Location has always been an important factor to consider when buying a home. Not only do home owners insurance companies charge more to those who live in a "high risk" area, but your auto insurance may increase as well. Buying a house in a poor location may actually cost you money in the long run.
Not only should you purchase a home in a safe neighborhood, but you should also find out what types of future construction they have for that neighborhood. You can speak with the local zoning commission and find out if there are any plans to build mini malls, apartment complexes, or any large commercial buildings nearby. Things like this can drastically affect your property value in a negative way.
One more important thing to consider are the locations of the schools in your area. If you have children or are planning to have children, is your future home located in a convenient area to get to the local schools? Is it within walking distance? You may even look to see if there is a park or a recreation center for your children nearby.
Another thing to consider is the neighborhood. When you are house shopping, you don't necessarily think to look at the types of people you will be living next to. Take a trip past the potential house at different times of the day. Do you see anything out of the ordinary? Do the neighbors have loud parties or other annoyances that will prevent you from having a decent standard of living? It is always best to scope out your potential neighbors before moving to any neighborhood and noticing how close to your house their house and property are.
Are you living within a Homeowner's Association? Many of them will dictate what colors you can paint your house, what you can have in the yard, and even right down to whether you can have a family pet or not. So if you're not willing to give up Fido just yet, check with the laws of the Homeowner's Association to make sure that you're able to have him.
Overall you need to take pride in your future purchase. This is your house that you will live in for many years to come and you must be very selective about its location so that you will be there for a long time.