood you need to visit the area at different times of the day and on weekends and make sure you like the area. You can also call the police station and ask the question if they are called out to this subdivision a lot or do they consider this area a low crime area.
We will need to visit the home once or twice more because you start to see things you did not see on the first viewing. It is best not to jump into a home buying decision quickly.